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Three Proven Ways to Recruit and Retain Today’s Workforce

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It is increasingly difficult to attract and retain today’s workforce: on this we can all agree. It is our responsibility to promote the lucrative careers available in the Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency Industry (IE3), and there are three simple ways to get it done.

As our industry is experiencing incredible growth, 15% annually through the year 2026 according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the inability to attract workers hinders us all. Our industry offers benefits today’s workforce are seeking, but it is up to us to be our own best advocates and promote the incredible career opportunities we offer.

Conventional wisdom says that students need a four-year college degree to make it in today’s economy. The reality is that our industry pays extremely well, offers independence and stability. Last year, CNN Money reported that the median annual income for 30- to 34-year-olds with a Bachelor’s degree is 12% lower than the median income for an HVAC technician (according to BLS). Advanced technicians have an average median salary in the low 70’s and none of those careers require a college education.

The growing allure of green energy and the new technologies making our work and living spaces smarter are attractive to a generation of workers looking for carriers that make a difference. It is time we promote the lucrative careers available in IE3, which won’t just help us, but our communities, and our industry grow.

Our recruiting process is heavily influenced by our promotion of IE3, the purpose we offer candidates, and our willingness to hire and nurture a candidate’s strengths.

It’s up to us to promote IE3 careers

We recognized early on that we couldn’t just post a help-wanted ad and expect to find good candidates. The low unemployment rate combined with the low awareness IE3 careers worked to our disadvantage.

I started to use hearts and minds tactics to recruit the types of individuals that will be successful in our company. I personally invest my time by participating in local career days, mentoring opportunities, and guest lectures at the HVAC program in Fairfax County where I graduated. I also meet with career counselors to help them understand the profitable opportunities available in our industry as well as detail how we invest in our coworkers through training and apprenticeships to develop their skills.

We are located near several military bases and we participate in career fairs to help our Veterans learn about the many ways they can transition their technical skills, honed in the military, to the new world of IE3. Our apprentice training program is approved for use by Veterans and we guide each coworker through the process to apply their GI Bill benefits and streamline a successful transition to IE3.

PURPOSE drives interest

Job candidates are looking for meaningful careers and want to understand your company mission. The job has to offer fair compensation. Today’s workforce demands jobs that align to their interests and give them a sense of purpose in their daily life.


We tie our day-to-day operations to the general industry shift to more energy efficient systems. When we share with candidates how the systems we install and maintain are the #1 user of energy in the United States, even bigger than transportation, it gets their attention. We are working to minimize the depletion of natural resources as well as implementing technologies that will change the way we live and think about energy in all aspects of our communities.

We call on our coworkers to innovate and consider how we can improve those things we do every day. Everyone matters, as well as do the actions of each individual that works with Trademasters.

STRENGTH builds a future

Today’s workforce is focused on developing their strengths, not fixing a weakness. The data from Gallup illustrates that a weakness never develops into a strength, but a strength can develop infinitely. The benefit to hiring and nurturing the strength of your coworkers ultimately creates a Win-Win-Win.

I think our secret sauce is a founding principle, my wife Beth and I chose when we started Trademasters: “character is destiny” from the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus. This has been our true north and it permeates how we treat and nurture our coworkers, and how we expect our coworkers to treat our clients.

Dave Kyle

Posted In: Management

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