Addressing the Challenge of Finding Service Talent

Written by Mark Pollitz

August 10, 2022

appliance service leaders network nationwide marketing group

When it comes to talent acquisition, there are so many pieces to the puzzle. Just some of the challenges are writing job descriptions that are legally compliant and relevant. Advertising in multiple medias and platforms. Interviews, now many are virtual. Interview questions you cannot ask and those you should. Assessing the employee candidate to determine if they have the “right stuff.” And when you hire someone, the whole onboarding process includes everything from background checks, to orientation, to training. It’s a long list of to-dos, and it’s difficult to ensure you have covered all your bases.

Service Leaders Network (SLN), the appliance service support division of Nationwide Marketing Group, is addressing that piece of the workforce acquisition process. SLN has two Performance Groups consisting of appliance dealers who are also service providers. The question was posed to all 20 of them:

“Do you have a defined and documented process to perform the hiring, onboarding and training process?” The answer was a majority, “No.”

Our next question was, “Do you know of all the various resources available to accomplish this?” Again, the answer was a majority, “No.”

I contacted two of the largest appliance trade associations and posed the same question of their members (approximately 6,000 members combined). The answer was still the same. In short, there are no defined and documented programs for an appliance service company (and most other trades) for them to be able to use as a resource. Only those companies that are larger with an HR person or staff are fortunate to have these resources, and even then, their expertise stops at the onboarding piece as HR does not typically understand the technical training piece.

SLN is changing that for our Members. Through the collaboration of our Performance Group Members, the NMG HR division and the service history and experience of the SLN leadership, SLN is creating a “hiring, onboarding and training” program that will be available to all NMG Members, not just appliance servicing Members. Although the initial emphasis is on appliance service staff, the program is applicable to most NMG Members’ hiring needs.

With so many other initiatives ongoing within the scope of SLN, this project was paramount. Knowing that, NMG leadership recognized the need to support SLN and in April, we brought in Carmine Dionisio as our new Educational Development Manager. Carmine’s first directive was this project, and he helped get the program launched in July.

The program offers a defined and documented process that lays out the steps from A to Z of how to navigate the “hiring, onboarding and training” process. And it is designed to be customized for each dealer. Below are just some of the components that are included:

  • Pre-written job descriptions provided by our Performance Group Members. There are job descriptions for service managers, technicians, CSRs, parts managers and other service staff, as we continue to add them. These job descriptions are customizable for you, the Member, to tailor to your specific needs
  • Job advertisement samples
  • A recommended list of interview questions — and a list of those you should not use
  • Example assessment tests and background screening
  • Onboarding orientation schedule
  • Technician training schedule with training resources and discounts
  • An example training budget

This program is the first of its kind in our industry, and it’s available as a free benefit for NMG Members. It’ll also be one of several SLN Nationwide Learning Academy classes at PrimeTime. We will then post the session to the SLN page on MemberNet in both documentation form and as a video presentation. We also plan to present the information as a webinar after PrimeTime.

If you are interested in learning more about SLN and what we offer NMG’s appliance servicing dealers, you can email me at mark.pollitz@nationwidegroup.org.


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