Five Tips for Hiring an HVAC Technician
There’s no doubt about it, a blisteringly hot summer day without a functioning air conditioner is a recipe for disaster. Now imagine the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) technician you hire to fix your air conditioner has been tooling away for hours with no end in sight. This is every customer’s worst nightmare.
As a hiring manager for an HVAC company, it is your responsibility to avoid this scenario at all costs. This means hiring trusted technicians who are experienced, confident, and proficient in both installation and repairs. Here are five tips to help you vet and hire the best HVAC technicians for your company.
Positive word-of-mouth or crowd-sourced referrals is a great place to start building your candidate pool. Essentially, these technicians have been pre-vetted and already have a proven track record of success. If possible, glean as much information as you can from referrals, such as employment history, customer service skills, and communication skills. Their recommendations can greatly inform you on whether they will be the right fit for your team.
Ask About Licensing and Certifications
Only some states require HVAC technicians to be professionally licensed, so it’s a good idea to check your state’s requirements. Similarly, certifications are not necessarily required to work in the industry, but you can bet the most skilled and in-demand HVAC technicians will have them. The most respected and recognized are the NATE (North American Technician Expert) certification, the HVAC Excellence Certification, and EPA 608 Certification.
Check Customer Service Record
In addition to fixing or installing an appliance, customers seek good customer service and communication skills. Because HVAC technicians can be in a client’s home for hours or days at a time, it’s important that they are familiar with basic rules of etiquette and know to be polite in someone else’s home. Simple acts such as as wiping off muddy boots before entering or offering a pleasant greeting are small, but meaningful gestures that turn one-time clients into lifelong customers.
Expertise With a Variety of Appliances
Don’t hire a technician who has only worked exclusively with only one brand or type of appliance. During the interview process, be clear about what name brands and models you require expertise in. As an added measure, you may want to administer a test where technicians can prove their familiarity with an appliance. You’ll also want to gauge their ability and comfort in building their skill set as model types are regularly being upgraded or modified.
Can They Sell You?
Did you know that HVAC technicians must also double as sales people? For those times when a repair turns into a replacement, a technician needs to be able to successfully convince a customer why a new product or appliance is needed. This is no easy feat, considering the prevailing stereotype of dishonest repairmen ripping off innocent families. During the interview, ask them to sell a product to you. Do they mention a guarantee or warranty period? How do they build trust with a client?
By following these tips during the hiring process, you’ll be able to find the right HVAC technician to meet your needs as well as your customers’.