We help a lot of dealerships across the country attract and retain service customers, but many of our dealership partners are currently facing another challenge too: attracting and retaining quality auto technicians.
As the industry continues to experience a severe shortage of auto technicians, an issue which doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon according to a 2020 Tech Force report, service departments are faced with the seemingly insurmountable task of filling vacancies to serve vehicles.
In fact, according to that same report, “Although demand is strong, with 642,000 auto/diesel/collision techs needed between 2020 and 2024, the shortage continues to worsen.”
And while efficiency and scheduling have been proven to help service departments to some degree, the fact remains the same: we need more auto technicians.
Prepare for the 5 make-or-break moments that can cause service customers to start going elsewhere.
How do you solve this seemingly impossible puzzle? While we may not have a crystal ball, we do have a few crystal-clear insights to help you find and hire your next auto tech.
10 Tactics to Finding and Hiring Technicians
Ready to start hiring? These 10 tactics will help you find, hire, and retain your top talent. Keeping your service bays filled, with cars and the technicians trained to service them.
Improving Recruitment and Awareness
First things first, if you want to hire the right people, the right people have to know you’re hiring. Getting the word out will drive demand for your job listings and broaden your candidate pool now and in the future.
- Partner with Local Training Programs/Vocational Schools
The NADA Foundation has created a national repository of training programs and vocational schools for new technicians looking to enter the industry. Partner with the existing programs in your area to open the door for new technicians to find the right opportunity with your dealership.
- Use the Job Boards
Indeed or Monster may be your first thought when you heard the words “Job Board” but don’t forget about industry-specific job boards as well. Posting your jobs there will ensure the right people are seeing your listings. Some automotive job boards include:
- Host In-Person or Virtual Events
Recruiting events are a great way to engage a large number of potential hires. Make sure you are advertising your event with local training programs, through your social media, and on your website for the best turnout.
- Leverage Your Technicians’ Networks
Chances are, your existing technicians know other technicians in the industry. Leverage their networks to get the word out that you’re hiring and find qualified individuals faster.
Bonus tip: Include a referral bonus for your existing technicians to incentivize your team and really get this program up and running.
- Differentiate Your Service Department
Make it clear what differentiates your service department from others, whether it’s a stellar training program or an extremely loyal customer base. Highlighting the benefits and advantages of your service department will not only attract the kind of talented technicians you’re looking for but keep them around long term.
Creating the Right Employee Experience
The industry-wide technician shortage has given auto technicians the upper hand in the recruitment and hiring process – making employee experience a critical factor for technicians who are on the job hunt and even those who may seem happily employed. Get ahead of the curve and implement some of these best practices to draw attention and interest to your dealership while simultaneously keeping your best technicians happy.
- Simplify the Interview Process
The employee experience starts with the interview, which means you need to make a great first impression if you want to win out over the other 10 dealerships a candidate may be considering.
- Do Your Job Market Research
This can be especially helpful in determining fair market salary and other employee benefits. Making your employee compensation package competitive will be the difference between a great technician accepting your offer or passing for another dealership or repair shop.
- Create a Mentorship Program
Not every new hire will be a superstar out of the gate. And even some of your more experienced technicians could stand to improve a specific set of skills or techniques. Creating a mentorship program allows your tenured technicians to pass down their knowledge and know-how to the new generation.
- Send Your Technicians Back to School
Want to make sure your entire team is top of their game? Send your technicians back to school or start your own training program. Not only will this ensure your technicians can offer the services your customers are requesting, but when technicians feel like you are invested in them, they become invested in you.
- Equip Your Team with the Latest Technology and Equipment
In any career it can be difficult to do your job without the right equipment, but even more so in the automotive industry. If your department isn’t spending the money to arm your team with the necessary technology and equipment, they may be more inclined to look for another dealership who will.
The supply and demand of auto technicians has created an extremely competitive market which has left many service departments wondering which direction to turn. But with these simple tactics, your next hire could be right around the corner.
Master These Moments to Keep Your Customers
Discover the 5 critical moments causing customers to abandon your dealership service department, and how you can overcome them.