How to Avoid Common Field Service Hiring Mistakes

Cristina Maria
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Hiring mistakes happen across industries, but they’re especially harmful in Field Service Management (FSM). The pressure is on to fill your positions as quickly as possible. You don’t want your customers to experience any gaps in service, yet rushing to fill those openings might do more harm than good. So how do you avoid the most common error when it comes to hiring engineers? Our friends at The Blog Frog, experts in trawling the internet in order to curate the best blogs and content on a variety of topics, have encountered these problems again and again. This is their take on the most common hiring mistakes seen in Field Service Management, as well as the best ways to avoid them: 

Click to jump to what matters most to you: 

1. You’re a Family Employment Agency

2. Resisting Technology

3. Not Picking Up the Phone

4. Failing to Check References

office table showing common field service hiring mistakes

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If you’re a business owner, you’re an expert at everything your business does. You solve problems efficiently, and you know how to find more customer. Yet, why is it so challenging to find quality talent when running your own business? This talent gap will hold you back from reaching your full potential and revenue.

The good news is you don’t need to be an experienced hiring professional to master the basics of hiring. If you know the most common mistakes, you’re better equipped to make smarter decisions about who you invite to join your team.

Remember, your field workers are the ones who interact with your customers every day. They make the first impressions that make the difference between repeat customers and a lost brand reputation. Similarly, the staff you hire to support your field workers needs to be up to the challenge of leading effectively. 

Mistake 1: You’re a Family Employment Agency

There’s nothing wrong with running a family business. In fact, two-thirds of all companies in the U.K. are family owned. That means family business is big business. However, you can’t act as your family's very own employment agency. If your extended family calls on you to employ their down-and-out cousin, you’re not setting yourself up for successful, consistent hiring practices.

It can be hard to avoid hiring relatives when you feel a lot of pressure to be “nice.” A good rule of thumb to keep things in perspective is that you should never hire anyone you wouldn’t be willing to fire. If you’re not comfortable firing your second cousin, you probably shouldn’t hire them in the first place. While strangers understand they’ll lose their job if they don’t do the work, many family members will assume they have a free pass to employment no matter what.

If you do hire family, be clear from the beginning. Set clear ground rules and expectations, and make it apparent that you’ll fire them if they don’t work hard. It is also a smart move to have these family members go through the same application process as any other candidate to make sure they’re a good fit.

man with laptop showing common field service hiring mistakes

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Mistake 2: Resisting Technology

Resisting technology and sticking to the old ways might seem like you’re following the tried-and-true path of success. In reality, you’re likely causing yourself more stress than is necessary, particularly during the hiring process. Candidates today for all positions are going online to find new jobs. In 2018, 45% of job seekers searched daily for jobs on their smartphone.

 From career websites to job postings, having a digital process for sourcing new candidates is more important than ever before. No matter if you’re hiring office staff or field workers, you can screen your candidates online, source emails, and find better candidates.

No business owner has the time to sift through endless resumes. Skip the busy work and speed up your hiring process with job recruiting technology. There are free websites like Indeed that help you source new applicants, but you can also find industry-specific fields for specialised labour. From finding better ways to hire online to digital scheduling, there’s a lot to gain by joining the digital revolution. 

Mistake 3: Not Picking Up the Phone

When trying to optimise your time when searching for candidates, you need a better way to weed out top talent. Emails are a great first step, but you need a better way to know just who you want to interview for the job. When you meet someone in person, you learn a lot about who they are and how they interact with others.

 However, there’s a way to do this before the interview as well. Scheduling brief pre-interviews over the phone to speak to each candidate is a great way to get a better idea for who you want to bring in for real, face-to-face interviews. Yes, this does take some time, but it will save you both time and money in the long run. Not only will you not have to deal with unnecessary, lengthy in-person interviews, but you’ll also bring in stronger candidates.

 shaking hands

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Mistake 4: Failing to Check References

References do more than just look good on paper. They help you get a second or third opinion about a prospective candidate. Remember what we said about your field workers being the face of your company? Don’t you want to take the time to learn more about their past experience and their perception? What impact did they make on their past managers or coworkers? These are important questions, and ones you can’t always answer in an interview.

 The reality is that some individuals are naturally good at interview skills. They’re upbeat, confident, and say all of the right things. But what if they can’t do the job well? Others might not have that skill to “sell” themselves, but they perform perfectly on a job site. According to a survey of over 2000 human resource professionals, job candidates are false or misleading on their applications or resumes up to 53% of the time. That’s a big statistic, and it’s reason enough to start checking references to make sure your candidates are who they claim to be.   

 While it might seem like an extra step in the interview process, having these references verified will help you make a better decision at the end of the day. You don’t want to waste time on the wrong candidate, and training is costly for your company if your new hire fails.

Hiring the Best Candidates

In field service management, every team member matters. These are the people on the front lines of your business. They’re building your reputation one interaction at a time, and you want them to be the best possible. Poor hires are a disaster on service businesses, and that’s why it’s time to stop making these hiring mistakes above.

 Taking the extra time to use new technology and invest in the interview process will optimise your business. From there, you can seamlessly introduce your new hires to your workplace management solution with ease. These new hires will pay off big time for your company, and they’ll be a better fit for your organisation long-term.

Source: The Blog Frog

The 2019 Restart Guide for Field Service Businesses

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