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Water heaters and boilers, residential and commercial, high efficiency and high output – Bradford White has the products you can count on for years of reliable service. We build water heaters in Michigan and boilers in New Hampshire. But no matter the location, each manufacturing facility is staffed with a highly skilled and experienced workforce. These people know how to design and build a great water heater and a great boiler. They do it every day. They do it for you. We have exactly what you need, everything you need, to get the job done and help you build a very long list of greatly satisfied customers. If what you do for a living involves water heaters and boilers, remember this – Bradford White is an American manufacturer that builds products for wholesale distribution to a Bradford White is the Official Water Heater and Boiler of the PHCC.

dedicated group of professional installers. These are your products. We are your Bradford White.

Built to be the Best™ ©2016, Bradford White Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Maryland PHCC Contractor | Winter 2016

www.bradfordwhite.com


WON’T BURST

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WOODFORD MANUFACTURING COMPANY Excellence. Always. 800.621.6032 www.woodfordmfg.com

Winter 2016 | Maryland PHCC Contractor

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maryland

MD PHCC - NEW MEMBERS........

PHCC CONTRACTOR MAGAZINE

Winter 2016

Timothy Mayes Mayes Plumbing & Heating, Inc.

Mark Alexander Alexander Plumbing Svcs., Inc.

George Flanagan Flanagan Enterprise, Inc.

Sanford Kramer Best Choice Plumbers, LLC

Ken Winters Mercedes-Benz of Catonsville

CONTENTS...... Senior Editor - Diane P. Kastner

A Message From the PHCC National Association Executive Vice President 6 - Michael Copp: Technology Provides a Means to Attract the Next Generation

Maryland PHCC Contractor Magazine is the official magazine of The Maryland PlumbingHeating-Cooling Contractors and is published four times annually. The Maryland PHCC does not necessarily endorse any of the companies advertising in this publication or the views of its writers.

Congress Ends First Half of 114th Congress With Positive Momentum Finding the Right Incentives For Your Employees

10

Maryland PHCC Introductory Membership Offer & Application

Maryland PHCC Contractor Magazine is designed and published by Blue Water Publishers, LLC. Articles and information published in this magazine may not be reproduced without written consent of The Maryland PHCC or Blue Water Publishers, LLC. Maryland PHCC reserves the right in its sole discretion to reject advertising that does not meet Maryland PHCC qualiďŹ cations or which may detract from its business, professional or ethical standards. The publisher cannot assume responsibility for claims made by advertisers, content provided by the editor, or for the opinions expressed by contributing authors.

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Instructors Wanted

20

Smart Hiring

22

Maryland PHCC Annual Trade Show & Expo

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25-26

ADVERTISER SUPPORT..... Bradford White 2 Charlotte Pipe & Foundry 9 Cummins-Wagner 12 FastEst 12 Kolbi Pipe Marker 7 Liberty Pumps 5, 28

Metropolitan Industries 13-16 Rheem 27 T&S Brass 7 Taco 20, 21 Woodford Manufacturing 3

OFFICERS 2016...... PRESIDENT STEVEN M. SCHAEFER WESTMINSTER, MD (410) 876-6825 (410) 857-0011 FAX

DIRECTORS THOMAS KELLER ELLICOTT CITY, MD (410) 203-1741 (410) 203-2638 FAX

VICE PRESIDENT KATHARINE K. STRADLEY ELLICOTT CITY, MD (410) 442-2221 (410) 442-7626 FAX

TIMOTHY FELDMAN ELKRIDGE, MD (410) 536-5700 (410) 536-5705

SERGEANT AT ARMS RONALD LLOYD COLUMBIA, MD 21046 (410) 203-2720 (410) 203-1866 FAX

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Travel Safety Tips

32-Hour Backflow Certification Course Information & Application

For more information on advertising, contact Jim Aitkins Blue Water Publishers, LLC 22727 - 161st Avenue SE, Monroe, WA 98272 360-805-6474 / fax: 360-805-6475 jima@bluewaterpublishers.com

TREASURER FREDERICK WOLF BALTIMORE, MD (410) 327-4750 (410) 563-1611 FAX

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EDGAR W. ZEPP, IV CLARKSVILLE, MD (410) 531-6712 (410) 531-5812 FAX THOMAS ELLIOTT KINGSVILLE, MD (410) 344-6045 (410) 630-2286 FAX

Maryland PHCC Contractor | Winter 2016

APPRENTICESHIP EDUCATION COUNCIL MEMBERS STEVEN M. SCHAEFER ADMINISTRATIVE CHAIR WESTMINSTER, MD (410) 876-6825 (410) 857-0011 FAX RONALD STIEGLER ELDERSBURG, MD (410) 876-6825 THOMAS KELLER ELLICOTT CITY, MD (410) 203-1741

KATHARINE K. STRADLEY ELLICOTT CITY, MD (410) 442-2221 EDGAR W. ZEPP, IV CLARKSVILLE, MD (410) 531-6712 (410) 531-5812 FAX


Locally Represented By: ROI Marketing, Inc. 800.441.8188 www.ROIMKT.com

Winter 2016 | Maryland PHCC Contractor

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A Message from the PHCC National Association Executive Vice President, Michael Copp

O

Technology Provides a Means to Attract the Next Generation

ur industry needs to fill 138,000 jobs over the next five years and hence, actively recruit a younger generation into the industry (and into PHCC). To attract millennials and Gen Z’ers, PHCC needs to establish value alignment between those we want to attract and the industry that needs them.  Given this next generations’ s innate comfort with technology and proclivity toward social responsibility and activism; one ‘shared’ value is protecting the health and safety of society and the environment- the primary mission of PHCC.  Technology integration within the p-h-c industry gives us a perfect opportunity to attract future technicians as “ advanced and green technologies are combining for HVAC and plumbing contractors to change standards, education, manufacturer and buyer relationships, and competitive factors.” (Retrieved on the world wide web, August 16, 2016, http://www.anythingresearch.com/industry/ HVAC-Plumbing-Contractors.htm).  “HVAC and plumbing contractors are adapting to major technical change from both manufacturers and end users. Utility companies are integrating technology to monitor and control systems. Within commercial or industrial buildings, the HVAC and plumbing systems are also part of the buildings’ monitoring system, which is also using technology to diagnose and repair problems in the system. Manufacturers are seeking competitive advantage and therefore are designing products with increased technological depth and functionality. For contractors, this means more training and recruitment than ever before—not only must they understand their trade, but they must be proficient with the latest technologies being used by utilities, building managers, and manufacturers” (Retrieved on the world wide web, August 16, 2016, http:// www.anythingresearch.com/industry/HVAC-PlumbingContractors.htm).  [6]

Maryland PHCC Contractor | Winter 2016

Back in September I talked about technology integration growth being driven by  sustainable design requiring  high performance construction and green building techniques and materials intended to minimize a building’s impact on the environment and conserve natural resources. Several driving factors over the last several decades include: •

Newly enacted green building regulations leading to Green Building standards and codes like ICC 700 National Green Building Standard that was adopted by ANSI in 2012;

Existence of government stimulus programs, tax incentives, and increased public awareness;

EPA regulations requiring compliance with emissions standards;

Need to continuously upgrade components of the system during scheduled maintenance ; and

“LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard

This means opportunities for plumbing and HVAC contractors who can employ emerging “green” technologies that differentiate themselves from their competitors by minimizing water usage, improving air quality and helping the owner arrest rising energy costs. Examples include:


rainwater harvesting

solar heating and Geothermal technology

Implement energy efficient climate systems or “smart grid” systems

wind-powered heating and air solutions

There is a great opportunity for p-h-c contractors to consider offering technology installation and integration as a valueadded service to their clients whether one is in new construction and or service and repair. This also means that skills training must include instruction on how to install and maintain these systems.  PHCC sees a real need to provide resources to help contractors consider this opportunity and has partnered with the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (www.cedia.org) to provide these materials through a new web-based “Technology Special Interest Group” coming soon to the PHCC website. CEDIA will collaborate with PHCC to develop meaningful content for this new membership group. CEDIA has offered to help with providing webinar speakers and gathering additional content for PHCC members who are interested in technology within the p-h-c industry.

And we have the extensive product line to prove it.

WE KNOW

PLUMBING.

Whether bidding on future projects or providing solutions for an urgent plumbing issue today, it’s critical to know you have the right resources in place. That’s why T&S offers a vast selection of high-quality products that are easy to install and built to perform for years to come. And with a full assortment of in-stock items ready for same-day shipping, it’s no wonder contractors everywhere rely on T&S when it matters most.

Visit tsbrass.com and learn more about how we’re partnering with contractors just like you. T&S plumbing products represented in Maryland by: Repsource Midatlantic - 804-550-0025 TSB_0592 2015 PHCC Pubs.indd 6

10:44 AM Winter 2016 | Maryland PHCC 12/18/14 Contractor [7]


By Mark Riso Director of Government Relations PHCC National Association

Congress Ends First Half of 114th Congress With Positive Momentum

W

hen Congress adjourned for the holiday a few weeks ago, they did something that I haven’t seen in years…they passed a responsible federal budget. Congress passed (and the President signed) a budget that should begin to make people more confident in the budget system on Capitol Hill…and getting back to the way Congress used to conduct its business – let me explain. In theory – Congress must pass a budget (“appropriation”) for each federal agency (ie: the Department of Labor – the Department of Energy – the Environmental Protection Agency – etc). Years ago – the House and Senate would go through pain staking efforts to review, consider, amend, and pass each appropriation, following action by each respective authorizing committee – though tedious, it was the right way to responsibly work on budgets. In the last few years however, Congress has gotten away from that practice – passing stop gap budgets (“Continuing Resolutions”), in order to meet their budget obligations. This was done because issues (policy) tied to various appropriations would slow down consideration – leading to government shutdowns (or the threat of a shutdown). The “Omnibus” budget passed by Congress (and especially the way they passed it) will absolutely take the pressure off the budget cycle in the future and 2016 will be a much smoother budget year. The budget that passed in December, 2015 brings Congress back to what Congress used to do, the way they used to do it, and what they should do. Specifically – Congress is getting back to order. That said – we (PHCC) had a few issues in play contained within the budget that was passed – 1. 179 - Essentially, Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. That means that if you buy (or lease) a piece of qualifying equipment, you can deduct the FULL [8]

Maryland PHCC Contractor | Winter 2016

PURCHASE PRICE from your gross income. Although large businesses also benefit from Section 179, the original target of this legislation was much needed tax relief for small businesses. This provision within the tax code was only temporary and Congress kept extending the section – which made it impossible for a business to anticipate what it needed to do. The budget package makes this provision permanent. PHCC Chapters and members should be proud to have been part of making Section 179 permanent and for all the grassroots support last year. 2. 179D (not to be confused with 179) - The “Energy Efficient Commercial Building Deduction,” included in the IRS code is Section 179D. Enacted as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, this provision encourages building owners to increase energy efficiency in new and remodeled buildings by providing an immediate tax deduction for costs incurred which increase the energy efficiency of a building. Those costs would otherwise be generally depreciated over 27.5 or 39 years. Please note, this is a deduction, not a credit. This provision was extended for two years (one year retrospective for 2015 and one year prospective for 2016). 3. Perkins Act – though there were many attempts to cut educational programs in the budget – the Perkins Act was restored and received “level funding” which in essence restores the national programs original levels. PHCC will continue to fight for increased funding – but for now – this is a victory. Nobody on Capitol Hill got exactly what they wanted – but everyone got something. In other words – it was a budget designed with a foundation of compromise. Which is what policy development is all about.


SO WE CREATED ONE FOR YOUR HANDHELD. At Charlotte Pipe, we use the latest technology to ensure you get what you need, when you need it. Our newest innovation is our Tech Tools app, featuring a toolbox with an expansion and contraction calculator, a temperature de-rating calculator and more. It’s a nice addition to the online technology we’ve been offering our customers for years. Like real-time inventory updates, order confirmation and shipment notification, and up-to-date scheduling information. We’re giving you the resources you need to get the job done right and on time. That’s been our system of doing things for over a century. And it’s a system that simply can’t be beat.

YOU CAN’T BEAT THE SYSTEM.®

Scan to download your free Tech Tools app. Winter 2016 | Maryland PHCC Contractor

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Finding the Right

INCENTIVES Prepared for the PHCC Educational Foundation by TPO, Inc.

I

ncentives can be a boon for your company. If they are tied to company goals and are designed and delivered effectively, they can increase company success, as well as employee satisfaction and retention.  Good incentive programs encourage the employee behaviors you want; bad programs can do more harm than good.  Incentive program design and implementation is serious business, and requires time and effort.  This article outlines planning process considerations and offers suggestions from a couple of experts.  Beth A. Dobkin, a business coach with Quality Service Contractors, and Lawrence Snow, president of Valley Plumbing and Drain Cleaning, provided key insights into implementing incentive programs that can motivate employees and help you reach business goals.

TIPS FOR DESIGNING AN INCENTIVE PROGRAM

There are a number of important considerations in designing an effective incentive program. 1. ESTABLISH AN ANNUAL SET OF CRITERIA THAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOUR BUSINESS, THEN IDENTIFY THE GOALS AND BEHAVIORS YOU WANT TO SUPPORT THROUGH THE INCENTIVE PROGRAM. Start by identifying behaviors that enhance the value of your business and support the achievement of established company goals. These are of the basis of your incentive program. It’s important that you establish goals and communicate them to your employees so that you end up rewarding the behaviors that support those goals. Dobkin emphasized that an incentive program must be connected to company culture – without a connection to a central belief system, there’s no employee buy-in.  [ 10 ]

Maryland PHCC Contractor | Winter 2016

for Your Employees

Also, without that clear connection, it’s easy to fall into the trap of supporting counter-productive behaviors. Dobkin gave the example of a plumbing company that promotes a customerfirst culture. If that company has an incentive program that conditions a bonus on increased sales – and only increased sales – that core value can be lost, because an employee may want to sell customers something they don’t need. That company could still create an incentive program that focuses on increased sales, but it could instead encourage employees to offer customers three potential choices, which would likely increase sales but also educate customers and give them more options. 2. DETERMINE SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE STANDARDS AND MEASUREMENTS. Dobkin highlighted the importance of establishing specific performance standards and measures—key performance indicators (KPIs)—for the desired employee behaviors.  She offered the following examples of KPIs: • • • • •

Reliability Home inspection completion rate Add-on sales percentage Efficiency rate Truck preparedness

3. CLEARLY COMMUNICATE THE PROGRAM TO EMPLOYEES, AND DO IT IN WRITING This involves first making clear the connection between the company’s goals and the incentive program. Dobkin stressed that there will be more employee buy-in if employees understand that connection. For example, if you want to promote premium customer service, communicate how


the encouraged behaviors benefit both customers and the company. Communicate the goals and rules of the incentive program in writing so everyone is officially aware, and both you and your employees are held accountable for following through. This will increase employee trust and performance under the program. 4. MAKE THE PROGRAM FAIR. Lawrence Snow said you must make the incentive program fair to everyone so both lower and higher performers have the opportunity to achieve something if they want work for it. His favorite incentive programs don’t have winners or losers, but rather focus on plateaus – so employees receive specific rewards for reaching each level of performance. You can keep a program fair by emphasizing individual targets. Dobkin said you can’t assume everyone has the same capabilities, similarly suggesting that employers base rewards on individual performance. She cited the example of conditioning a bonus on an employee accomplishing a specific percentage improvement over their past performance. For example, if the same benchmark of $30,000 in sales is used for all employees, those who haven’t ever reached $20,000 in sales previously will likely be discouraged and not commit to even attempting to reach that target. But if the goal is to increase individual sales by 5 or 10 percent, any employee can be in the running for a reward and will be encouraged to pursue it. 5. GET CREATIVE! Snow and Dobkin talked about the value of variety in rewards to keep employees engaged. Dobkin said the companies that are most successful with incentive programs switch things up continuously, for example, refocusing programs quarterly, or changing a portion of the program each month. Of course, it’s important to be transparent in communicating with your employees each time you tweak an incentive program.  Dobkin talked about the exception to this rule: incentives that will always work well, based on the profitability of the item being sold. For example, plumbing technicians might test the water while on job sites, and separate from original jobs, sell customers water treatment systems when hard water is discovered. Those sales are the right thing for both the customer and company. Incentives for such sales also represent a way for lower-achieving employees to receive a reward. 6. INTEGRATE SMALL, INCREMENTAL REWARDS. Dobkin and Snow both emphasized that short-term, smaller rewards are more effective than longer-term, larger rewards. Snow said that with a high performance threshold mandated for awarding a big vacation at the end of the year, the same employees might always win, so other employees would be discouraged from trying to reach that goal. Dobkin said

employees want immediate gratification and the end of a year is too far away. You want the incentives to be fresh in your employees’ minds. 7. MAKE SURE THE INCENTIVE PROGRAM HAS SPECIFIC THRESHOLDS BEFORE EMPLOYEES ARE IN THE RUNNING FOR THE INCENTIVE. Dobkin said that it’s necessary to set a base level of KPIs for employees to qualify for the incentive program, and then you can set further performance goals. That way, an employee who is rewarded does the basic job correctly and then goes above and beyond. For example, for employees to qualify for a $500 bonus for increasing sales, they must be on time to work, must have a specific close percentage on jobs, and can have no more than one call back. If employees meet those three qualifiers, they can be in the running for the bonus. 8. SHARE RESULTS, AND DO SO FREQUENTLY. Post results so everyone knows how they are doing at all times, and has the chance to improve their standing. Snow suggested using technology – employees could be involved in a text messaging group, for example, and you could send out a text when an employee hits a target. He also mentioned that time cards could be color coded to reflect how well employees are meeting their targets.  Snow suggested if possible, hold weekly meetings to share success and address opportunities, augmenting meetings by posting results on a whiteboard, updating where different employees stand. If you don’t follow up with employees consistently, they won’t reach targets because they’ll forget about the program.  Dobkin likewise talked about the importance of sharing results so that employees know where they stand, can encourage one another, and are motivated to improve. This results tracking is also crucial for managers, who need to be aware of what employees are accomplishing so they can coach and provide resources and support. 9. KEEP YOUR COMMITMENTS. You’ve clearly communicated the program to your employees, so don’t go back on that commitment. Dobkin said employers should set the bar at the beginning of the program, and stick to the benchmarks, otherwise employees will be defeated before they even start. There is a history of distrust of employers regarding incentive programs, because they often don’t communicate the programs well, or are perceived not to follow the program rules. Since part of the goal of incentive programs is to increase employee satisfaction and retention, that’s counterproductive. Remember to do the following when designing and delivering incentive programs: • Make sure you encourage the right behaviors • Keep differing employee capabilities in mind • Connect the program to your company’s culture and Winter 2016 | Maryland PHCC Contractor

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• • •

communicate that connection Make the goals and rules clear (and write them down) Measure results precisely Frequently present the results to employees

Do this and you’re more likely to create an incentive program that accomplishes the objectives, cited by Dobkin: promoting company culture, reinforcing employee performance standards, supporting business growth, and encouraging the entire team to succeed!

This content was developed for the PHCC Educational Foundation by TPO, Inc. (www.tpo-inc.com). Please consult your HR professional or attorney for further advice, as laws may differ in each state. Laws continue to evolve; the information presented is as of July 2016. Any omission or inclusion of incorrect data is unintentional. Please note this article is not intended to provide legal advice or to substitute for supervisor employment law training. The PHCC Educational Foundation, a partnership of contractors, manufacturers and wholesalers was founded in 1987 to serve the plumbing-heating-cooling industry by preparing contractors and their employees to meet the challenges of a constantly changing marketplace. If you found this article helpful, please consider supporting the Foundation by making a contribution at http://www. phccfoundation.org

TechnoForce e-HV The e-HV utilizes Xylem’s industry leading Hydrovar motor mounted variable frequency drive to provide multi-master variable speed pressure boosting for a variety of applications: Pre-engineered and fabricated packaged booster systems designed to transfer and increase the pressure of clean water.

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Maryland PHCC Contractor | Winter 2016

• Hospitals • Schools • Public Buildings • Industrial and Plant • Hotels, Inns and Resorts • Condominiums & Apartments • Sports Facilities • Main water systems • Rural Water


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Only if you have the Ion Solution can you really be fully protected. Call your Ion Solution Certified Installer today or find one online at www.ionproducts.net.

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Our most recognizable battery backup power source. Features include easy to read LCD screen for real time monitoring, alarm contact for remote monitoring and notification, solar & wind inputs for battery charging, improved charging circuit and high inrush capability.

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Our fully automatic auxiliary power source system that provides 51 GPM at 10' of TDH. This system comes with a ⅓ HP primary pump, Ion+ high water alarm/switch, power inverter with LED screen and battery box.

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Maryland PHCC Contractor | Winter 2016


Winter 2016 | Maryland PHCC Contractor

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Maryland PHCC Contractor | Winter 2016


Travel SAFETY TIPS B usiness travel can be stressful. Why make it more so by setting yourself up as a target for crooks? Here’s what you can do – at the airport, on the road and at your hotel to improve the chances you’ll return home safely.

AT THE AIRPORT • • • • • •

Don’t let anyone but uniformed airline personnel handle your bags. Stay especially alert and watch your bags and laptop computer carefully at all times. Watch out for staged mishaps, like someone bumping into you or spilling a drink. Often it’s a ploy to divert your attention. Carry your purse close to your body, or your wallet in an inside front pocket. Better yet, wear a money pouch under your clothes. Keep a separate record of the contents of checked luggage. And keep anything of value in a carry-on that stays with you. Avoid displaying expensive cameras, jewelry, and luggage that might draw attention. Your aim should be to blend in with the crowd.

ON THE ROAD • •

• • • • • •

Become familiar with your travel route before you start. Get a map and study it. Make sure your rental car is in good operating condition. Learn how to operate all windows, door locks, and other equipment before you leave the lot. Keep your maps and rental agreement concealed, not lying on the seat or the dashboard. Have keys ready when approaching your car. Keep car doors locked while you are driving. Park in well-lit areas only, close to building entrances and walkways. Check the back seat and floors before you get in. If you are bumped by another car, think before you get out. If you are in doubt or uncomfortable, signal the other driver to follow you to a nearby police station or a busy, well-lighted area where it’s safe to get out.

AT THE HOTEL • • • • • • •

Insist that hotel personnel write down your assigned room number so others can’t see or hear it. Never leave luggage unattended. Keep all hotel doors and windows locked, and use all door locks. Learn the location of fire exits, elevators, and public phones in case of emergency. Make sure your room has an indoor viewer and a dead bolt lock. Keep valuables-jewelry, cash, etc. in the hotel safe. Better still; leave jewelry in a safe at home. Ask hotel staff about the safety of the neighborhood and what areas to avoid.

• •

Before taking a cab, ask the staff about directions and estimated costs. Always verify who’s at your door. Don’t open the door to someone you don’t know. If an unexpected visitor claims to be a hotel employee, call the front desk to make sure. Don’t display room keys in public or leave them on the restaurant tables, at the swimming pool, or in other places where they can easily be stolen. If you lose the plastic key card to your room, insist on a new-keyed card.

Crime can be random, but there’s a lot you can do to limit your chances of becoming a victim. Often simply being aware of the threat of crime – and alert to what you can do to prevent it – will go a long way to making your business trip both safe and successful. Quality Service Contractors– An Enhanced Service Group of PHCC 180 S Washington St, Falls Church, VA 22046, USA Phone: (800) 533-7694, Outside USA: (703) 2378100, Fax: (703) 237-7442 Visit our website www.qsc-phcc.org Winter 2016 | Maryland PHCC Contractor

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Where to buy Taco in Maryland

Maryland Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors, Inc. 10176 Baltimore National Pike, Suite 205 Ellicott City, MD 21042 (410) 461-5977 (410) 750-2507 fax e-mail: phccmd@aol.com

HELP WANTED! Maryland PHC Education Council are now accepting applications for Instructors to teach in our Plumbing Apprenticeship program. Course information: Classes are held September through April, two evenings a week from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 55 sessions, 165 hours per year. The curriculum covers Related Theory Instruction, Trade Mathematics, and more. Instructors receive all Books needed to teach the course including a CD for Instructors with course highlights, test questions and answers for each chapter in the book. Positions open for 4th year Instructors at the Center of Applied Technology, North in Severn, MD and at the Essex Community College in Baltimore, MD. Qualifications:

To find your nearest Maryland supply house for Taco Comfort Products, call the main numbers listed below or visit the suppliers’ websites. R.E. Michel 410-685-8371 / www.remichel.com Thomas Somerville 310-390-9575 / www.tsomerville.com Northeastern Supply 410-574-0010 / www.northeastern.com Ferguson 410-540-2800 / www.ferguson.com McArdle & Walsh 410-252-8700 / www.mcardlewalsh.com Southern Utilities 301-589-2885 / www.southernutilitiesco.com Winsupply (to include Noland locations) 301-386-7771 / winsupplyinc.com Schumacher & Siler 410-561-2461 / www.schumacherseiler.com

● Master Plumber, Master Inspector of Journey Plumber. ● Four year trade experience is acceptable, yet a minimum of six years is preferred. ● Prior teaching experience preferred, but not required. For additional information and/or applications contact the PHCC office (410) 461-5977 or visit us on line PHCCMD@ aol.com. Resumes may be faxed to (410) 750-2507 or via e-mail PHCCMD@aol.com. [ 20 ]

Maryland PHCC Contractor | Winter 2016

Taco Comfort Solutions products are proudly represented in Maryland by N.H. Yates & Co. of Cockeysville.

www.TacoComfort.com


VR3452

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Bring high efficiency to every job with the new 00e™ Series Introducing the new 00e Series ECM high-efficiency family of circulators, engineered with the same reliability that’s made Taco famous. The 007e™. Install it, forget it.™ – The successor to the 007 – SureStart™ automatic unblocking and air purging – BIO Barrier® protection against system contaminants The VR1816 for more control – Infinitely variable fixed speed and six pressure presets – SureStart™ and BIO Barrier®

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Font taco slant is 202.5˚ off of Myriad Bold

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SMART HIRING

Prepared for the PHCC Educational Foundation by TPO, Inc.

H

iring isn’t only about finding someone with the right skills for your business. Small business owners need to be thorough in each step of the hiring process for several reasons. It’s expensive to pay out salary and benefits, and if someone isn’t a good fit for the company and leaves, you’ll need to dedicate time and resources all over again to finding the right person. Also, because there are fewer employees in a small business, a new hire can have a bigger effect on company culture and the bottom line – for better or worse – and it can be more difficult to cover for an employee who leaves. On the other hand, a great employee can help advance your company and boost morale. Here are some tips that can help you optimize hiring. MAKE TIME FOR HIRING Devote time to all aspects of the hiring process because down the line a good hire can reward your hard work. Make time to determine the type of person you’re looking for; lay out the job description; explore resources for advertising and recruitment; identify mismatches; progress with qualified candidates; and fill in gaps with contract employees as needed. Avoid the temptation to fill a job just to fill a job.  This can be difficult if you have a pressing need and your employees are shouldering the responsibilities that will belong to someone else.  Keep in mind that you’ll most likely have to go through the process all over again much sooner – and will have taken some blows to morale and productivity – if you hire the wrong person.  Be transparent and explain to your employees why you’re being deliberate. STAY ACTIVE IN NETWORKING You should always be networking and on the lookout for talent – even when you aren’t looking to fill a position – because [ 22 ]

Maryland PHCC Contractor | Winter 2016

who knows when you’ll need to hire someone. Here are a few networking ideas: •

Make and update a list of talented people in your industry and compile their contact information. Explore whether they’re looking for a new position or company.

Contact people with whom you have relationships. Often you can get referrals this way and signal that you have a need.

Look at trade schools. These can be great resources for candidates who are already interested in your industry and stand out, and you can incorporate them into your culture from the start.

Form relationships with those trade schools. Do more than post on job boards. Get to know career counselors at local schools because then they’ll be more likely to refer good candidates for your company when you have a need. If possible, hire interns or host lunches for students; career counselors and those students will get even more of a look at your company and come away with a good impression.

Consider Employee Referrals. One of your existing employees might know some good candidates in your industry. The employee would already be familiar with your company culture so would have a good idea of who would fit in. The employee probably also wouldn’t want to look bad by recommending someone who lacks the skills to keep up or who wouldn’t be a good fit. It could therefore be a good idea to offer a bonus for employee referrals if the referred candidate is hired, if possible.


MAKE THE MOST OUT OF THE INTERVIEW You’re trying to find an employee who will both increase productivity and embrace your company’s culture. Therefore, analyzing a candidate’s fit via interview is a crucial part of the hiring process. Here are some suggestions: •

Conduct multiple interviews with the same candidate. Do this when possible so that you get the best idea of his or her skills and personality.

Show the candidate around the company. The candidate will be able to see whether he or she will fit in, and you can get a sense of the candidate’s fit with your employees as well.

Have the candidate shadow an employee for a few hours. This will give you an even deeper sense of the candidate’s fit in terms of both skills and personality.

Ask open-ended questions. The candidate will more likely give you a fuller picture of motivation, values, and ability to deal with problems.

Here are some areas to consider in structuring your openended interview questions: •

the candidate’s ability to handle and embrace adversity;

the candidate’s personality;

the candidate’s enthusiasm about the job and company;

the candidate’s motivation to contribute and grow as a professional;

lessons the candidate has learned in his or her professional life;

situations in which the candidate has overcome obstacles; and

the candidate’s top accomplishments.

COMMUNICATE YOUR COMPANY’S CULTURE Remember that picking someone who doesn’t fit in with your company’s culture can hurt morale and productivity. You can teach new hires skills, but you can’t change their values and personalities. Here are some tips for hiring the right person in this regard:  •

Define your company’s culture, if you haven’t done so already. By laying out the values and mission you most want to emphasize in hiring, you’ll be more likely to clearly communicate them to a candidate and get of sense of whether the candidate will embrace them.

Ask employees why they like working for your company. You’ll be better able to sell your company’s culture if you know what about it helps your employees succeed.

Include employees in the process. Whether this is through having them be part of the interview, asking them to allow a candidate to shadow them, or introducing the candidate to them, your employees might see something you don’t and can help you judge whether someone will gel with your culture. Also, your employees will see how dedicated you are to hiring the right person.

Communicate the culture. Hiring is a two-way street. Make sure to emphasize to candidates what makes your company great and that you’ll support them in helping to promote its mission and values.

SET EXPECTATIONS Just like with your company culture, make sure you define and clearly communicate the roles and responsibilities of the position, from drafting the job description through interviewing the candidate (and through onboarding, of course). You’ll be more likely to identify the best candidates, and you’ll attract candidates who are better set up for success. Similarly, be transparent about the challenges of open positions in the interview process so that the candidates can assess whether they are ready to handle any obstacles and will be more likely to succeed if you hire them. Following these strategies to find the right people can be time-consuming and work-intensive. But by identifying and hiring the right candidates, you’ll develop a strong company culture and see the best results.   This content was developed for the PHCC Educational Foundation by TPO, Inc. (www.tpo-inc.com). Please consult your HR professional or attorney for further advice, as laws may differ in each state. Laws continue to evolve; the information presented is as of August 2016. Any omission or inclusion of incorrect data is unintentional. Please note this article is not intended to provide legal advice or to substitute for supervisor employment law training. The PHCC Educational Foundation, a partnership of contractors, manufacturers and wholesalers was founded in 1987 to serve the plumbing-heating-cooling industry by preparing contractors and their employees to meet the challenges of a constantly changing marketplace. If you found this article helpful, please consider supporting the Foundation by making a contribution at http:// www.phccfoundation.org. 

Winter 2016 | Maryland PHCC Contractor

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Maryland PHCC Contractor | Winter 2016


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