Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Good Help Is Hard To Find

HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 651
edited May 2022 in THE MAIN WALL
imageGood Help Is Hard To Find

I understand that good help is hard to find. It has always been hard to find, but it seems to me that it’s even harder nowadays because any help is hard to find, good or not so good.

Read the full story here


  • CravinMorehead
    CravinMorehead Member Posts: 2
    It's the same in the HVAC engineering business. I once asked a young hire if he had ever seen a certain item while looking at his house boiler. His answer was that he didn't know where the boiler was. Young people don't learn these days because they aren't all that interested in the business they are in.
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 1,076
    It's certainly a complicated issue finding good help. People are sometimes so quick to just blame entire generations of young people for problems they played no part in creating, I don't think that's productive. It's also not terribly productive to paint the issue with such a wide brush as to suggest the labor issues in Texas are directly related to the labor issues in Michigan so I will stick to what I know locally. Locally you can get hired in at any HVAC contractor as an apprentice most likely same day you interview, this is because they are having trouble getting applicants of any skill level (they are still picky when hiring experienced help). In my opinion it is quite simple, after talking to most of the new hires at HVAC companies in my area, the starting pay is about a dollar an hour lower than the local Wendy's offers on a big sign out on the highway. The local Wendy's has been able to be quite picky with who they hire, when you drive through you can see young people working running around the kitchen with speed and efficiency, they are good employees. Wendy's is not the only restaurant to implement this innovative strategy of paying more, as it would appear that "you get what you pay for" is generally a true statement
  • WayneMech
    WayneMech Member Posts: 53
    I taught all my kids that for ANY job, you must do four things, as a minimum: Show up P.A.S.T. - Properly dressed, with the right Attitude, Sober, and on Time. If you can do those four things, you will always be able to pay your bills. The second one - Attitude - is the most important, as it sets the stage for the other three.
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 604
    " You are either going to have to charge the customer X+Y per hour for labour instead of Y (the apprentice is learning, but not adding value) or eat the cost yourself. "

    I think you have to eat the cost, presuming the payback will be a productive long-term employee that turns more than enough profit to pay for that apprentice period.
    Companies used to think in 20-year terms, then it became 10, 5, 2 ?
    Many companies arent even interested in training, they want predictable profits from HireDay+1.

    It might be a chicken and egg thing, but what about employee loyalty ? Are the days of sticking with one company for the long term all gone ? 30+ year careers are gone, now it's 10, 5, 2 ? Kids are even told to expect 8 careers in their life, or something like that.
    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,567
    You have a very good point, @Dave Carpentier . Without employee loyalty -- at least to the trade, if not to your particular firm -- time spent training and paying an apprentice is completely expense. Perhaps things have changed, but "eating" perhaps $120 a day for someone to learn the trade is not something which is easy to do.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 604
    That cost has to be built into the invoices as an average/long-term thing, along with proper tools, vehicles, pay and benefits etc. The stuff that keeps the good workers.
    Commercial outfits tend to lean towards that. Residential tends to lean the other way because of the fickle consumer shopping for the lowest price. There are exceptions in both camps, of course.
    The old adage, you get what you pay for ?

    Still, you never know what changes can make people walk away. I walked away from a foreman job after 10 yrs (20 on the tools before that) when the three layers of management above me finally lined up like 3 matching items on a slot machine into something I didnt like.
    It took a 10% cut in pay, but Im in my happy place now. Money isnt everything.
    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.