A tech walks into your office and hands you his two weeks notice. That’s never been a fun situation. And according to a recent survey, it’s getting a lot less fun with each passing day. Why? Because replacing that tech is harder than it’s been in years.
When dealership management—including general managers and service, parts and body managers—were asked about their largest challenge, nearly 60% said “recruiting techs.” That’s especially concerning when more than 35% of that management named fixed operations as the most important aspect of their dealership’s success. And more than 75% of managers said they would immediately hire at least two techs—if they could find them.
Fixed operations is very important to a shop’s success so it’s concerning that so many dealerships are having trouble with their recruitment. So what can you do to hire—and retain—the best techs possible? You could do dozens of things, but there are six actions you can take that are proven to help shops recruit successfully.
- Never stop interviewing. Work as hard as possible to keep a steady flow of candidates coming through your door. This is true even when you don’t have an open position. By networking with techs who are open to leaving their current positions, you’ll develop a good list of possibilities whenever you do need to hire.
- Pay well. You don’t need to have the best pay in your market, but you certainly don’t want to become known as a company that underpays their techs. Know the average salary in your area, as well as what kind of performance bonuses your competition hands out. Make adjustments to what you offer if necessary. If you find that you’re well under the salary average, you may even want to raise pay for your current employees to keep them from going somewhere else.
- Make connections with local schools. There’s probably a lot of talent right in your own background and finding them early will help you build the relationships with the techs that best fit your shop’s needs. Seek out the universities, colleges and vocational schools in your area and see how your shop can help provide a better learning experience for up-and-coming techs. Again, this positions you as a helpful resource in the community and with potential recruits.
- Pay for training. You want the best-trained techs you can find. But if you can’t find them, that means you have to train them yourself. While asking techs to pay for their own training and certification has worked in the past, you can set yourself apart by offering your most driven and motivated employees with paid training in their areas of interest.
- Keep your shop clean. The way you treat your shop says a lot about the way you treat your employees. No one wants to try to do their best work in an environment where that work doesn’t seem to matter. This is as much your employees’ responsibility as it is yours, but it’s your responsibility to set the rules—and follow them yourself.
- Upgrade your equipment. We’re not just saying that because we offer some of the industry’s best and most well-respected equipment, either. Like a clean shop, a shop with up-to-date equipment and technology tells techs that you take your job—and more importantly, their jobs—seriously and that you want them to be able to perform at the top of their game. Equipment matters. A lot. So, yeah, maybe you should take a look at the industry’s leading lifts and wheel service equipment. They’ll definitely make a difference in your productivity and revenue possibilities. And they could make the difference between not finding the right person and not being able to choose between several right people for only one open position.
To find the right lifts for your shop, check out our Lift Buyer's Guide.