Really interesting tips from Steven Teneriello of The Service Coach on how to hire a new service employee, and none of them involve putting an ad in the classifieds section of the newspaper. In fact, Teneriello specifically points to that method of sourcing talent as a “passive approach.”

So what approach actually works? Actually, Teneriello — who brings up some great points on how to vet a candidate once that person is found — doesn’t really go into how to find great applicants. So maybe the classifieds is the way to go. Or more likely, Teneriello would recommend looking to employee referral candidates or prospective service techs who apply without an invitation to do so. However a hiring manager gets a resume he likes in his hand, here are three things to do to make sure the prospective employee’s as good on the field as he is on paper.

1. Include the Entire Team in the Process

There’s a lot of collaboration and teamwork in field service, and if a new hire doesn’t mesh with the rest of the techs things aren’t going to go well. Instead of simply hiring someone after interviewing with a manager, have some key staff members interview the candidate. As Teneriello says, “maybe they will pick up on something different that you did not see.”

2. Starting the Newbie as a Contracted Employee Helps Both Parties

It’s impossible to know both how a new hire will perform once brought on, or conversely whether or not they’ll enjoy the customers, workload and/or culture of a new company. A trial period can help management get an idea of a new person’s work ethic and personality, and the new technician can get an idea of whether they want to stick around.

3. Field Service Role Playing

Teneriello suggests setting up a “fake” service call to see how the service tech acts when managers aren’t around, if they’re honest with pricing and how they treat customers. Some service techs may find this practice to be a bit of a dirty trick, but it’s definitely a way to test out a prospective employee, and Teneriello makes the point that since techs generally work away from direct supervision, it makes sense to see if they truly are the way they purport to be during the interview process.

What do you think? If you’re a manager, do these vetting tactics seem logical and productive? And for the service techs reading this, would you feel comfortable working for a company that sends you out on a “fake” service call? Let us know in the comments.

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