If you were in charge of hiring a Field Service Technician, what do you think you would look for in a candidate? Do you think you would be more inclined to hire someone with a technical background? Most people would probably say yes to that question. But what about the OTHER aspects of the job that are often ignored or forgotten about? After all, it’s rather difficult to find a job applicant who has the exact technical experience necessary to jump right in and start installing dishes and troubleshooting problems.
So now you are probably asking yourself, “If that’s the case, what should I be looking for?”
Well, after a thorough job analysis and successful validation study of Field Service Technicians, FurstPerson has determined that the Field Service Technician role is far more complex than traditionally thought. Below are what we have found to be some of the most critical competencies necessary to be a successful Field Service Technician.
Resourcefulness. Not every situation is the same. Every time a technician goes into to a new house they may encounter something new. Each situation is unique. If a technician counts on being able to follow a script or standard checklist, he/she is in for a surprise. The most successful technicians are those who are able to find new and creative ways to solve problems, and demonstrate the resourcefulness to figure out viable solutions to problems they’ve never encountered before.
Flexibility. There are several parts to flexibility. A successful technician must be flexible enough to adapt to varying situations, schedules, and people. During their shift a technician never knows what or who they will encounter. A technician will meet and interact with individuals of all demographics and of varying personalities throughout their day. In order to be successful, the technician must have what we like to call interpersonal flexibility. They also need to be comfortable with having their schedule constantly altered and changed throughout the day. It is not unusual for a technician to have additional calls added to their route throughout their shift or for certain calls to take longer than expected, thereby changing the rest of their day.
Energy. This is a fast paced job with long hours. A technician must be able to do his/her job quickly and effectively without fading after working for 8 – 10 hours or sometimes longer. And that’s not all; they must also maintain a high level of task focus. It’s not only about how quickly they can get the job done, but also whether the job gets done correctly. A technician who is fast but does not adequately resolve the issue (i.e., the customer has to call back in with the same problem) is not considered to be successful.
Multi-Tasking. This is really a combination of some of the above. A truly successful technician is able to balance being personable and interpersonally flexible while at the same time staying focused on the technical job and getting things resolved quickly and accurately. It’s a balancing act that the top performers have perfected.
As you can see, this position isn’t just about the nuts and the bolts. It’s not just about the mechanical ability or technical experience. That is not to say that having mechanical or technical aptitude isn’t helpful, but the key lesson learned is that a successful Field Service Technician has a more complete skill set.
There is one more piece of the puzzle that is not mentioned above, and that is the mental “horse power” to learn the technical aspects of the job during training (after hire and throughout their career). This can be easily assessed prior to hiring any applicant. In fact, all of these traits can be easily assessed during the selection process, and with the right assessments in place you’ll be hiring the best of the best and seeing performance increase as a result.