Remember, you aren’t just choosing candidates — they’re choosing you, too. Here are some creative ways to attract top talent and stand out from your competition.
1. Showcase your company culture on your website and other social media
Part of the recruiting process is telling the story to prospects of what it’s like to work with your team. To start, we recommend photos of your team - especially if having fun or doing something non-work related.
But better yet, establish your company’s “core values” and consider showcasing them on your website or recruiting page as well. Core values could be a single mission statement, or a group of principles that you live and operate your business by. Either way, they support the vision, shape the culture, and reflect what you care about. A candidate will learn a lot about the work environment and whether the role is right for them by the presence (or your competition’s lack thereof) of core values.
2. Create an employee referral incentive/bonus program
It’s no secret this is the #1 way to find the best talent. Make sure the referral bonus is a meaningful incentive to your employee. A $500 bonus could be a relatively small investment for your business if it pays off with a long-term, hardworking addition to your team.
3. Add a “We’re hiring!” banner on social media photos. And ask your team to do the same.
Although it’s simple, it’s often overlooked. Make sure you’re publicizing everywhere that you’re hiring. You never know who might see it - even if they’re not your next candidate, they may refer the right candidate to you after seeing your banner. LinkedIn makes it easy to add a #Hiring frame to your photo, but it doesn’t need to stop there. Add “We’re hiring” frames to profile photos on all social media platforms - including Google My Business, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or anywhere else.
4. Create a TikTok
One of the reasons businesses love TikTok is because it doesn’t take a business strategy to build an audience. One creative, silly, or genuine video could go viral and get you millions of views. Our recommendation is to keep it real and sprinkle in videos throughout your page that highlight you’re hiring.
5. Ask for video applications to get to know candidates
Hiring is tough, but it doesn’t need to be boring. Let your candidates’ personalities shine by giving them a prompt and asking them to respond with a 60 second video.
6. Volunteer or teach at local trade schools
Trade schools are a natural hub for recent grads or students who are going to graduate soon. Naturally, they’ll be looking for jobs - if they don’t already have one. Take your recruiting a step further than your competition by establishing relationships with students early: as a mentor or instructor.
7. Employee testimonials
Ask your employees why they like working for your company, and record their responses. Put together a brief video with the highlights and include it on your website or as a part of your job posting. Their responses might even surprise you!
8. Employee testimonials - ask them “why do you hate your job?”
As a quirky alternative, try asking your employees why they hate their job. Their responses will definitely surprise you. We take our hats off to SocialTalent for the idea - in their recruiting video, this silly question helped their team “keep it real.” No one expects work to be fun 100% of the time. But by showcasing the worst parts, which were relatively mundane or insignificant, it became apparent that this could be a great place to work. The prompt also helped the SocialTalent team open up about what really makes the place special.
9. Create a company recruitment video
This could (or rather, should) include some of the employee testimonials we just mentioned. But you can also take this opportunity to showcase your personality as well as what you offer. Your offering might include benefits, continuing education, or simply that your company is a fun organization to be a part of. Think about telling a story.
10. Always. Be. Recruiting. Allow anyone to apply at any time
Finding talent is hard. When you’re hiring just because you’re “down a guy,” then you’re choosing the best applicant out of the small pool of applicants. When you make it well-known that you’re constantly looking for talent, then you might just attract the next superstar employee. Which leads us to our next point...
11. Make a careers page on your website
Add a careers page to your website to let people know you’re always interested in good talent.
Here are some possible elements for a good careers page:
Speak to candidates like they’re already on your team. Think of inclusive words and phrases. Here’s an example headline for a recruiting page: “let’s raise the bar for HVAC”
Show off your mission statement. Give candidates something to be passionate about.
Tell candidates what your team values.
Include photos of your team or of your culture
Give all the details - be clear about what the job entails, what the benefits are, etc. The less ambiguous you can be, the more your candidates know what they’re getting into. You’ll likely get candidates with higher intent applying to your role.
Make it as easy as possible. Keep your instructions simple and put everything in one place.
Still not sure what to include? Check out the Housecall Pro careers page for inspiration.
12. Create candidate FAQs
Think about all the most important things you’d want to understand in detail before making a seriously big life decision. By separating details like job description, salary and benefits, or what your company has to offer into short FAQ’s, you make the information easy to understand and more appealing.
13. Stand out with personality
In other words, don’t take yourself too seriously. Applying to jobs can feel scary enough, don’t make it even more intimidating. This is especially relevant in the interview process, but can apply to content on your website or job posting too. A nervous candidate might not show you what they’re fully capable of. Help them feel welcomed and comfortable so they can showcase their best self.
14. Stay in touch - encourage boomerang employees to come back!
There’s no shame in taking a great employee back. Make sure they know that.
15. Create job alerts
Sometimes you meet a great candidate, but it isn’t quite the right time to hire them. Stay in touch! By sending past candidates job updates, you never know who might come back around.
16. Showcase your “niche”
Is there a niche you particularly identify with, or you’re proud of supporting? Make your job post inclusive, but give a callout that you proudly support hiring Veterans, Lady Pros, people with disabilities, etc. Just be sure to comply with the equal opportunity hiring laws in your area.
17. Use Reddit
Reddit is a network of communities based on people's interests. Hiring in HVAC? Check out the HVAC forums. Looking for recent graduates? There are forums for that too. Your research will undoubtedly help you discover a lot about the hiring process and what people need. But better yet - you could host an Ask Me Anything, or AMA. In the trades, we see and experience a LOT - and you might be surprised to find out how curious people are to learn more about what we do. The AMA doesn’t need to be about hiring; instead it’s a way for new folks to get a glimpse into your business.
18. Ask interview questions that focus on personality and work ethic
Yes, you need someone with some technical chops. But if a candidate has some shortcomings, it’s relatively easy to teach technical skills. It’s harder to coach someone on how to be hardworking, detail oriented, compassionate, responsible, and other key traits you might care about. Check out our blog with 100 interview questions for more inspiration so you can really get to know your candidates.
19. User interviews to sell yourself to the candidate
The candidate is assessing your company the same way you’re assessing the candidate. Make sure you’re not just asking questions, but also telling the story of who you are, why you do the work you do, and what it’s like to work on your team.
20. Consider your company branding
When was the last time you updated your logo? Are you still rocking a website from 2002? A professional brand that feels fresh or up to date can say a lot about your company. For example, it might say you evolve with time, perhaps that you use technology, that you have marketing tools to support more sales, etc. First impressions are important, and a general perception of a company could be the make- or break- decision for a candidate to apply to your role.
21. Show that you are adaptable
Back to the power of perception: Learning new skills and career development is often cited as one of the top reasons an employee will work for an employer. By showing that your company is adaptable, you’re also showing that you evolve with time and you have some business savvy.
Picture this: You are a job applicant looking to learn and develop in your career. What’s more appealing to you? A stagnant business that’s stuck in their ways, or a savvy business that maneuvers difficult challenges? Showcase your business skills. Here’s an easy example: What adjustments did you make during the covid-19 pandemic? This example has dual benefits: showing that you took safety precautions informs applicants that you care both about your customers and your employees, as well as business strategy.
22. Consider sponsoring your techs educations
It’s a win-win. Not only are you helping their career development, you’re also creating more value for your company. Not only does your technician have more skills to offer, they’re also probably going to feel even more loyalty to your company.
23. Actively talk about career advancement opportunities
Have you ever sponsored a technician’s continuing education? Do you have long-time team members who started as apprentices, rising through the ranks? Tell these stories to showcase that career development matters to you. Perhaps even share a testimonial from a star employee. Include these stories on your careers page and in your job postings.
24. Ask other contractors
Referrals don’t only come from fellow employees. People in the trades tend to know other folks in the trades. Ask your contractor network for referrals.