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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Kenilworth NJ
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    947

    How to find a good company

    Most Companies are looking for good techs, and reasonably so. But what of a good tech looking for a decent company? Companies do not post resumes, you can try to find out about them before the interview but it is not always easy to get a good read on them.

    What have you guys done to narrow down the field of prospective companies you apply with?

    I am looking for suggestions because I may be needing to use them in the future, but things I have done are:

    1) Look for the names of companies that are awarded industry awards like CB's Contractor of the year. Unfortunately, CB records for the Contractor of the year only go back about 2 years (hey H-talk genies, a little help with that??? )

    2) Apply for work on Sites like mepjobs.com and hvacagent.com. Good companies recognize the inherent problems with a craigslist applicant.

    3) Visit the website of the company - do they have one? is it professional looking?

    4) Good companies want to weed out hackers - that means they will make you jump through a few hoops to get to an interview. if they don't that is a bad sign. Some hoops include online aptitude or assessment tests that they require before an interview. A pain in the neck - yes, but a positive sign as to the functionality of the entire organization.

    5) Ask them at the interview about annual sales, size of the company, if they have regular training, and if the support you going to classes or getting NATE Certified. If you are a good tech, they will have a vested interest in keeping you and improving your value to them.

    6) Tell them that you are interviewing them, as much as they are interviewing you. They should understand this. If not then you may wish to pass on them.
    Hmmmm....smells like numbatwo to me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Phoenix AZ
    Posts
    219
    How do you define a good company? out of 100 how many show respect for your skills and experience ? be carefull when you accept low wages out of desperation,, you loose all respect as a Tech , yeah the company will treat you like a dog ,, start low you will always be low,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Winter Haven, FL
    Posts
    4,379
    Talk to the parts house guys. They will tell you all the dirt on any company.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2007
    Location
    Kenilworth NJ
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    947
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Harper View Post
    Talk to the parts house guys. They will tell you all the dirt on any company.
    Oh yeah I forgot to add that idea to the list. I actually had that thought a few months back and since I make it a habit to enter the company names and numbers of AC companies whose vans I see into my phone, I have a list of better than 60 HVAC companies... So I would ask the Supply House counter guys about them, scrolling through my list, adding a + to the name for a good company. Most of what I got was whether the companies were able to pay their bills on time. The counter guys notice when the constantly have to call the accounting department to get an order released.

    This is a pretty good measure of the health of the organization since the recession is hitting all the companies pretty hard right now. If you can pay your suppliers, you are doing pretty good.

    Of course they could be doing ok financially because they laid off all the techs and are running with Chinese labor, figuring that by the time the hack jobs go south, they will be able to cover the losses with the profits of a new economy, so just being able to pay your bills is not the only measure of a good company.
    Hmmmm....smells like numbatwo to me.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2007
    Location
    Kenilworth NJ
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    947
    Quote Originally Posted by Baja500 View Post
    How do you define a good company? out of 100 how many show respect for your skills and experience ?
    This is the idea Baja, many guys who are considering jumping ship are faced with choosing between the devil you know with the devil you don't know. I may know my company is crappy, but is the new one slightly less crappy AND dangerous? (just as an example)

    Not only respect of skills - a good company fosters teamwork (not allowing one of the techs to take the manuals off of EVERY unit he works on so that other techs are forced to call him for help - he has a stack over 14" thick in his van of manuals. And when you tell the boss instead of addressing the problem, suggests that everyone take time everyday to print new manuals to leave on the units when they do maintenance ' We have the model numbers on file ' - GENIUS!!)

    -It invests in their workers with training and classes (not criticizing good talent by calling them a primadonna because they fix units that have been problems for YEARS - 'you think you know sooooooooo much' - no I did what I was sent to do, fix the problem)

    -It pays a good wage and makes clear how to raise that figure - not automatic time based raises, but performance based ones. If I work hard and kick tail, I better make more than bobby sleeps-a-lot who has been around for 15 years.

    -It tries new and innovative installations - allowing for a collective learning experience (solar, Geo, and so on.)

    -It is possible to do an entire day of service without having to worry about saying something to a hostile customer that might expose the failings of the last several years of service calls and installations. Every company messes up once in a while, but it should be the exception not the rule.

    There may be a few more I am missing - but you get the idea.
    Hmmmm....smells like numbatwo to me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Winter Haven, FL
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    4,379
    Quote Originally Posted by numbawunfela View Post


    -It pays a good wage and makes clear how to raise that figure - not automatic time based raises, but performance based ones. If I work hard and kick tail, I better make more than bobby sleeps-a-lot who has been around for 15 years.
    Thats a profound statement. Too bad it is not that in reality.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2003
    Location
    austin
    Posts
    264

    Cool

    Silly question and silly answers. A good company is subjective to what a person wants.

    To me, i could care less about being treated well or having company christmas parties etc...The boss you hated could be a potential best friend to me and so on.

    Give me the most money and steady work and i'm in!
    when life throws me a banjo, i play it

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Kenilworth NJ
    Posts
    947
    I'm surprised there are not too many posts from guys that say "My company is great, this is how I found them."

    I heard a stat this morning that 60% of survey respondents are dissatisfied with their work, could it be that people are sticking with the devil they know because there may not be any other prospects out there?

    A good company is subjective, that is true. I saw two of the techs sleeping for a 2+ hour lunch a few weeks back, and then heard about how there is not enough money for raises.... Or when the one tin knocker pulled out a knife he made in the sheet metal shop (instead of making duct) and in 'self defense' the other tin knocker beat him across the face with a piece of angle iron - while on the roof of a customer's warehouse.

    Money is good too...
    Hmmmm....smells like numbatwo to me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    3,108
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Harper View Post
    Thats a profound statement. Too bad it is not that in reality.
    Bobby has a cousin named Billy Sucks-a-lot. He's very successful at every place he's ever worked.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Phoenix AZ
    Posts
    219
    Quote Originally Posted by numbawunfela View Post
    This is the idea Baja, many guys who are considering jumping ship are faced with choosing between the devil you know with the devil you don't know. I may know my company is crappy, but is the new one slightly less crappy AND dangerous? (just as an example)

    Not only respect of skills - a good company fosters teamwork (not allowing one of the techs to take the manuals off of EVERY unit he works on so that other techs are forced to call him for help - he has a stack over 14" thick in his van of manuals. And when you tell the boss instead of addressing the problem, suggests that everyone take time everyday to print new manuals to leave on the units when they do maintenance ' We have the model numbers on file ' - GENIUS!!)

    -It invests in their workers with training and classes (not criticizing good talent by calling them a primadonna because they fix units that have been problems for YEARS - 'you think you know sooooooooo much' - no I did what I was sent to do, fix the problem)

    -It pays a good wage and makes clear how to raise that figure - not automatic time based raises, but performance based ones. If I work hard and kick tail, I better make more than bobby sleeps-a-lot who has been around for 15 years.

    -It tries new and innovative installations - allowing for a collective learning experience (solar, Geo, and so on.)

    -It is possible to do an entire day of service without having to worry about saying something to a hostile customer that might expose the failings of the last several years of service calls and installations. Every company messes up once in a while, but it should be the exception not the rule.

    There may be a few more I am missing - but you get the idea.
    Numbawunfela

    I suppose it goes by region or state, AZ like most states was hit horribly and hard by this economy,many good techs were not given the chance to jump ship, they were simply thrown overboard without any life savers and are now drowing, cause most local contractors , the few that are hiring are only offering 12 to 14 an hr, demanding that techs do instals in the morning and service call in the afternoons plus sales in between and ohh yeah do estimates and jobs takes offs, the only thing missing is! wash the company vans which is next, Contractors lame excuse is!! I got over 60 guys applying for this position we don't need you UUU need US,my former service teck went to this crappy campany Arizona Eagle Air as an install foreman for $14 an hr, this lame contractor demanded a full day installing crawling in old attics , do service call afterwards, take home plans for estimating and job take offs. I mean, how low can some companies go in how they treat their employees, this guy only lasted 2 weeks with ******* ,crappy company won't even provide truck for this guy. but then again its only Arizona,, amen I F&^5$ing forgot !!!this Guy is still fighting **** for his last paycheck . they sent him his W2,, missing wages for the last week worked,
    Last edited by Stamas; 01-08-2010 at 07:42 AM. Reason: Removed Co. Name

  11. #11
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    Sep 2007
    Location
    Kenilworth NJ
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    947
    Quote Originally Posted by 5 ton willy View Post
    Bobby has a cousin named Billy Sucks-a-lot. He's very successful at every place he's ever worked.
    Hmmmmm........

    a co-worker maybe?
    Hmmmm....smells like numbatwo to me.

  12. #12
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    Sep 2007
    Location
    Kenilworth NJ
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    947
    Quote Originally Posted by Baja500 View Post
    This Guy is still fighting **** for his last paycheck . they sent him his W2,, missing wages for the last week worked,
    SUCKY!!!

    I guess it may strike some as premature to ask what seems to be about jumping from one job to another, as if jobs are rolling down the street waiting to be had. Actually my idea is to do 2 things -
    1)Prevent a situation where a good guy is facing the choice of accepting a job he has been offered, only to find that he gets sucka punched like your buddy there. If a guy limits his job search at least initially using some suggestions you may all have, by the time he winds down to postings on Craigslist, he already knows that there is simply nothing better out there. If he then gets sucka punched, at least he knows he at least he truly knows the alternative was unemployment for that time - small consolation perhaps, but it is something.

    2) This trade is always slower in winter, and a little worse in spring, but in late spring there will be hiring - like every year. Even though the DOW says the recession is over, we know we are all still hurting. But there are a number of guys that say that they are just now starting to land large construction again - and that it looks like there may be light at the end of the tunnel. When hiring hits in spring, It would be nice to be able to leverage it for a spot in a decent company.

    I may not be moving then, but I may. Either way I know that the H-talk community - myself included - would like to know if somebody works for a company they like, and how did they found them.
    Last edited by Stamas; 01-08-2010 at 07:43 AM. Reason: Removed Co name
    Hmmmm....smells like numbatwo to me.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    43
    You know when you are at the same place with Billy because you get all his repeats. They dodge every bad call also. I love it when Billy hands you are part to install somewhere because they have something more important to do and it turns out to be a clusterf#ck.



    Quote Originally Posted by 5 ton willy View Post
    Bobby has a cousin named Billy Sucks-a-lot. He's very successful at every place he's ever worked.

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