Best Practices for Hiring Field Service Technicians
Original article by Julio Hartstein
If your goal is to have a successful field service organisation, it requires a lot of parts to come together, including:
- Your culture
- Your processes
- Your operations
- Your customer service
- Your marketing
Above all that though, you need good people. You need to find and recruit the best field service technicians possible.
How do you find the best field service technicians?
Define what you want in your field service technicians.
This is a crucial first step that some field service organisations skip, which can make the rest of the process more challenging. Essentially, define what core skills and aptitudes field service technicians in your organisation need. Most companies set a goal of “He/She needs everything!” but that is not realistic. That person may not exist. So think about what is most important to you.
For example, do you want someone with:
- High technical proficiency?
- Great customer service skills?
- A vast amount of experience?
- The ability to self-market?
Each field service organisation is different and operates according to different models and brand guidelines, which means that what you may need could be very different to what a competitor might need. Take some time and define what an ideal recruit would look like. If you have that sketched out, the next steps are easier.
Use word of mouth
Some estimations indicate that 70% to 80% of jobs are acquired through networking. Begin with your existing field service technicians, and/or anyone you’ve worked with or contracted in the past.
Check whether they know of anyone who would fit the relevant roles. Check whether any of these contacts worked with technicians that impressed them. Getting candidates who are already known to colleagues or contacts within the industry (whom you trust) is much easier than simply cold-posting jobs and getting resumes without context. Word of mouth should be your first major strategy.
In addition to spreading the word via word of mouth, you should also:
Post the job online and use social media
There are many recruiting and social media sites available of which a few popular sites include Indeed, PNet or LinkedIn. However, there are many more from which to choose.
There may even be a few niche sites relevant to your area or industry that can be targeted where possible or relevant.
Social media have also become a very popular medium to get in touch with potential candidates or employers. LinkedIn, for example, is no longer only used to contact or keep in touch with your business contacts. It has also become a very popular hub for both employers and employees seeking new opportunities or candidates.
Current employees may also share vacancies; this is a form of employee advocacy, which tends to be better received than traditional posting or marketing efforts.
Make your website easy to navigate from any device, especially your careers page
Many companies miss the boat here, but it is important to have your “careers” section be:
- Easy to find on your website.
- Easy to access regardless of which devices are being used.
If people can’t find your careers section, they’ll leave your website without applying for the relevant positions for which you are recruiting. That may result in you losing a potentially good candidate.
Make the process as easy as possible
We mentioned earlier that you should determine upfront which qualities you require from your new field service technician; design the application process around learning about those qualities. Many companies use an applicant tracking system that requires candidates to fill out dozens of boxes about their personal information and work history. While that can be helpful for you to see, it’s also been shown to turn off truly qualified candidates for certain jobs, as it involves too much busy work.
If you know which skills you want in your field service technicians, then:
- Ask about those skills.
- Ask for a CV.
That’s it. Keep it simple.