There was a time when the household appliances most people now take for granted — toasters, irons and the like — were repaired, not replaced. When EMR began in 1927, that’s what we did. But times change. Appliances get cheaper. And over the decades, EMR began servicing commercial kitchens and refrigeration systems. Today we have more than 100 technicians servicing 4,000 customers at schools, hospitals and restaurants throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Jaime Adams, director of HR has been with EMR since 2008. Here’s what she looks for when hiring technicians.
TIP 1: Meet with managers as often as possible. Weekly I check in to see if they’re looking for people — most of our needs are for technicians. The hardest thing is finding people who are qualified. Out of 200 resumes, four might be worth exploring. People apply with either no experience or experience in something totally unrelated. Every employee goes through a training program here, but we’re not able to just train people who are completely green.
TIP 2: Don’t discount millennials. In my generation, we were always taught “education, education, education”, and trade was not important. People didn’t really want to get their hands dirty … but they don’t realize there’s great money in trades! You learn a trade, and you work your way up. It’s a solid career choice. We’ve looked into working with local trade schools to catch techs who have an interest in our industry. The challenge we have with our job openings is managers want someone who can go right in the truck and start running calls, whereas recent graduates still require training once hired. That being said, we do invest in the younger generation – mechanical aptitude training, cultivating customer service and communication skills, etc. It takes about two years to hone a young technician, molding them into the employee we need. We’re all about investing in our people so they can be their best person at work and outside of work.
TIP 3: Word of mouth is a powerful tool. One very successful way we recruit is by good, old-fashioned word of mouth. We have a referral bonus program and encourage existing staff to bring in the best in the industry.
TIP 4: Personality is equally as critical as technical savviness. When you’re reading resumes you see people’s qualifications, but you can’t get a feel for their personality. At EMR, we place a ton of value on our culture. We have a family-oriented culture. A drive for zero-negativity. We believe culture is intentional and one will exist if you like it or not. Developing a positive one is the key to our success. We go over our code of conduct and our service pledge when a new hire joins our team. There are times when we find the strongest technician, with the greatest potential, but you soon realize they’re not going to be the best at customer service or communication. We want our technicians to not only perform the highest quality repairs on equipment but also work well with people and contribute to our culture.
TIP 5: Tap into all resources. Career Builder and Indeed have proven to be reliable outlets for recruitment. Social media may be the next greatest tool. Always be open to new avenues for finding the right people.