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Gen Z: The Breath of Fresh Air the HVAC Industry Needs

Gen Z: The Breath of Fresh Air the HVAC Industry Needs

by HVAC Distributors

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The HVAC industry is facing a perfect storm.  According to Stedman (2021), the current issue the workforce is facing is that younger workers are not readily replacing retiring baby boomers (the average age of HVAC workers is 55).  Additionally, the push for college, instead of trade schools after graduating high school is said to be the blame for younger workers not leaping at “blue collar” careers. This rapidly aging workforce combined with a shrinking talent pool is causing many companies to struggle in finding qualified technicians. 

This is where Gen Z, the generation born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s, comes in.

Ever wonder why Gen Z is known for switching jobs more than other generations?  It’s not because they are bored with their career, cannot handle the workload, or do not enjoy the workforce environment. Gen Z is searching for careers that provide meaning to their work hours and an employer who is willing to invest in them as they would in their own company.  

Benefits of Hiring Gen Z

  • Tech-Savvy Workforce: Hofrichter (2022) says, this new generation of workers has high problem-solving skills, is digital and technology savvy. Gen Z is a generation that has grown up with technology. They’re adept at using smartphones, tablets, and other digital tools. This is crucial in the modern HVAC field, where smart thermostats, internet-connected systems, and diagnostic apps are becoming increasingly common.
  • Sustainability Champions: Gen Z is deeply concerned about climate change and environmental issues. The HVAC industry plays a significant role in energy efficiency and sustainable building practices. Gen Z’s eco-conscious mindset aligns perfectly with the industry’s growing focus on green technology and energy-saving solutions.
  • Lifelong Learning: Gen Z values continuous learning and skill development. The HVAC field offers a variety of specializations and ongoing training opportunities. This allows them to stay engaged and build fulfilling careers with growth potential.

As we see the baby boomers beginning to take their leave in the HVAC workforce, to attract the new generation into this industry, companies may want to consider modifying the way they think about recruitment. The key to attracting Gen Z talent lies in how HVAC businesses portray themselves. Here are some ways to make the industry more appealing:

Recruiting Gen Z in HVAC

  • Modernize the Image: Ditch the outdated stereotypes of manual labor. Highlight the technical aspects of the job, the problem-solving skills required, and the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology.
  • Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits: Gen Z values financial security and work-life balance. Competitive wages and flexible work arrangements are essential to attract top talent. Employers may need to rethink the traditional 9 to 5 work day.
  • Professional Development: Consider offering developmental programs for new HVAC technicians entering your team. Try pairing them with a mentor who has been on the job longer. This will allow them to gain more in-field experience and to grow along side of a skilled co-worker.
  • Embrace Social Media: Gen Z spends a significant amount of time online. Utilize social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok to showcase the interesting aspects of the job and create a strong employer brand.

The HVAC industry needs Gen Z. With their high problem-solving skills, digital and technology savvy ways, and ability to bring a different point of view to the workplace this generation will help increase industry standards for years to come. By embracing Gen Z and creating a work environment that caters to their strengths, the HVAC industry can secure its future.

Hofrichter, D. (2022, June 15). Recruiting Gen Z’s To Your HVAC Business. SBE. https://sbeodyssey.com/blog/recruiting-hvac

Stedman, N. (2021, August 12). HVAC jobs are running hot. Young workers and women are much needed for this recession-resistant gig. The Philadelphia Inquirer. https://www.inquirer.com/business/hvac-jobs-philly-pa-nj-women-retirements-20210812.html