Recruiting Talent for Home Services: The Success of Service Professional's Hiring Strategies

Casey Timorason, the Head of Talent at Service Professionals, caught up with us about how the company is attracting top talent in an industry that is challenged by a growing labor shortage, an ever evolving talent pool, and a need for recruiting technologies to keep them ahead.

Avatar of Antonio Javiniar

Antonio Javiniar

Antonio Javiniar is the Sr. Marketing Manager for Teamtailor in North America.

Founded in 1994 in Rahway, NJ, Service Professionals provides residential heating, cooling, plumbing, and electric services to homeowners. With a service area that spans 42 townships across 8 counties (and growing), Service Professionals is at the forefront of quality home service providers in the United States, supported by their team of over 200+ professionals to sustain this growth.

The company aims to expand their reach and continue to build their team with a simple, singular philosophy: Over-invest in our people and create a culture that can't be topped.

Learn more from Casey and Service Professionals by reading the full interview below!

My vision is to establish our team as the place where the best techs work. It's the place where you build a remarkable career in the trades. It's the place where you are most proud of working.

Casey Timorason, Head of Talent at Service Professionals

Head of Talent, Service Professionals

Meet Casey Timorason

Hi there - I'm Casey, the Head of Talent. 

Leading the recruiting here at Service Professionals has a special meaning and brings me full circle in my career. I grew up in Jersey with a family rooted in the trades - my grandfather was a skilled handyman who built his own home. Yet, I spent most of my career working in other industries and for remote companies. It feels like a coming home experience for me.

I've worn many hats in the recruiting world – I've scaled startups, advised Fortune 500 executives, helped two "unicorns" grow to over $1 billion in valuation, designed complex technical teams, and built my own recruiting departments. Each experience added a layer to my understanding of what makes a team grow from "functional" to "thriving".

Now, at Service Professionals, I find myself at the intersection of professional expertise and personal connection. My vision is to establish our team as the place where the best techs work. It's the place where you build a remarkable career in the trades. It's the place where you are most proud of working.

I won't settle for less. 

Beyond recruiting, I love to coach basketball (currently for a Jersey City youth squad), shoot some pool (I just got back from the amateur 8-ball national championship), and travel with my wife & pup (just got back from Bali). 

Recruitment challenges

Our mission is simple: attract and retain the best plumbers, electricians, and HVAC technicians in the industry. We're doing so by over-investing in our people and creating a culture that can't be topped.

With top talent, we’re confident that we can deliver the highest quality work possible and shape the best possible customer experience. 

For the Home Services industry, we're facing recruiting challenges on a few fronts: 

  1. Lack of digital presence for technicians: Most of our talent is not as native to LinkedIn or other job search platforms. They’re on the road, infrequently checking emails, and not a fan of video interviews!
  2. Lack of available talent: There’s about a 5:1 ratio of technicians retiring to technicians entering the trades. We’re forecasting a labor shortage unless we’re able to dramatically increase the number of new folks entering the trades. 
  3. Lack of trust in employers: There're horror stories in our industry of employers lying about bonuses, overworking their team, and just operating with flat out greed. It’s easy for us to say the right things, but we must follow through or trust will be impossible to earn. 

We're working in a way that allows candidates to feel that they're valued and processed in an effective way. Hiring managers aren't getting daunted by the sheer number of candidates and applications that they have to review. Our backend systems are working effectively, from our requisition process, all the way through to our off boarding, offer letters and so on.

Competition for top talent in Home Services

With the lack of available talent, competition for top talent has been a huge problem. There were three key shifts that I made once I realized the challenge:

  1. Overhauled our recruitment infrastructure (Teamtailor) to get: more free job board distribution, control from developers to add more creativity to our careers page, and a simplified application process (i.e. SMS, video questions, etc.)
  2. Reduced reliance on traditional sourcing & resumes. 
    We expanded our referral bonus to have two components. The first is our “Forever Bonus” - we give referrers $100 for every month a referred employee is with the company. The second is our prize raffle - we gather anyone that has given us a referral (even if they weren’t hired) and enter them into a lottery for big prizes (trip to Aruba, etc.) that we will raffle at our company party. 

    We re-wrote all of our job descriptions, career page content, and messaging to showcase more of our identity and how we treat our team.
  3. Constant feedback loops internally.
    I’m frequently talking to technicians to better understand their motivations and what they like/don’t like about our current employee experience. I then advocate for those changes to see where we can or can’t add them to our roadmap. We have to walk the walk.
We went from 2 quality hires in the year prior to my start date (Jan to October), to over 32+ quality hires in my tenure (between November and May). 

Casey Timorason, Head of Talent Acquisition at Service Professionals

Why did you choose Teamtailor?

We first heard of Teamtailor when I was operating my RPO -- we had a client that asked us to jump on there as a third party recruiter (Mura Technologies). They sang your praises and I never forgot their recommendation.

We previously used the hiring feature within BambooHR. It was effective for storing resumes, but limited in its ability to communicate with candidates or customize the process/branding aspects. 

Teamtailor was the first strategic shift made, before any branding initiatives. I wanted the ability to customize the stages of the recruitment process and careers page. 

A few key factors were:

  • Ability to control careers page design
  • Ability to customize stages in the process with some automations
  • Ability to text candidates
  • Open API for future integrations

So far, my experience with Teamtailor has been fantastic. 5 stars all around. Seamless feedback from hiring managers & most candidates. 

We went from 2 quality hires in the year prior to my start date (Jan to October), to over 32+ quality hires in my tenure (between November and May). 

How has Teamtailor impacted your hiring?

Previously, we were unable to customize our careers page and stages in the recruitment process (with automations). We also did not receive free job board distribution anywhere but Indeed until Teamtailor. 

We are so much more efficient it isn’t even recognizable.

It’s a standout team with lots of support. The product itself gives you control over the essentials needed to design a great candidate + hiring manager experience. 

Key Teamtailor Features we use:

  • Career site customization - this has been a game-changer for us in terms of standing out from our competitors. 
  • Customization of the job stages. I’m tweaking the smart triggers, automated messages, stage order, etc. constantly based on candidate feedback and hiring manager questions

What are your 3 best tips for recruiters?

  1. Make this fun. I’m aware of the impact AI + automation will likely have on recruiters. Yet, I’m not that worried. Automations aren’t going to make the process more fun & engaging than I will. I see competitors trying to over-analyze candidates with endless assessments, forms, and hoops to jump through. In a labor-constrained market, why would you make it so hard for candidates to get into your orbit?
  2. Do something different. Every careers page I looked at in our industry was a carbon copy of one another. There was no individuality or creativity. We also wanted to be different in how we find candidates - beyond just a boring job description and resume requirement. We chose to start with referral programs, but I plan to go big on events and organic social in the near future.
  3. Meet candidates & hiring managers where they are with a streamlined experience. Folks are texting, on Instagram/Facebook, and (in our industry) browsing jobs while waiting in their trucks. We had to be mobile-first and ensure we got our personality across quickly. In the same vein, I make it simple for hiring managers to move candidates through the process. We use the TeamTailor app or just text each other right away. Don’t overcomplicate it and try to automate things that should have a human touch. 

What do you think will be the Future of HR?

I envision a dramatic shift in the way the recruiting function operates, how recruiting teams are structured, and the overall demand for recruiters in the labor market. 

  1. Function: Modern recruiting is looking more and more like modern marketing. You must be skilled at copywriting, branding, messaging automation, paid advertising, media buying, content creation….the list goes on. This has been a trend for the past several years, but I see it being accelerated with modern AI technology. This will force recruiters to take on a broader skill set that supports company growth (and ensures they have jobs when they aren’t hiring). I can see recruiters embracing responsibilities in corporate branding, events marketing, employee experience, and internal-mobility type of roles.
  2. Structure: I think there will be a rise of RPO (recruitment process outsourcing) solutions for companies that aren’t hiring consistently enough. For those that do retain recruiters, I don’t think recruiting teams will need to be as large as they were in the past due to AI & automation. However, I think it can be a differentiator for companies that choose to invest in relationship-building activities (i.e. smaller, hard-to-scale intimate events). I also imagine recruiters being cross-trained in some of the functions above to support more initiatives in slower hiring seasons. Finally, I can see a hybrid-structure approach on my team specifically. Here’s the example:We have 3 trades (electrical, plumbing, HVAC). As I scale our recruiting & marketing efforts, I would likely have 1 marketer/recruiter in each of our trades that reports to the leader of that trade. That way, they pick up on the nuances required in each discipline.
  3. Demand: I don’t think the world will need as many recruiters managing pipelines in industries about to be affected by AI. I see them shifting into sourcing / relationship-building activities, as much of the pipeline management will be automated at a scale we haven’t seen before.

Connect with

Casey Timorason from Service Professionals

Service Professionals

Find Casey on LinkedIn here.

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