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Category: Field Service Management

Maximizing Technician Productivity: A Game-Changer for Commercial Service Contractors

In today’s fast-paced commercial service industry, every minute counts. For mechanical and fire contractors, downtime isn’t just an inconvenience, it’s a drain on profitability. ServiceTrade understands the challenges contractors face, which is why our latest webinar focused on revolutionizing technician productivity.

Slash Tech Downtime: Working Faster, Smarter, and More Profitably

At ServiceTrade, we believe in empowering contractors to streamline their operations and maximize their profits. In our recent webinar, we delved into the theme of slashing tech downtime. The goal? To equip service managers and technicians with the tools and strategies they need to work more efficiently, reduce callbacks, and increase customer satisfaction.

What We Covered:

Transforming from On-Demand to In-Demand Contractors

The big picture story is clear: Repeat visits kill tech productivity. In today’s skilled labor shortage, wasting technician time is a luxury no contractor can afford. By implementing technology and processes that eliminate repeat visits, contractors can unlock productivity, increase revenue per technician, and reduce administrative costs.

Hear from Our Success Story: Guardian Fire Protection

Our webinar featured Scott Agge, CEO of Guardian Fire Protection, who shared how ServiceTrade helped transform their operations. You can read more about Guardian’s success story here.

Get Started Today

For owners, service managers, and ServiceTrade admins, maximizing technician productivity isn’t just a goal—it’s a necessity. If you’re ready to accelerate deals, convert to SQOs, and revolutionize your business, ServiceTrade is here to help.

Watch the webinar recording now, and take the first step toward a more efficient, profitable future.

Advanced Asset Management: Transforming Contractor Operations for Maximum Efficiency and Customer Trust

For commercial mechanical and fire contractors, managing building equipment and assets effectively is crucial for staying ahead in a competitive market. Traditional methods of asset tracking, often limited to basic equipment lists, fall short in addressing the complex needs of modern contracting businesses. What’s needed is a more intelligent, comprehensive approach to asset management – one that not only tracks but also predicts, informs, and guides every aspect of your operations.

Elevating Technician Productivity: From Reactive to Predictive Maintenance

The shift from reactive to predictive maintenance is a game changer for technicians. With access to detailed asset history and AI-driven predictive insights, technicians can anticipate potential issues before they escalate. This foresight allows for better preparation, more accurate diagnoses, and quicker, more efficient repairs. The result is a significant reduction in time spent on each job, fewer callbacks, and an enhanced ability to manage a persistent skilled labor shortage.

Streamlining Office Operations: Mitigating Risks and Enhancing Decision-Making

For the office team, advanced asset management capabilties offer a powerful tool for risk mitigation and strategic asset management. By having a granular view of each piece of equipment’s history, your team can make smarter, more informed decisions, reducing the likelihood of unexpected equipment failures. This proactive approach not only improves operational efficiency but also positions your business as a trusted advisor to your clients, guiding them in their capital planning and maintenance strategies.

Building Stronger Customer Relationships: Trust and Predictive Insights

In today’s market, building and maintaining customer trust is paramount. Providing customers with detailed equipment history and predictive insights positions you as more than just a service provider; it establishes you as a strategic partner invested in their long-term success. This level of engagement enables you to better anticipate and meet customer needs, leading to increased loyalty, higher retention rates, and the opportunity to command a premium for your advanced level of service.

Conclusion: A Strategic Shift in Contractor Services

The evolution of asset management from simple lists to intelligent, predictive tools represents a significant opportunity for contractors. By adopting advanced asset management practices, you can transform your operations, enhance technician productivity, streamline office tasks, and build stronger, more trusting customer relationships. This strategic shift in how you manage building equipment and assets can set you apart in the industry, driving growth and profitability in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Further Reading:

Featured Customer Story: ServiceTrade enables Sterling Mechanical to offer their customers around-the-clock access to detailed service reports for each piece of equipment

ServiceTrade Summer ’23 Innovation

Every year, hiring and retaining skilled technicians gets more difficult, yet leading mechanical and fire protection contractors are growing faster than ever because they focus on getting the most from the techs they have. That’s why ServiceTrade is launching several innovative capabilities designed specifically to help you boost the productivity of your technicians. Watch this video to learn more about the exciting new capabilities recently released and those coming later this year:



New and Improved Capabilities Coming Later This Year


Modern Dispatch Board

A modern dispatch board, built around the best practices of industry leaders, helps your team manage more service calls, prioritize higher-margin work, and ensure every tech’s schedule is fully optimized. On the days when the phones just won’t stop ringing, the priority queue, routing map, and quick call capture help your dispatchers control the chaos and keep customers content.


Customizable Dashboard

Everyone in the office has different responsibilities, needs, and priorities so the completely customizable dashboard gives each manager, coordinator, and every other front-office team member the unique visibility they need to prioritize the most profitable work so they can keep your technicians focused on the highest-margin jobs.


Agreement Tasking

Paired with NorthBoundary, the only sales application made for mechanical and fire protection contractors, new maintenance and inspection tasking in ServiceTrade will provide the first end-to-end solution for selling, managing, and delivering task-based service programs so that you can sell and deliver the highest quality, most competitive, and most profitable offerings in your market.


Recently Released Capabilities Available Now

Recently launched with ServiceTrade’s Summer 2023 Release, there are several new capabilities available today that will help you boost the productivity of your technicians.

Ensure Technician Success

New mobile app features help your techs record every work detail so you can accurately bill customers, avoid callbacks, and identify more pull-through opportunities.

Organize Project Operations

Built to help you control fast-paced projects like repairs, retrofits, and other large-scale jobs, project management capabilities give you real-time financial and operational visibility so you can keep every project on budget and on track.

Streamline Agreement Sales

The new integration between NorthBoundary and ServiceTrade helps you manage sales from prospect and proposal to schedule and service to review and renew so you can win and retain the most profitable customers.


ServiceTrade is committed to innovating to help commercial contractors like you overcome the skilled labor shortage by boosting technician productivity. Learn more at or request a demo to see how ServiceTrade can help you today

Navigating the Skilled Labor Shortage: Balancing Supply and Demand

For mechanical contractors, the busy season is a great opportunity to show customers that they can rely on you, but the increased workload creates a lot of stress for employees and customers, especially during a skilled labor shortage. Here we explore some innovative ways to balance the stress between supply and demand and optimize workflows for technician productivity during the busy season and beyond.

The Magnitude & Implications of the Skilled Labor Shortage:

There is currently a 40% shortage of skilled technicians in the workforce. Moreover, the industry experiences an 8% net loss of technicians each year. The growing gap between labor supply and service demand is only expected to worsen over time for mechanical contractors. To make matters worse, demand for mechanical service calls increases by an average of 30% during the summer months according to the usage data in ServiceTrade.

There’s a difficult balancing act that contractors face. On one hand, they can hire more technicians to meet the demand during the busy season, but this may result in excess labor and higher operating costs during the slower periods. On the other hand, hiring just enough technicians to handle the baseline demand may lead to unhappy customers and churn during peak seasons when response times are crucial. So, how can contractors find a balance?

1. Update how you prioritize service calls

Traditionally, mechanical contractors prioritize service calls based on urgency, revenue, and margin. However, introducing a new metric called “Gross Profit per Labor Hour” and creating a customer scorecard can revolutionize this approach.

Gross profit per labor hour:

Karim Nice, owner of BlueHat Mechanical, introduced us to this powerful metric. Gross Profit per Labor Hour enables contractors to identify customers who generate more profit with the same amount of labor, allowing them to prioritize work that maximizes their earnings. Without it, contractors may not realize that the top-grossing customer may have significantly lower gross profit for labor hour compared to a slightly smaller customer.

Creating a customer score:

To consolidate the metrics and prioritize customers effectively, contractors can create a customer score. Some key metrics to include: total revenue, margin, gross profit per labor hour, average work order total, and quote acceptance rate. By assigning points based on different ranges within each metric, a weighted score is obtained. This score enables contractors to sort their customer list and identify the customers who bring the most value to their business. Dispatchers can use this score to determine priority order, giving faster service to high-scoring customers. 

By using metrics like gross profit for labor hour and creating a customer scorecard, contractors gain a deeper understanding of which customers drive the most value for their business, so they can prioritize their work accordingly.

2. Stop wasting technicians’ time

Another valuable tip is to stop wasting technicians’ time on unnecessary tasks. Reallocating administrative tasks to other team members protects technicians’ productivity, even beyond the busy season. So, some do’s and don’ts:

❌ Don’t require techs to hunt for work order details.

Set technicians up for success by equipping them with the tools they need to get the job done as efficiently as possible. This includes work order details, equipment details, service history, and any additional instructions or access codes. By doing so, you eliminate the need for them to spend valuable time contacting others for information.

❌ Don’t have techs create quotes and invoices.

Unless absolutely necessary, refrain from having technicians create quotes and invoices in the field. While you may bill for those labor hours, it’s more efficient to delegate these administrative responsibilities to other team members, especially when there is a technician shortage. You can still bill for those hours, just don’t have your technicians doing it.

❌ Don’t have techs run to the parts house.

Similar as above, it’s vital to optimize the utilization of your highly skilled and expensive technicians to do the skills they’re trained to do, especially given the ongoing labor shortage. So instead, allocate these tasks like running to the parts house to junior or non-technical staff. You can still bill for those hours as you would normally.

✅ Do have techs document equipment issues. 

Encourage technicians to capture every repair opportunity and have them do it in a way that makes it easy for the office to generate accurate quotes and determine if repairs can be deferred until the busy season subsides. Documenting repairs creates future revenue opportunities for your business.

A commercial service platform like ServiceTrade helps mechanical contractors set their technicians up for success.

3. Keep projects agile and on budget

K & R Mechanical, a ServiceTrade mechanical customer, excels at keeping projects on budget and on time. A tip their Vice President of Service, James Mugabero, recommends is to hold daily project review meetings where you review financial reports and check operational statuses. 

Review real-time financial reports daily.

Review the financials of every project to see if you are projected to be over or under budget based on where each project is from the expected completion. Comparing projects side-by-side gives insight into if there are project(s) that you can reallocate resources from to a project that is over budget or behind schedule. Looking further into each project’s performance gives insight into what is affecting the budget.

Hold team stand-ups each day. 

During the daily project review meeting, check the performance of projects from the previous day, so you can make decisions for today. You may discover the opportunity to relocate technician resources to service calls. The operational review ensures you never lose track of a project and maintain technician efficiency.

To keep projects on budget during busy seasons, implement a daily project review meeting where you analyze real-time financials and conduct operational review. These practices enable better resource allocation, risk assessment, and decision-making, ensuring projects stay on track and meet financial targets. 

The 3 big takeaways to start implementing now:

  1. Prioritize work from a complete view of a customer’s value.
  2. Delegate tasks like quoting and invoicing to the office.
  3. Review projects daily to plan resource deployment and protect your profit margin.

How Digital Inspection Forms Streamline the Inspection Process

Digital inspection forms are a powerful solution for life safety service contractors looking to streamline operations. 

However, at present, a majority of contractors in the fire protection business are still using paper. There’s a 60% chance that’s you! 

But as the world has come to rely on digitization, and more digital offerings like InspectionManager have come on the market, the age-old tradition of paper-based inspections has begun to make less sense. 

If you’re feeling a mounting need to improve the efficiency of your inspections and better manage liability, you’re not alone. 

Here is a look at some of the biggest benefits of replacing paper-based inspections with inspection automation software. 

More Efficiency and Less Liability Risk With Digital Inspection Forms

Fire inspection software yields a wide array of operational improvements over paper, including:

In addition, fire inspection software helps ensure that techs use the right inspection form from the get-go. And required fields ensure that technicians fill out the form completely – with all the data that’s required by Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) for that particular type of inspection.

Digital Inspection Data Makes Creating Inspection Reports Simple

After the service has been completed, the post-service report is what builds long-lasting business relationships with customers, owners, and stakeholders. Once a service has been performed, a digital reporting system like Service Link allows for the fast generation of a professional, easy-to-read, branded report with supporting photos. 

This report provides proof that the services actually were performed. It also helps generate additional revenue by highlighting opportunities for improvements or deficiencies that need to be resolved. When stakeholders read a service report and understand what was done and what’s needed, the submission of a service quote for additional work comes as no surprise.

Digital Inspection Software = An Easier Way to Meet NFPA Code Standards

Inspection forms for each NFPA standard (25, 72, etc.) must address all the safety attributes and devices that are contained within that particular type of inspection. The NFPA offers standard inspection testing forms in a PDF format that can be printed and filled out by hand. However, most companies that provide life safety inspection software have their own inspection forms.

If you’re using an inspection form straight from the NFPA, it’s going to meet NFPA standards. However, if you’re using an inspection form from a third-party inspection tool, it’s best to ensure that the forms are routinely updated as NFPA standards change.

Note: With the acquisition of Asurio, ServiceTrade now has a team of code experts who review changes in NFPA standards and modify inspection forms to reflect updated standards and changes in code.

When it comes to a side-by-side look at paper vs. digital solutions, digital service forms and reports provide transformative, game-changing features and functions that build customer relationships, and also generate more business and profit in the long term.

For more information on ServiceTrade’s digital inspection form capabilities, check out InspectionManager.

A Better Approach to the Skilled Labor Shortage

At ServiceTrade’s 2022 Digital Wrap Conference, CEO Billy Marshall presented an innovative solution to a core challenge that’s top of mind for everyone these days—the ongoing labor shortage. 

The statistics are concerning. For every two techs that retire each year, only one enters the field. But demand for your services continues to grow. So what’s the play? Billy offered this 3-step strategy: 

We’ll get to those in just a minute. First, an illustration…

The F1 Analogy

Watch this:

In case the analogy isn’t clear, your technicians are your race cars on the track. The growth and limitations of your business rely largely on the quality and efficiency of their work. But in a labor shortage, skilled technicians are a constrained resource. You can’t just go out and hire more techs. You can’t tag in another race car.

But you can innovate and build up your supporting team, your pit crew, your technology-empowered office staff and sales team. Employ as much administrative staff as you need to achieve one mission – keep the technician solely focused on doing the high-value, hands-on work that only they can do. 

3 Steps to Growing Revenue Without Hiring More Techs

Minimize Demand Work

You can’t plan for demand work. It causes chaos and throws off schedules. Prioritize maintaining and repairing equipment with routine service. If you have customers who refuse to properly maintain or repair equipment, consider cutting ties with them, raising their prices, or deprioritizing their service. 

Sell Better Customers 

If demand for your services is high, make room for only the best customers. Good customers would much rather sign up for your premium packages than risk their equipment failing. Good customers want predictable operating expenses, not the unexpected and unpredictable cost of demand work. 

Organize Around the Goal of Keeping Your Techs On Track

Take administrative burdens off of your technicians. Invest in your office staff. Make sure that everyone in the company understands the goal and is working toward optimizing technician efficiency. Software helps you do just that.

You can learn more about growing your business despite the skilled labor shortage by watching the full presentation.


You know it’s time. The service work has backed up and it’s becoming difficult to manage your limited labor resources. You’re ready for a new software solution to help take your service department to the next level. 

At this point, many commercial service contractors turn to their accounting team for guidance. Why? Because their accounting tools are deeply embedded into company-wide processes. They ensure finances stay on track and customers get billed for services. It’s no wonder leaders are reluctant to disrupt the back office. 

But while you should certainly consider accounting when evaluating software, back-office needs shouldn’t drive this decision. The needs of your service department should. In the end, your objective should be to find a robust service platform that will streamline operations, prioritize customer experience, grow service revenue—and also keep accounting happy. 

Essentially, there are three options to consider:

  1. All-in-one service and accounting software
  2. An add-on service module to your accounting system
  3. Purpose-built service management software that integrates with your accounting system

Option 1: An all-in-one solution

In your search you’ll probably encounter a few software companies that claim to have it all—all the tools for service management and accounting on one platform. Beware of this “all-in-one” messaging. Because while the software you’re looking for should certainly offer many capabilities and tools, no software to date is purpose-built for both service management and accounting. 

Note: Some service software companies will use “all-in-one” messaging while relying on accounting software integrations—an option we’ll cover below.  

Option 2: An add-on service module

Most construction-focused accounting platforms have attempted to solve service management for their customers with an add-on module. These types of modules are offered by the creators of Sage 100 Contractor, Sage 300 CRE, and Deltek+ ComputerEase accounting programs.

But these modules have accounting principles at their core. They try to shoehorn the complex work of commercial service departments into something that looks like accounting. For growing service departments, these modules lack the tools you’ll need to streamline operations and put your customers first

Option 3: A purpose-built service management platform

The best option for streamlining and growing your service department is—no surprise—software built for service management. ServiceTrade resides in this category and has a team of product engineers entirely focused on building and maintaining the best service software for commercial contractors. Now that’s the specialized solution you need. 

As for accounting, service management platforms will often integrate with your current system. The complexity of the initial setup will depend on which accounting software your business uses. As a general rule of thumb, if your accounting software is server-based, setting up an integration will be more complicated and costly than cloud-based accounting applications like Sage Intacct. 


If you decide to go with service management software, you’ll find yourself with several options. We recommend using software designed specifically for commercial contractors as residential-minded software does not have the best tools for the complexity of commercial service. 

We also recommend asking these three questions.

Question #1: Who is driving the decision?

Up until this point, your accounting department has likely led the way on technology decisions because they hold the keys to what has been the most important software system in your business. But prioritizing the needs of accounting above all others when selecting a service management application is a common trap for commercial service contractors.

The good news is you can adopt service management software that keeps your accounting department happy, while also prioritizing the needs of your customers – the group of people whose needs must be driving your decisionThis leads us to the next question…

Question # 2: Does this solution prioritize customer experience? 

Accounting needs relevant service data so they can deliver an accurate invoice to the customer. But is that all your customers need? Of course not.

Your customers need to know what your techs found on the service call – risks to their business, their severity, and how the customer should address those risks. Strong service management software will empower your techs with tools to collect this information and deliver it to customers quickly and conveniently, which builds trust and generates additional revenue for your business.

Question #3: How will the integration work, and who will set it up?

Depending on which software you’re integrating, you may be working with a third-party integration expert or the service software business’s integrations team.    

You can address the complexity of the integration and who will be in charge of setup during the sales process. Ask for referrals from customers who use your accounting software so you can hear directly from them how the application works with your current systems and their lessons learned for what matters most in integrating service management and accounting software.

Considering ServiceTrade? Learn more about our accounting integration capabilities

How to Free Your Techs From Busy Work

As commercial service contractor, you must manage a perpetually fluctuating volume of work orders. A slow week is followed by a weekend full of repair requests. A big project lands on your plate, spreading your resources thin. A heat wave or polar blast initiates an early start to your busy season. 

Meeting the demands of busy spikes and seasons can put a strain on your techs—hurting retention and morale. But with labor shortages and margins in mind, growing your team to meet temporary demand is not realistic. 

What makes more sense is to expand your existing team’s capacity with a technology solution that automates and simplifies many of their tasks. Increasing the productivity of your current team not only allows room for more business, it also improves the quality of your service. 

In this article, we’ll focus on freeing your most valuable resource—your technicians—from the time traps of busy work so they have more time and energy to do the job they’re specially trained to do. 

Freeing Your Techs From Busy Work

By allowing techs more time for their primary responsibilities, you can improve overall efficiency and satisfaction for both techs and customers. Some benefits of improved technician efficiency include:

Increased Productivity

When technicians spend less time on administrative tasks, they have more time to focus on maintenance, installs, and repair work. This leads to faster completion of jobs, resulting in improved productivity for the business.

Improved Employee Satisfaction

Technicians often get into the field because they enjoy hands-on work and problem-solving. By reducing tedious admin work, techs are able to spend more time doing what they love and are trained to do. This equals improved employee satisfaction and reduced turnover rates. 

Enhanced Customer Experience

Removing the burden of busy work enables techs to perform maintenance, repairs, and inspections more quickly and effectively. This leads to improved customer satisfaction and increased customer loyalty, winning you repeat business and positive referrals.

Here are some key ways to give techs back their time.  

Less Time Behind the Wheel 

The busy work: Technicians are spending a large portion of their days sitting in traffic or driving long routes created by reactive and inefficient scheduling. 

Solution: Technology-assisted scheduling that prioritizes convenient routes and fewer miles can reduce windshield time and give techs back a significant chunk of their day. 

Fewer Phone Calls 

The busy work: Without access to real-time work order changes, location details, equipment history, and other customer data, your techs find themselves consistently dialing the office in search of the information they need. 

Solution: Mobile access to real-time customer data gives techs the information they need without disrupting their task list to call the office. Bonus: A software solution that centralizes real-time data ensures your office staff and technicians have the same, up-to-date information at all times. 

Fewer (and Easier) Administrative Tasks

The busy work: Technicians are spending too much time on administrative tasks, like creating invoices and quotes, that could be assigned to the office. Additionally, the manual processes of time tracking and keeping paper records are inefficient and burdensome. 

Solution: Two solutions here. One: Narrow you techs’ responsibilities to their incredibly valuable skilled work, assigning administrative tasks to your office. And two: use a commercial field service application that digitizes paperwork, automates time tracking, and allows techs to easily upload supporting media saves time and eliminates frustration in your tech’s day. These two things will give your techs more time to do their best work, find more repair opportunities, and service more facilities in the day. 

Less Time at the Office

The busy work: Dispatching from the office and returning there at the end of the day is wasting your tech’s time and reducing the number of jobs they can complete. 

Solution: Enabling your techs to dispatch from their homes and submit work order paperwork electronically eliminates the need for frequent office visits, improves routes, and gives your team back time to do more—and better—work. It also allows the office to close out work orders as soon as they’re completed rather than having to wait for techs to deliver paperwork to the office. 

Giving Busy Work the Boot With the Right Technology

The benefits of optimizing workflows for your technicians are many. Better employee satisfaction and retention; more efficiency in the field; better customer service; and smoother overall operations in your business. Finding the right tool(s) and leaning on technology for improved efficiency is essential. 

ServiceTrade is a premier platform built specifically for commercial service contractors. Learn how our platform can help you give techs (and your office staff) back their days by booking a demo.

10 Technician Dispatch Tips to Keep Profits High & Schedules Moving

dispatcher on a computer

A commercial service company with an inefficient dispatching system might have technicians traveling great distances from call to call with no rhyme or reason as to which customer gets serviced when or by whom. Without effective technology and workflows, chaos is bound to ensue—especially as companies grow.

Imagine how challenging it is for the dispatcher trying to manage routes and schedules with no view of truck locations in the field. And how frustrated a technician might be when he has to travel fifty miles away from home—to the area he was in just that morning—to complete his last service call. Customers will, inevitably, be dissatisfied with the resulting delayed service (or a tech who shows up without the skills or equipment needed to address their problem) and that will affect customer churn, online reviews, and both short and long-term business goals.

But—good news!—an excellent dispatching system has the opposite effect. Confident dispatchers, smart routes, happy techs, and satisfied customers. That’s why training competent, knowledgeable dispatchers and enabling them with the best dispatch software is so important for commercial service contractors.

In this article, we’ll share our top dispatching tips and how to use an efficient dispatching system to improve operations and satisfaction across the board.

1. Identify current pain points

Why are you interested in updating your dispatch process? What problems are most negatively affecting the business? Maybe technicians aren’t arriving on time and customer experience is poor. Maybe techs are spending too much time behind the wheel or arriving to calls without the equipment and customer information they need. Whatever the problem, identifying and prioritizing top pain points will help you pick the right dispatch strategies, workflows, and technology.

2. Communicate how improving processes will positively impact your team

Change is hard. To promote a supportive environment for updating dispatching processes, announce the changes to your staff in advance. Make sure you provide an explanation for the process change and communicate the ways that it will make life easier for your office staff and service technicians.

3. Define your dispatch strategy

Your company, like all companies, has unique reasons for updating your dispatching processes. Make sure everyone understands the strategies and priorities. You may want to optimize your dispatch process to fit in as many jobs as possible daily, routing calls as closely together as possible. Alternatively, you may want to optimize to ensure you’re sending your most experienced technicians to the biggest, most profitable jobs and your newer techs to the smaller, easier jobs. Every company will have its own strategy.

Once you’ve defined your strategy, provide your dispatch team with a clear prioritization system. This is a set of rules (you may employ  work order categories, color-coding, or a tagging system) that helps dispatchers prioritize pre-scheduled work, work that is due (like inspections) and emergency service calls, as well as identify the best technician to service each call.

4. Find streamlining opportunities

While reviewing the dispatching process, take the time to inspect from a high level and identify any bulky parts of the process. These may include inefficient routing, over or under scheduling, an inability to address urgent repair requests without breaking schedules, or inefficient communications between the office and the field. These opportunities shouldn’t be hard to identify, because they’re the pain points your staff complains about!

5. Invest in recruiting

Having the right number of service technicians on staff is essential to your overall operations and customer satisfaction. Having said that, we know how challenging maintaining a fully-staffed team can be in this market. We suggest prioritizing recruiting and retaining technicians and optimizing your dispatching strategy to help the techs you have right now be more efficient.

Read more: 2 Ways for Commercial Service Contractors to Attract More Technician Job Applications 

For commercial HVAC businesses: How to Recruit HVAC Technicians for Your Commercial HVAC Company

6. Give techs all the information they need

Proper routing and triaging will get your technicians to the right places, but if they show up without sufficient knowledge of the work order, facility, or equipment, they won’t be able to do their best work. A field service mobile application that enables technicians to access centralized customer data, equipment service history, and notes from the office can have a big impact on efficiency, improving both your technician’s ability to do good work and your customer’s satisfaction.

7. Assign efficient routes with GPS mapping

Creating logical routes that reduce travel time for your technicians improves efficiency and revenue potential while prioritizing work-life balance for your field team. Providing the ability for techs to dispatch from home saves on fuel costs, allows them time for more calls and improves employee satisfaction. And using GPS mapping for scheduling can help create efficient routes and track trucks so that your office knows which qualified techs are available and close by to take on urgent work orders.

ServiceTrade allows you to establish geographical regions so that you can filter jobs by region and schedule local technicians to those jobs. Learn more about ServiceTrade’s dispatching features. 

8. Front-load workdays

A simple dispatching tip adopted by many commercial service contractors is to keep the last couple of hours on your technicians’ schedules open. This limits the possibility that techs will have to miss their last call of the day because other jobs took longer than expected. A cushion in schedules will also make room for urgent new work orders.

9. Keep customers informed

Today, communication is essential. Keeping customers informed throughout the day has a big impact on customer experience. In addition to sending customers routine service reminders, alerting them that their technician is en route signals that you care about your customer’s time and reduces bad surprises in their busy day.

10. Use dispatching software to modernize your process

Dispatching software makes life easier for your entire team and is an essential tool if you want to achieve max efficiency.  Access to GPS information enables dispatchers to efficiently add last-minute repair calls and make adjustments to the schedule. Smart dispatch software will also automate communications, eliminating the need for back-and-forth phone calls between the office and the field.

ServiceTrade, a robust software solution made exclusively for commercial service contractors, includes GPS scheduling capabilities, automated communications to customers and technicians, and one centralized location for shared data—so techs arrive at job sites with all the information they need. Want to learn more? Schedule a demo.

How to Recruit HVAC Technicians for Your Commercial HVAC Company

Skilled technicians are the backbone of successful commercial HVAC businesses. However, it’s no secret that finding qualified HVAC technicians and retaining them is one of the biggest challenges managers and business owners face. In a cut-throat industry, where employees are poached regularly by competitors, it’s essential to recruit the best HVAC technicians and keep them longterm. 

In this article, we’ll talk about the most efficient and effective ways for commercial service HVAC companies to attract skilled labor, hire the best techs, and retain their top talent longterm. 

Start with a great job description

Creating a job posting is the first step to finding and recruiting qualified technicians. Managers and owners with technical experience should contribute to job postings, even if you’ve tasked an outside recruiter with the hiring job. It’s all about crafting a standout job description that attracts top talent and clearly sets expectations for the job. 

Write a compelling job post

Remember, as much as you’re trying to find the best candidate, job seekers are trying to find the best employer. For that reason, your job post should promote both the tangible benefits—like competitive pay, paid time off, and health insurance—and the intangible benefits—like company culture and mentorship opportunities—of the job.  

Clearly define required skills and qualifications

Make required skills and qualifications easy to spot within the job post. This cuts down on bad-fit applicants and will save you time in the application review process. Many hiring managers also like to include additional desired skills and qualifications. This helps job seekers better understand the expectations of the job while helping you define what an ideal applicant looks like. 

Tip: Use concise bullet points and bolding to highlight these sections. A standout skills section might look something like this: 

Required Qualifications & Skills

Additional Desired Qualifications 

You may also post a separate job posting for entry-level technicians with fewer qualifications. Be sure to mention that you’re willing to train these techs and welcome anyone with your minimum qualifications to apply. 

Offer a competitive salary & benefits

Salary, wages, and benefits are top incentives for technicians when they’re searching for a job. Skimping on pay and benefits isn’t an option in a competitive market, and highly skilled, reliable technicians will expect competitive wages.

In addition to competitive wages, you can gain an edge over other companies by offering employee perks like hiring bonuses, fun company events, mentoring or on-the-job education, and performance-based bonuses. 

ServiceTrade makes it easy for creative managers to incentivize performance by tracking activities like clock events, jobs completed on time, deficiencies found, rich media attachments.

Additional tip: While you build your budget and strategize recruiting tactics, don’t neglect your current technicians. Employee retention is the best way to keep your team fully staffed and your business healthy. Remember to appropriately compensate your techs as labor costs change, keeping in mind that the competition is eager to recruit your best HVAC techs. 

Advertise your technology (and why it makes you better than your competitors)

In a competitive labor market, advertising how and why your tech solutions make you a better employer can go a long way. We suggest that companies who use ServiceTrade highlight the software in job postings and the advantages it gives their staff (less windshield time, dispatch from home, fewer distracting phone calls or trips to the office, and better info about every work order and customer.) Don’t forget to tie the software back to your why (ex. “We value our staff’s time and work-life balance.”).

Make it easy to apply

A clunky, time-consuming application process can deter skilled technicians from applying to your company for a couple of reasons. One, it’s inconvenient and time-consuming! Even job seekers who want to find a job ASAP will opt to apply at companies with easy application processes. Because why apply to one job when you could apply to four in the same amount of time? 

And two, it indicates that you’re not invested in making your technicians’ work (and lives) easier with technology. Valuing your employees’ time starts at the application stage. 

Where there’s already a small applicant pool, you need to remove barriers to job seekers by making it as easy to apply as possible. If you’re still using a manual-fill application, consider providing an option to attach a resume instead. Or start accepting 1-click applications from job sites like LinkedIn and Indeed. 

Promote your open positions

Successfully promoting your open positions will result in a better candidate pool. Sometimes, finding the best places to promote job postings depends on the type of role you’re filling. If you’re searching for an apprentice or entry-level technician, you might have the best luck at colleges or trade schools. Social media can also be a great place to connect with young, entry-level techs. 

If you’re searching for a senior-level technician, you might consider using a recruiter to assist in your search, or posting on LinkedIn. All positions can benefit from being promoted by current employees (employee referrals), on job boards, and via community networking (word of mouth).

Job Boards

Posting open positions on job boards like Indeed, LinkedIn, and ZipRecruiter allows job seekers to discover your open positions and gives them an easy way to apply. Many trade associations also provide job boards. 

Colleges & Trade Schools

Posting HVAC technician job ads at relevant colleges and trade schools and attending job fairs is a great way to meet the talent where they’re at and spread awareness about your company. 

Social Media

Posting about or advertising open roles on social media can help you reach a larger audience of prospective candidates.


Tasking an outside recruiter to source and qualify candidates can be a great solution for busy hiring managers. The best recruiters will be familiar with hiring skilled labor professionals and the HVAC industry. 

Referrals & Networking (community relationships)

Employee referrals are among the best ways to hire skilled and reliable technicians. For this reason, a high incentive referral plan can often be a great investment of your budget. 

And the value of human connection doesn’t stop with referrals. Networking at HVAC industry events, trade schools and online can help build awareness of your company and introduce you to your future best technicians.  

Read more: Two Ways to Attract More Technician Applications

What to look for in the interview

Before interviewing, you’ll want to carefully review each application to identify the candidates who meet the job requirements. Offer interviews to the top applicants whose experience and ability meet or exceed your expectations for the role.

Verify the applicant’s skillset

Take the opportunity to speak with the candidate about their certifications and experience to verify they have the needed skills. Asking skills-based questions allows candidates to display their knowledge and expertise. When interviewing less experienced technicians, create an open environment that allows them to speak honestly about what on-the-job training they’ll need. 

Make sure the applicant has the right soft skills

The interview is your opportunity to confirm that in addition to having the right education and hard skill abilities, the technician is also a great personality fit for your team. Techs are the face of your business in the field, so good interpersonal skills and trustworthiness are important. 

Onboarding and managing your team

Once you’ve found and hired the best HVAC technicians, you need to retain them. Many employees churn during the training period, so it’s essential to make sure new techs see you as a competent and welcoming employer in this phase (and beyond, of course). 

Commercial HVAC companies with the best employee retention rates provide fair compensation, training, mentoring, and opportunities for advancement and continued growth. Additionally, the best companies make their techs feel comfortable, heard, and respected. They provide a fair workload and maintain open lines of communication. 

ServiceTrade can help streamline workflows and make your technicians’ lives easier. The mobile application makes it easy for techs to keep their service calls and all related information accessible in one spot, and makes real-time communications and updates easy, saving techs valuable time.

Watch: Why BlueHat Mechanical technicians love ServiceTrade