Recruiting and Hiring

Finding good people…

Develop an “always hiring” mentality. Instead of waiting for a crisis or the necessity of a new position, start looking for qualified people right now – even (and especially!) if you don’t need anyone right now. Why? There is an old saying that said, “It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared.” So don’t get caught in a situation where you are looking for someone and you have no idea where to start. A better situation would be to have some people that you can interview, some people that you know a lot better than someone cold off the street. You can make yourself better prepared.

Let’s talk about building a virtual bench.

This is your “not now” but “later” group. It’s similar to a bullpen in baseball (without the payroll and chewing tobacco). What would you do if your best employee left today? What if you had to pull an employee out of your line-up? If you haven’t planned on it, you are at a disadvantage. You need a virtual bench. A virtual bench is a dynamic list of those people you have met who you believe give great service, or are great salespeople, or demonstrate the ability to work under pressure, or are highly organized, or that are simply exceptional and skilled in an area. They may be working at a wide variety of jobs in different occupations in various fields. Let’s face it, how many of us didn’t come into this career from another industry or a different career path?

As you grow or as you need to replace people, your virtual bench is a group of people who you can have conversations with about joining your team.

Try to interview people as you meet them.

We don’t mean you should spend three hours asking questions. We mean that you want to try to get to know them in a casual environment first. What are they like in their current job, in an environment where they are comfortable now? One of the rules for recruiting is to hire happy, gainfully employed people. If they are happy at their current employer, and you know you have a great culture and environment, why can’t they help you make money and give great service to your customers? These are the people you can go to in the event you are adding to the staff or replacing someone. They are giving great service and are superstars in their current jobs with their current companies.

This is where hiring mistakes are made. You need to seriously slow down. We make more mistakes when we rush into something, and then we pay for rushing into that decision for a really long time. That is why you need to start to develop your virtual bench now. Think back to all the people you have met recently and think about what position or positions you have open or are about to have open. Is there anyone you could interview from that group?

Check-in from time to time

to re-establish relationships with your virtual bench, take their temperature and see how everything is going for them. It’s a great way to test-drive how someone really acts before you are fully committed to them.

Have you asked your best employees recently if they could recommend anyone? You might have asked last year, but this is now. Maybe they have met or thought of different people since then, and they are ready to make some recommendations now. The best people you employ most likely have some great friends!

What does marketing have to do with hiring and recruiting?

There are some similarities and some major differences. In marketing, we want all the leads. In looking for a new employee, we probably don’t want all the leads; we only want the best resumes, from the most qualified people. Rather than sifting through hundreds of resumes to find the few who are great, it’s better to have people weed themselves out.

In marketing (as well as in hiring), you can place an ad and wait for the phone to ring. That’s a strategy – albeit not a powerful or compelling one. Instead, we know that we need to market our business in several different places us using different mediums – the more presence, exposure, and branding we do, the better. It’s the same thing when looking for a new employee. We need to cast a broad net and employ different strategies to get the best results. Like in marketing, when you hit on something that works, keep doing it. When you find an avenue for finding great employees, keep working it. Don’t stop everything else you are doing, but keep looking and networking everywhere. On the flip side, if something isn’t working, then stop doing it. Is the medium failing or was it that you didn’t write a compelling ad?

Ask your Super Stars!

Getting others involved in the process is a sign of strength and trust. It’s one of the biggest compliments you can give to your top employees. It is natural for your employees to only think of their friends/family who are unhappy in their current role or are already looking elsewhere. Encourage your superstars to think of ANYONE they know who would be a good fit – even if those people are currently employed and currently happy. You have a lot to as an employer. At least invite the person in, show them around, introduce them to people in your office, show off what a great culture and opportunity you have there, and see where it goes. What’s the worst that can happen?!

Another key when asking your employees if they know anyone great who may be a good fit at your company is to make sure you are only asking your superstars. This is so important that we are going to say it again – ONLY ask your superstars!! The best only hang out with the best. Superstars hang out with superstars. They have a higher standard than the rest of your employees and will recommend only awesome people because they also know that their good name is associated with whomever they recommend. So, if you want more superstars (and who doesn’t?!), be sure only to ask your superstars.

Another great place to find great people is through your networking groups. This may be through your involvement in groups such as your local Chambers or professional organizations {another good reason to have a Marketing Manager). Or, it could be through your personal networking groups. Places like your church, neighborhood organizations, informal groups (such as morning coffee or sporting events) are great ways to meet people and get a sense of who they are before you jump into an employment relationship with them.

Marketing Events

such as Trade Shows. Sure, it’s a great source for marketing leads. But what about walking the trade show and watching people in their booths? Don’t be a creepy stalker, but watch to see who is happy, who is giving great service, and go talk to those people and begin to build your virtual bench of people you may hire or may want to talk with at a later time.


Remember, not everyone who is recommended will work out, and not every new acquaintance will be a superstar. It’s just another place to get people and put them through your process. The flip side is that not everyone who has a “Manager” or “Sales Rep” title on his or her resume can be successful. This is where you need to inspect what you expect. What we mean by this is: What did they manage? What did they sell? Was it a consumable item? Were they an order taker? Were they an ambassador of goodwill?


The vast majority of job seekers now look online for job openings. Newspaper ads are failing to the wayside, plus they are expensive. If you have a career site that is specific to your local area that is ideal.

With internet job sites, timing plays a big role. It may happen that you post a position and get very few responses. Then, you re-post the same ad again 3-4 weeks later and get a slew of applicants. Or, you may get nothing the second time around and need to re-visit the content of your ad or the title of your position.


How do you handle it when you have someone come in off the street and ask if you are currently hiring? Do you have a process in place? Although this is certainly not one of the primary ways to recruit for an open position, and rarely does it result in actually hiring that person, you want to be able to capture these “leads” as well. Not to mention the fact that how you treat people in your community is all about Public Relations. Consider having your receptionist or call center representative create a file in their workspace containing a folder of blank job applications. When someone comes in and asks if you are hiring, have your receptionist grab a blank application, a clipboard, and a pen. Ask that they take a seat in your lobby area and complete the application now, on-site. When the candidate has completed the application and turns it in to the receptionist, does your receptionist know what do to with it? Or, does the application somehow get lost in transit? Be sure to have a process, and be sure the key people know what that process is.


Depending on the position you are hiring for, consider hiring an intern. Some dealers have had luck hiring interns to grow their marketing departments or manage trade show staffing/training during trade show season. Why does it work? Interns are usually cheap, hard-working, hungry, and want to make a good impression. You get to test-drive them and decide at the end of the internship if you want to bring them on full-time.

LOCAL COLLEGES. Developing relationships with the local community

Colleges and trade schools have also been successful for some dealers. Offer to be a guest speaker at a class on what companies look for in excellent employees, or how to translate what they are learning in school to the real work world. You will have essentially advertised your company to a large group of students who will soon be entering the job market and looking for good employers. Again, the opportunities are endless, so get creative!

GET CREATIVE! There are many, many ways to find good, qualified employees in your area. Sometimes it takes a little creativity.

Sample Job Posting for:


[Insert Company Name] is looking for a highly motivated and positive individual to serve on our team of Customer Service Representatives. This individual must possess; strong organizational, customer service and time management skills; high attention to and accuracy in detail; basic to proficient computer skills; the ability to troubleshoot; and excellent verbal communication skills. This individual must also be highly comfortable speaking with our current and prospective customers on the phone, both for inbound informational/troubleshooting calls, and outbound sales call to schedule sales appointments or annual maintenances.

We are a great family-oriented company and offer good pay and benefits to our employees. (Pay is base hourly plus commission opportunities and usually comes to around $14 or $15 an hour.) The dress is casual. For more information about (Insert Company Name], check out [insert web address] or find us on Facebook. If you are interested, please submit your resume via [insert how to submit a resume].

Sample Job Posting for:


[Insert Company Name] is looking to hire a highly motivated and positive Sales Manager for its growing team. The person in this role will: 1) supervise all processes and personnel of the Sales Department; 2) formulate and establish proposed courses of action to remain the best and most successful in the industry; 3) enhance efficiencies within the company; and 4) increase company revenues.

The ideal candidate will have: 1) stable and verifiable sales and marketing management experience: 2) knowledge and experience in residential HVAC (preferable) 3) proficient computer skills; 4) strong verbal and written communication skills; and 5) the proven ability to motivate, guide and direct a team to reach and even exceed business goals. This candidate will also have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business administration or a related field and at least five years of experience in sales and/or marketing (preferably in a management position), or an equivalent combination of education and experience to illustrate a proven track record in sales and sales management.

[Insert Company Name] is the region’s best residential HVAC contractor. We have a great family environment, allow for casual dress, and offer solid pay and benefits to our employees. For more information, please visit [insert web address] or find us on Facebook. If you are interested, please submit your resume via [insert how to submit a resume].

Sample Job Posting for:


[Insert Company Name] is GROWING, and we are looking for an EXPERIENCED in-home sales professional to RUN self-generated and company-provided leads and CLOSE sales in the Residential HVAC replacement field. We provide qualified, high-quality leads (customers contact us for appointments).


The ideal candidate will have in-home sales experience or come from the residential real estate, window/siding/roofing, home inspection, or home improvement industries.

You MUST have verifiable and STABLE sales experience. Construction and residential HVAC experience and knowledge is a definite plus. You must also be comfortable with a 100% commission-based income.

The ideal candidate must also have strong listening, follow-up, and closing skills. You must be proficient in working with computer software and be detail-oriented, focused, and a team player. Most importantly, you MUST have strong ethics and high integrity and be committed to ALWAYS putting the customer first.

We provide the BEST training, systems, products, and services in the business. We are the best. For more information on our company, please visit [insert web address] and find us on Facebook. If you are interested, please submit your resume via [insert how to submit resume]