Return to the home page

Noteworthy Talent and Workplace Trends

Originally published: 09.01.15 by Gary Gardiner

With a lack of qualified candidates to fill various industry roles, great candidates find themselves in a position of strength.


There are a number of talent trends taking shape and evolving throughout the industry. Companies are realizing they need to incorporate a variety of talent acquisition and retention strategies to stay competitive.

In fact, the need for top performers, executive talent, loyal technicians and company leaders is now so highly competitive, great candidates often find themselves in a position of strength.

Counteroffers on the ise

Hiring managers are making every attempt to hold on to their top talent. That means the amount of counteroffers is on the rise. Hiring managers are trying their best to entice employees by offering higher salaries and more perks so that they reconsider leaving the company.

It’s a fact that it’s much more cost-effective to make a counteroffer than to bring aboard a new hire and properly train them. An increasing number of employees are turning down counteroffers, however, and job candidates find themselves in the best job market in years.

Smart candidates are looking further than salary when determining who they view as great companies to work for — benefits, job satisfaction and company culture rank increasingly higher on order of importance.

Succession Planning

Succession planning is on the minds of company leaders as more Baby Boomers begin to retire. There is concern, however, that no one will pick up where they left off.

According to USA Today, one way organizations plan for succession is to pay retirees for their help and expertise to train up and comers. These seasoned workers have experience and a tremendous amount of knowledge.

Mentorship Programs

Speaking of mentorship programs, many HVAC companies recognize their value and have begin to implement these programs in conjunction with or in place of internship programs.

A mentor can help individuals develop and advance their careers by sharing their experience, knowledge and skills. Firms that have already implemented mentorship programs recognize that it has become an essential strategy for attracting, developing and retaining top industry talent.

Increasingly, on-the-job peer training is viewed as a benefit by many of today’s jobseekers. No matter what career level you’re seeking to fill, candidates thrive in a cooperative, team environment.


Many large HVACR companies are moving toward the creation of internship programs at the college level. They consider it a year-round recruiting tool, which means having an ongoing pipeline of future talent.

In addition, interns are an inexpensive resource while at the same time are some of the most highly motivated members of the workforce. The website allows a company to post a profile free of charge.

Local colleges and trade schools can also be a resource, as most have active placement programs aimed at helping students find jobs and internships.

Hiring Veterans

Many HVAC contractors are fully aware of the benefits to hiring a U.S. military veteran and have made it a mission to find, hire, train and accommodate this group.

The trend this year has been to kick it up a notch as more companies come to realize military veterans already possess the skills they look for, including leadership, performance under pressure, teamwork and integrity.

Markets Remain Strong

According to, the residential HVAC equipment market will remain strong and the commercial segment is growing at a healthy rate, especially in healthcare, retail and educational building construction.

This growth will open-up new business opportunities and expand existing ones. Substantial growth will present new recruitment challenges, however, as companies will have to compete for additional industry talent.

When looking to fill an opening, think about your future needs instead of simply your immediate needs — this line of thinking opens up a whole new group of potential new hires.


Gary Gardiner is the director of the HVAC Practice Area for Direct Recruiters, Inc. For additional information, visit


About Gary Gardiner

Gary Gardiner

Gary is the HVAC Recruiting Team Leader at Direct Recruiters, Inc. of Cleveland. He is a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). To Contact Gary, call 440-996-0057 or email

Articles by Gary Gardiner

AHR Expo Doesn't Disappoint

HVACR industry abuzz with new activity and optimism.
View article.