We’re well into the New Year. And, amidst a drive to recharge, refresh, and restart, what better time than now to change up your recruiting methods and targets? In a recent December article of The NEWS, we discussed how recruiting women can help solve the current labor shortage within the HVAC industry. While women may not be your top-of-the-mind choice when recruiting new technicians, I challenge you to broaden your horizons this year.
According to the Bureau Labor of Statistics (BLS), the HVAC industry is projected to grow significantly in the next few years, with an estimated 21 percent increase in the need for HVAC mechanics and installers from 2012-2022. Combining that, with the amount of HVAC owners retiring over the next decade, it’s crucial to recruit new hires. So, why not tap into the female market?
Many women don’t think of HVAC as a female career pathway. They weren’t scouted or encouraged by HVAC companies like young men are in high school. Therefore, they often don’t even know there is any realm of a possibility that they can land a great career in HVAC. I believe this should change. As a young woman myself, I don’t ever recall being told that I could have pursued a career in the labor workforce. In high school, I was approached by varying companies and colleges at career fairs, but never by a company in the skilled trades. However, on the other hand, my brother was approached by a number of labor companies and was introduced to many different trade position opportunities. Who’s to say that I wouldn’t have pursued one of those positions? The problem was, I was never asked or introduced to them.
If we introduce and expose the benefits of a career in HVAC earlier in young women’s lives, I truly believe more females would be interested. Organizations, such as Women in HVACR, provide support, mentorship, and scholarships to encourage women to pursue careers in the industry. For the many out there graduating without a desire to pursue a four-year degree, a career in HVAC may be appealing, as you can receive an HVAC education in a year or less or conveniently online. In addition, this could be intriguing to mothers who are looking to get into the workforce. They can finish HVAC school quickly, or at their leisure online, and pursue a career faster than if they were to go to a four-year university.
Time and time again, people say they “fell” into the HVAC industry, and aren’t quite sure why or how they ended up where they are. I think the industry should try and put an end to this trend, especially during a time where technicians are in high demand. We don’t want women to just “fall” into the industry, we want them to want to join it, and exposing women to the benefits of this industry could do just that. We know the benefits, but do they?
Here at The NEWS, many of the editors are female. While this may be surprising to some, as HVAC is a male-dominated industry, it’s not so far-fetched. Fewer women are staying home with the children and more are seeking employment than ever before. Women are branching out into varying fields. Why not let that field be HVAC?
So, this year, I challenge you to think outside the box when it comes time to recruit. Visit your local high schools and colleges, speak to young women about the benefits of a career in HVAC, and diversify your company’s staff as a result.
Publication date: 2/6/2017