Finding Qualified Technicians is Easily the Single Biggest Challenge I've Faced in Operating a Small Business

What's the single biggest challenge I've faced in operating a company that specializes in Gas Piping, Air Duct Cleaning, and Ventilation?

Finding qualified technicians!

We’ve tried all the standard approaches for employment ads, with almost zero success. We’ve hired “Journeymen” several times, and all but one of those times has been a complete failure. The problem is, while there are thousands of “Heating” companies, none of those companies are a gas piping specialty company.

For example, a 6 fixture gas job will take most heating companies 2 days with 2 technicians on the job. Their vans are set up to not only do gas piping but also full heating installations, making it impossible to carry everything possibly needed for any gas pipe job. With our vans specifically set up for just gas piping, and our Tech’s trained specifically for just gas piping, we can do the same job in one day, most often in under 8 hours.

Journeymen from other companies don’t have the high level of specified training we require and have almost always struggled to make our job bid times.

We’ve been blessed with finding one fully trained & certified Tech, Eric Sayler, who can match my skill set. Hiring him was an amazing stroke of luck, as the chances of finding someone else with specific training has proved to be almost zero.

Our answer has been to train technicians “in-house”. The best candidates do have heating training, but preferably not more than 2 years so they have not developed “bad habits”. Each and every Tech we hire is hand trained by either Eric or myself, keeping our company up to date with fully trained specialty techs.

What this also means for Portland Gas Piping and Ventilation, is that we have considerably more time invested in each of our Technicians than most companies, so we do everything we can to provide a positive work environment. We go out of our way for little things that matter to our Tech’s. For example, one of our tech’s just bought a new pickup truck. I had my shop mechanic go thru his truck, and fix several small issues. The bill from my mechanic was $550, but well worth it to build the “Family” atmosphere we have developed at our company.

Make sure treating your employees right and providing the best quality work environment possible is at the very top of your priority list!

Views: 89

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros Forum to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros Forum

Comment by Jeremiah Doty on March 24, 2018 at 11:17am

If you would like to read more of our blog posts, click here to read all of Portland Gas Piping's literature

Forum Discussions

Mini split installation location

Started by Jan Green in HVAC. Last reply by Franco Oyuela 12 hours ago. 5 Replies

Think of the house as a really big duct

Started by Frank Spevak in HVAC. Last reply by John White yesterday. 2 Replies

Mini split air conditioners and ceiling fans

Started by Beverly Lerch in General Forum. Last reply by Beverly Lerch yesterday. 13 Replies

What's the Most Profitable HVAC Job for Your Company?

Started by Wayne Melancon in HVAC. Last reply by Franco Oyuela on Tuesday. 4 Replies

Latest Activity

Franco Oyuela commented on David Byrnes's video
Thumbnail

Why One Room Is Hotter Than Others

"If the temperature difference between your bedroom and your living room feels like walking from a…"
12 hours ago
Franco Oyuela replied to Jan Green's discussion Mini split installation location
"First: Mini split are a great option. Second:vI agree with David that installing on the south…"
12 hours ago
Pearl Home Certification's blog post was featured
19 hours ago
John White replied to Frank Spevak's discussion Think of the house as a really big duct
"Thanks for sharing this helpful information. Want to read more on duct cleaning pros and cons.…"
yesterday
Jan Green replied to Jan Green's discussion Mini split installation location
"Thank you, thank you!  I appreciate your insights.  I agree with the idea that installing…"
yesterday
David Butler replied to Jan Green's discussion Mini split installation location
"Hi Jan, in a room like that with a relatively balanced aspect ratio, flat ceiling and not much…"
yesterday
Rick Blair joined Kyle Brown's group
Thumbnail

Wrightsoft - Manual J / Manual D

If you use Wrightsoft to calculate loads or design ducts, you likely have questions.  Get answers…See More
yesterday
Jan Green replied to Jan Green's discussion Mini split installation location
"This is a very rough diagram of the detached casita.  There are currently no windows in this…"
yesterday
Sean Wiens liked Jerry Needham's discussion Condensation on ceiling and walls of master bedroom
yesterday
Andrea Simmonsen liked David Byrnes's video
yesterday
Beverly Lerch replied to Beverly Lerch's discussion Mini split air conditioners and ceiling fans
"Thanks.  A very reasonable, practical answer.  We have done our experimenting and ceiling…"
yesterday
Pearl Home Certification posted a blog post
yesterday
John Nicholas replied to Jerry Needham's discussion Condensation on ceiling and walls of master bedroom
"Jerry, ;Have you opened the cathedral ceiling?  "
yesterday
Blake Reid replied to Beverly Lerch's discussion Mini split air conditioners and ceiling fans
"Good opinions in these replies!  I'll just add a few: * Experiment.  It's your…"
Wednesday
John White replied to Jerry Needham's discussion Condensation on ceiling and walls of master bedroom
"Condensation on ceiling occurs when the attic space above is poorly ventilated or insulated. The…"
Wednesday
Joshua P Murphy is now a member of Home Energy Pros Forum
Tuesday
Franco Oyuela replied to Frank Spevak's discussion Think of the house as a really big duct
"THANKS for the information. Ducted mini splits offer hidden benefits."
Tuesday
Franco Oyuela replied to Wayne Melancon's discussion What's the Most Profitable HVAC Job for Your Company?
"Get into commercial, it's more money!"
Tuesday
David Byrnes's video was featured

Why One Room Is Hotter Than Others

Ever wonder if your air conditioner is working right because one room never gets a cool or warm as others? Do you need a bigger air conditioner to fix a room...
Tuesday
Profile IconEric MacCallum, Adam Morgan and Caolan Hutchens joined Home Energy Pros Forum
Monday

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2018   Created by Home Performance Coalition (HPC)   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service