By: Tina Bures

The HOTTEST Topic in HVAC -  - Miller Resource Group

Often times in my conversations with hiring authorities across the Air Handling/Combustion industries I’m asked:  “What are you seeing in the industry right now?  What’s the biggest thing companies are looking for and what do candidates want?”  Without question, the most common topic is this:

Companies need to invest in succession planning NOW….especially if you’re a boiler company.

  • Passing the baton. The nuts and bolts equipment knowledge doesn’t exist much in the generations that will replace your current tenured workforce.  (If they do know it, they were most likely raised with it.)
  • Out of time. There is not time to wait until the current generation of experts is ready to retire to think of who you’re going to put in their place.
  • Without a paddle. You’re most likely going to have to train the replacement on the industry and equipment, so you’ll want significant overlap with the people who know how to do it. If not, you’re up a creek.  (There are companies who are extremely proactive in this area of training and education and they reap the rewards.)
  • “Cool and sexy”. New technology is hard to compete with. Interest and starting compensations in those fields are significantly higher.  (A lot of people coming out of college, especially with any kind of technical degree, are already making $70K, $80K bases for Sales roles.)
  • Invest where it matters. Companies need to have great company cultures and competitive approaches to the market to attract AND RETAIN fresh, ambitious talent.  (Again, I’ve seen companies put significant focus here and they’re better off for it.)

The moral of the story?  Think ahead.  Get strategic about how you’re going to keep the expertise in your company even through retirements.  Foster entrepreneurship in your team and encourage them to contribute to your strategic business plans.  Take care of your people and they’ll work hard for you…and others will see that and want to work for you as well.  Remember: “If you build it, they will come.”

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