I realize I am saying the blatantly obvious, but it is extremely hard for HVAC contractors to find quality workers. It is the most talked about topic wherever my industry travels take me.

And it is not just HVAC technicians that are hard to find — although that tends to be the most pressing. Filling positions such as service managers, dispatchers, as well as upper management continue to be an issue for HVAC contractors.

Best Contractor to Work For

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• Previous Winners

There are a lot of reasons for this situation. Most kids (and their parents) have a negative perception about what working in the trades entails. There seems to be more jobs than there are willing and able bodies in our country these days. HVAC is a bit of a grey industry, with many people retiring leaving positions to be filled.

Where does that leave you and your business? In a highly competitive situation where you are fighting competitors and other local businesses to swim in the available labor pool.

So as a contractor, how do you differentiate yourself from the other local HVAC businesses that are no doubt also trying to fill multiple positions? What if you could tell candidates during the interview process that you were named one of the best contractors to work for in America? Do you think that would move the needle in your direction?

Well, you are in luck. Because The ACHR NEWS’ Best Contractor to Work For contest is back by popular demand for its 24th year. Wouldn’t it be great if your company could join this exclusive club? Last year’s winners included Boston Standard Co., Huft Home Services, Jackson Comfort Services, and GSM Services. It is time to add your company name to the list.

We are doing things a little bit differently this year. Instead of having an individual winner for each region of the country, we are going to do this contest in list form this year. So if you have won in the past — even if you won last year — we encourage you to submit your information again this time around. There will be more contractor winners, with the end result being more businesses will have bragging rights. Each winner will still be highlighted in our upcoming AHR Expo show issue, which comes out in February.

What does it look like to be one of the best contractors to work for? We are looking for work environments that encourage growth, opportunity, recognition, education, and a winning attitude for all employees. This can take many shapes and sizes in an HVAC company. It can be as simple as holiday parties and staff lunches, but can also be as elaborate as profit sharing programs and aggressive in-house training schools. We want to highlight contractors that put employees first. The more creative the way they accomplish that goal, the better.

Past winners have been able to this award as a marketing tool. We all know the interview process involves the applicant interviewing the company as much as or more than the company interviewing the applicant. This is especially true in the HVAC industry, where jobs outnumber applicants. Imagine sitting across from an applicant and letting them know the top HVAC industry publication (there … I said it) has recognized your company as a top place to work. Do you think that will help you close the deal?

The ACHR NEWS is now taking nominations for this year’s class, but time is running out. The deadline for submissions is November 27 and contractors can be nominated here: www.achrnews.com/enter-best-contractor-to-work-for. The nomination form is simply a few questions about how the company is run. It is well worth your time and effort.

Good luck to all.