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Four Reasons We’re Failing to Attract Millennials

Originally published: 07.01.19 by Dillon Collier

It is a known fact that by 2020, Millennials will make up half of the global workforce. But what does this mean? It means, just like your customer base will shift, so will your pool of employees.

Attracting quality help from any age demographic is difficult, so sometimes attracting Millennials can feel more like herding unicorns than sorting through applications (probably because there aren’t any).

Why is this? The pay is good and there are always positions open, so why aren’t smart young people lining the sidewalk of your business for an interview?

Here re four reasons we as an industry are not doing a good job of attracting younger talent to the trade.

Believe it or not your recruitment efforts better go hand and hand with your marketing. Keep in mind large outfits and corporations are paying big bucks to capture the most qualified Millennials.

Millennials Don’t Know HVACR

When my friends ask me what I do for work I usually say something like “I create marketing plans for HVACR companies.”

A common response I get is: “What’s HVACR?”

They just don’t know. If I were to say “I’m a solutions architect” or “I’m a software engineer,” I wouldn’t get asked to explain. I’d get asked for whom.

It’s difficult to attract someone, much less top talent, when they have absolutely no clue you exist or what your industry is all about. Which is sad because many of us are drowning in student debt and are underemployed. That’s all good stuff but how do we change it?


This may come as a surprise to some, but what Millennials want from work is not that different from what every other generation has wanted.

  • We want to work for a company we can be proud of, “an industry leader.”
  • We want to be the best at what we do.
  • We want to be treated well economically and interpersonally.
  • We want work/life balance.

Mind blowing, right? Think about each of these points, and then think about how your organization fosters these within your company. If the answers come quickly and easily, then your company will win the war for qualified talent in your market.


This is where your marketing and human resources efforts merge. We simply need to show Millennials that these rewarding opportunities are available through the proper channels.

Where does one go to catch the unicorns? The Internet. A simple way could be to make a video demonstrating how your organization fosters the points mentioned above (the more visually appealing the better). Then distribute that through various social media channels with a link back to your website’s career page further explaining the benefits of working for your company.

This kills two birds with one stone. It creates awareness for potential customers, as well as potential employees. It creates a clear call to action. Many times we view human resources and marketing separately, however, to gain the competitive edge they must be a joint effort.

Talented young people are still out there — and you can catch those elusive unicorns — you simply need to know where the unicorns live and play today.


Lastly, as an industry, we need to do more. The highly competitive nature of this business makes cooperation between different contractors difficult, to say the least. We need to come together to fix this problem.

If you’re not a member of your local HVACR association, you should be. If you are great, through these associations we need to push for more trade programs to open in our high schools and community colleges.


About Dillon Collier

Dillon Collier

Dillon Collier is an HVAC advertising and marketing professional for Effective Media Solutions,, an ad agency that specializes in the HVAC contracting field. He can be reached at

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