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I Love My Job

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The Issue: As an industry, we are all working together against a few common challenges, chief among them is a shortage of skilled labor in our trades. We know that finding the right channels to engage future generations of HVAC technicians is critical to the success of our industry and to each of our businesses. But, how do we pierce through the wall of white noise in social media? Here’s the question we kept hearing. “As a contractor, how can we authentically tell our story in a way that reaches an entirely new audience.” Many contractors are making great strides in this area and finding new ways to attract and engage a younger and much more diverse audience of future technicians.

One Solution: Haller Enterprises Recruiting Campaign: “I Love My Job!”

Haller Enterprises based just outside of Lancaster, PA, has found a way to evolve their message to reach this next generation of mechanical and service trade professionals. They found a fresh strategy to tell their personal stories, and they are using their best storytellers to tell them, their own team members. They are calling this new campaign “I love my job”. Inside of these personal testimonials, the Haller team members have the chance to share just why they love their job. The idea of testimonial marketing or “point of view” marketing isn’t a new concept, but their approach seems a bit different and worthy of consideration.

Q & A with Haller Enterprises President, Aaron Becker What is unique about the way Haller Enterprises approaches employee recruiting, engagement, and retention that has led to your success?

“I would offer up a few ideas that have changed the way we look at team building at Haller. First, we don’t want to be the best place to work, we want to be the only place to work. Our thought process is that being the best place to work means we are just competing against others in the trades for the best employees that have already chosen this career path. If we are so bold as to aspire to be the only place to work, we are bringing new people to the trades and solving for that looming skilled labor shortage issue in a meaningful way. Second, we want to be inclusive and we want to make bold TEAM decisions that reinforce that ideology in how we want to run the business. For instance, we make sure that our referral bonuses are equal to or greater than our sign-on bonuses. We are rigorous in creating fair and flexible overtime practices as well as fair on-call schedules. We feel these are a few critical areas of focus that help to set us apart.”

Based on the conversation with Aaron and some of the other key stakeholders on the Haller leadership team, we learned there were key success indicators that are critical in how they get their message out: timing, messaging, and media.

Timing: Work during January and February tends to slow down for plumbing, HVAC and electrical companies. This time of year, many technicians begin looking around for a new job that will provide them a consistent amount of work even during the shoulder season. Therefore, we heavily advertise during this time of year to market to these technicians. We believe that the best way to protect against these risks of attrition is planning. For larger organizations like ours, that might mean flexing team members to commercial projects during these slower periods. While for small and mid-sized contractors who are primarily residential, it means effectively planning and scheduling preventative maintenance work during these periods of time. These are all solid retention and recruiting strategies.

Messaging: It is important to have a message that resonates with our “customer”, in this case, those customers are technicians. To develop a message that would resonate with them, we went through the process of identifying all the benefits of working at Haller (401k, vacation, career development, tool allowance, etc.). We then identified what those benefits mean for the technician (peace of mind, better quality of life, using tools you know and love, etc.), and finally we settled on a theme that encapsulated all those benefits and feelings in one message “I Love My Job!”. The thought behind this messaging is that when anyone asks you “Do you like your job?” many times a typical response begins with “I love my job….” followed by a list of why the employee loves their job. These reasons are usually the benefits and are different for every employee and every age group. We are passionate about delivering a love for their job.

Media: Once we determine our timing and messaging, we needed to determine how we are going to reach our customers – the technicians. We do this through digital channels (google search, display, Facebook, Snapchat) that allow us a precise way to both understand and to connect with our base. In addition, other traditional channels such as radio that help to deliver our hiring message to many technicians and/or people that know technicians.

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