Hiring is one of the most important jobs you have as a field service business owner. At Scheduleflow, most of the companies we work with start off with two or three people, almost always family members. As your business grows however, you’ll have to start bringing in more people to keep up with all the business you’re getting. The key challenge is maintaining control and profitability while you are expanding. Here’s what to look for in potential new hires:
This is the one you already know. Obviously anyone you’re considering hiring must be able to perform any jobs you’d consider reasonable in your line of work (unless you’re hiring a trainee or apprentice). If you’ve narrowed down candidates to two or three, give them a problem to solve and see who does better at solving it. Good examples of problems will change depending on your business type, but broken doors and locks, appliances in need of maintenance but not direct repair and similar are a good place to start. Note down the speed of the solution, but also watch how they reach it. Are they experienced enough to know immediately what’s going on? Are they inexperienced, but meticulous enough to go through each step you would expect yourself to go through when investigating an unknown problem? Do they value speed over accuracy and rashly jump to a conclusion with no basis?
An important part of building a successful business is ensuring that your customers are satisfied and inclined to recommend you to other potential customers, as well as call you again instead of a competitor. But reliability is the hardest quality to test for in our opinion. Testing if someone will do what they say they will can be difficult, especially as employees are inclined to work harder when they just start a job and be more motivated while they’re adapting to a new workplace. A good place to start is to get recommendations for sub-contractors and new workers from people you trust. Another tip: consider trying people out for probationary periods and when working with them, compare what they’ve said they can do to how they actually perform. Remember that often your customer’s only face-to-face interaction with your company will be with the tradies you send out to them, so reliability and professionalism is very important. And speaking of professionalism…
Friendly, reasonable and professional workers will give the best impression to customers and will also be the easiest to work with. In any business, workers that are professional and communicate well will enhance your business’s positivity and mood.
When looking for these traits in candidates, ask yourself how they conduct themselves, how respectful they are of you and others. Whether you personally like them should be the last deciding factor between candidates – a respectful hard worker is always better to work with than a loveable slacker. This is another place where references can help.
If you have any tips to share on hiring for field service technicians, share in the comments below or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.