Tips for Hiring a Motivated, Trustworthy Field Service Engineer

This article on how to hire a field service engineer was written by Christine Juszczak, MBA, Recruitment Consultant and Owner of Key Recruitment Consulting.

When hiring crew members for your field service business, it may not always be easy to identify the most suitable candidates for your role. It is important to understand exactly what you are looking for in an engineer. Some key traits are knowledge, experience, and aptitude.

Even if a candidate has the requisite training and experience for the role, they may be lacking certain skills that are required to meet the daily demands of the job.

Particularly when hiring a field service engineer, two important aptitudes to hire for are motivation and trustworthiness. You send your engineers out into the field on their own, so it’s key that you hire individuals that you trust. It’s also important that your engineers are highly motivated to complete not only what is required of them, but are capable and willing to go above and beyond and support their team members.

To determine how to identify if the field service engineers you are considering for hire have the right level of trustworthiness and motivation, keep reading.

Assess Your Field Service Engineer Prospect Before the Interview

Before the interview begins, you can start assessing a field service engineer’s motivation and trustworthiness. There are three ways to do this.

The first is by screening their application. Has a candidate has shown career progression with current and former employers? This will show if they have gone above and beyond in their roles. If yes, their previous management took notice and awarded them with a promotion. Promotions are usually awarded to those who operate at higher levels, above and beyond the confines of their existing role.

The second method of determining drive and dependability in a candidate is through word of mouth. Chances are, in smaller communities and tight-knit industries, you likely know someone who has worked with your candidate. Give them a call and ask them a few questions regarding the engineer’s work ethic and how dependable they are.

Third, prior to bringing the engineer in for an interview, consider conducting a phone screen. Phone screens are short calls, anywhere from 10-20 minutes where you can pre-interview a candidate to determine if they are worth your time interviewing. Pre-screening is recommended particularly for roles where you have numerous candidates, and only enough time to interview 2 or 3 people.

Assess Motivation and Trustworthiness During the Interview

Your prospective new team member has made it to the interview. Now it’s crucial you ask the right questions to gain a comprehensive understanding of how dependable they are. Do not to disregard body language, as this can be telling as well. While trustworthy candidates should make consistent eye contact, don’t fret if they look away while recalling information. A motivated individual is likely to sit up straight as opposed to slouching.

Slouching gives off the impression that one is uninterested in the conversation, which shows lack of enthusiasm for the job itself. Below is a comprehensive list of questions you can ask to determine drive and reliability.

Can you tell me about a time that a task at work was not successful, and how you dealt with it?

The point of this question is to determine if the engineer can take responsibility for not only their successes but also their failures. Ask prompting questions to find out what the outcome was, and if they were able to do anything to fix or mitigate the situation. If a candidate is not motivated, they will see an unsuccessful task as something they have no control over. Motivated individuals take full responsibility for missteps and work hard to do what they can to remedy the situation.

Can you tell me about a time when you went above and beyond your required duties at work?

This is an essential question to assess whether a field service engineer has demonstrated initiative in their current and former jobs. To get the full picture, be sure to ask prompting questions such as, “Why did you do this?”, “What steps did you take to complete the extra tasks?” “What was the result?” “How did your manager respond?”

Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of work?

Once your candidate answers, be sure to prompt further. You want to identify why they like it, how much time they spend on it, and what they are doing to improve. For example, a candidate who spends time learning a foreign language or playing an instrument in their spare time is likely highly motivated. It takes patience and perseverance to learn and advance new skills. Someone who voluntarily takes time to do so is likely very driven.

Have you witnessed unethical behavior in the workplace? Did you decide to keep quiet or report it?

Asking this question can help you understand if a prospective hire is concerned with doing the right thing. The hope is that if the engineer witnesses something inappropriate in the workplace, they would speak up.

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Assess Motivation and Trustworthiness After the Interview

After the interview is over, it’s time to conduct a background check. It’s important to complete background checks to verify individuals have the credentials and education they claim to have.

It’s also very important to check references. Asking about a candidate’s work ethic and performance can help you identify if they are right for your role.

Ask “Can this person be trusted to effectively complete their tasks without reminding or prompting?” and “Did this person ever go beyond the scope of their role?”

Hearing feedback from former supervisors and colleagues will help paint a broader picture.

There is no perfect formula to finding the best candidates. Take the time to be more rigorous in your hiring process. It can help to identify field service engineers who have the right drive and dependability.

Want to learn more about field service software, and how it can help to manage your teams and grow your business? Book a free, private demo of Vonigo.