How To Close The Talent Gap In HVAC

4 min read

By CSG The Global Talent Experts

The Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) System Market is a rapidly growing market, especially in the U.S and Canada with a value of $81.1 billion in 2015 - and is expected to continue to grow by 5.5% each year through to 2022 [1]. In addition to this, jobs within mechanics and installation in HVACR are also increasing by 21% through to 2022 [2].

Talent At A Premium

This exponential growth is obviously very positive for the industry in the long term; however optimism could be dampened by the talent shortage that is arising. Although the job opportunities are increasing, which is great for the industry, companies are not able to grow as much as they want to as they are struggling to attract the best talent, particularly in mid-senior level positions. With a growing demand for HVAC products, this market forms an increasingly important part of the economy, meaning the talent shortage needs a quick and effective solution for continued growth to result.

In the U.S there is expected to be a shortage of over 138,000 workers in the industry by 2022 [1]. The reasons for this shortage are numerous; one key reason within the U.S is that there is an ageing workforce with 50% of the workforce set to retire in the next 10 years [2]. This strain on the supply of workers in this situation is heightened by a lack of young talent coming through. Many of those in colleges and universities do not see the HVACR industry as a leading career option and therefore do not pursue it. This negative perception is damaging the industry.

Supplying Demand

Solving this workforce problem requires a bespoke approach, starting at the education level with the help of colleges and universities, through to HVAC businesses and specialist’s recruiters who can play a key role.

In the U.S there is a notion that employers demand ‘job ready’ employees, but many graduates who are new to the industry are simply not able to meet the skill level immediately [3]. To combat this, training of prospective employees needs to be improved to meet the evolving needs of the industry. One possible solution for this is to develop a clear program of accreditation and certification to raise the skill level of employees whilst also raising the profile of the HVACR industry.

From an education perspective, colleges and universities need to act on equipping prospective employees with the necessary skills so that they are at a higher level at which the industry deems them to be ‘job ready’. The Air-conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) have rolled out a Scholarship Scheme, the Rees Scholarship Foundation, which is for students, instructors and returning veterans who want to pursuit the HVACR industry. In 2016, AHRI visited 308 schools to educate students on the benefits that a career in HVACR can bring. In addition to this, 127 Rees Scholarships were awarded to students by AHRI [4]. This is an attempt to increase participation within the industry whilst also improving the skill level of the graduates - and therefore moving towards a solution to the talent shortage.

Giving Your Business The Hiring Advantage

With a talent shortage set to be prominent in the industry for some time, ensuring your company has the best talent and has put steps in place to actively attract high-calibre candidates is crucial.  Specialist recruiters play a vital role in bringing new talent into the HVACR industry and securing the best candidates already within the industry for businesses. In the U.S only 25% of candidates are actively looking for work, leaving the vast majority as passive candidates - who aren’t searching, but who may be open to hearing about new opportunities. Statistically, the best performers are far more likely to be passive candidates, as they are more likely to be enjoying the work they’re currently doing – and their employers, if they’re smart, will work hard to try to keep them. As Global Talent Experts, CSG have a dedicated HVACR team with vast global networks and knowledge to help you achieve your recruitment needs through direct approaches, therefore targeting the talent market in its entirety – not just the small percentage who are seeking new work.

If you would like to get a picture of how the hiring market conditions are currently shaping up, or discuss your talent requirements for the growth period ahead, please do not hesitate to contact us on + 44 (0) 333 323 2000 for a confidential discussion or email clients@csgtalent.com. Alternatively, if you’re looking to find a career move which will match your ambitions, please email candidates@csgtalent.com to find out what opportunities we have available for you.

References

[1] Greenbaum, C. (2017) The HVAC Industry is Growing Amid Workforce Challenges. FIELDBOSS.

[2] HVACR Workforce Development Foundation (2015) The HVACR Workforce: Demand Heats Up as Supply Melts Away. A Projection of the Coming Shortfall of HVACR Workers and How to Fix It. HVACR Workforce Development Foundation.

[3] Career Education Colleges and Universities. (2016) Shortage of Skills: Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration. Career Education Colleges and Universities.

[4] Air-conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute. (2016) 2016 Annual Report. AHRI.