With 74 branches and 50,000 SKUs, chances are contractors can find the products they need from Sid Harvey's. Last year, however, the company took the extra step of helping its customers find what is in very short supply in our industry - new employees.

Last year, Sid Harvey's announced its Employment Services program, an online recruitment service for the HVACR field.

“It's not enough anymore to just provide parts and equipment to our customers,” says John Rynecki, senior vice president/sales and marketing. “We need to provide other services to help our customers prosper.”

Certainly, addressing the industry's labor shortage is a key ingredient to prosperity. While numbers vary, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the construction industry will need to add 100,000 jobs annually through 2012, while also filling an additional 90,000 openings annually as retiring baby boomers and others leave the industry.

Employment Solutions is an online, nationwide service available to the HVAC trades through Sid Harvey's own Web site (link below) by visiting one of its 74 branches or by calling a toll-free phone number.

Sid Harvey's partnered with Industry People Group, an online human resource for the HVAC, sheet metal, refrigeration, controls, electrical, plumbing and piping industry founded in 1996.

The new service includes the following:

  • findMEP, a management and executive recruiter.

  • MEPatWork, a résumé board for job-seekers with currently 200,000 listings.

  • VeriCruit, which provides background checks to verify a candidate's driving record, criminal background, and employment and credit history.
Job-seekers are able to post their qualifications on a résumé bank. Meanwhile, business owners can post help-wanted “ads” and view specific résumé boards to review candidates. Employers pay for their ads with the cost depending on the level of service and duration.

“It's opened up a dimension of selling that's taken us away from the concrete to something more abstract,” Rynecki adds. “It's helped our employees think better about what we can provide in terms of new technology.”

While there is a charge for the service, Rynecki described Employment Solutions as more partnership than profit center. He sees the idea as similar to how Sid Harvey's took on the challenge of refrigerant recovery in the early-1990s.

“At the time, we tried not to think about how we were going to make money, but rather how we were going to add value by taking something off the minds of our customers.”