Amid the technician shortage, your existing technicians have become more valuable than ever. However, your service department operates best at full capacity so it’s important to have a strategy in place to recruit and retain the best talent. The first step is attracting the right technicians, from there you should have a framework established to keep them happy with their careers.
Top 5 Automotive Technician Recruiting Tips
Getting the right candidate through the door is the first step in building and maintaining a high-performing team of technicians.
1. Identify Your Ideal Candidate
Before you post a job ad, you want to think about who your ideal candidate is. As the industry changes, the candidate you may have been looking for 3 years ago can look vastly different now. Mapping out your “must have” qualifications going into the hiring process saves you time when combing through applications and avoids getting the wrong candidate through the door. Here are some questions to ask yourself about the ideal candidate:
- What is their background?
- What skills do they currently possess?
- What talents are missing in your service drive?
- What kind of personality will work well with customers and fit in with the technicians you already have?
2. Do Your Research
Once you have an idea of your ideal candidate, it is time to research the job market. Take a look at what other dealerships’ job listings include to give you an idea of what verbiage may or may not be useful when drafting yours. Expand your search out from just local dealerships to really get a solid idea of what other service departments are looking for!
3. Develop an Optimized Job Lead
An optimized job lead clearly explains the expectation of the role, qualifications, benefits, and compensation. Using a mixture of short paragraphs and bullet points allows for increased readability for humans and websites alike.
If you have a formal application on your dealership’s website, be sure to include instructions for candidates to go there and apply on your job lead.
4. Select the Proper Channels to Advertise
Once your job lead is written, you’ll want to list your job description across multiple platforms. This increases the chances of having the most amount of job seekers see your ad. Popular free platforms include LinkedIn, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter. Depending on your budget, you can post on industry specific websites including:
- Autojobs.com from $175.00 per post
- Automotive News from $399.00 per post
- Auto Job Central from $149.00 per post
A general rule of thumb for posting your job leads is to consider what times of day applicants will most likely be looking. According to data insights from Indeed, searches are highest from Monday through Wednesday, typically in the late morning and afternoon and waning off until around after dinnertime in the evenings. Job seekers tend to take weekends off. Keep this in mind when choosing to post your lead to get the most traction possible.
5. Monitor Applicants & Follow Up
After strategically posting your job lead, you’ll want to give candidates a few days to apply before combing through the first batch of applicants. For example, if you post on a Monday morning, waiting until Thursday to check out the applications will optimize the use of your time. Here are some tips you’ll want to consider:
- Prompt follow up with candidates will not only help to move along your hiring process, but it will also prevent losing out on their interest and potentially getting hired elsewhere.
- Follow up with qualified applicants within 3-4 days from your first posting to schedule interviews.
- Repeat the process until you’ve found viable candidates you want to hire.
- Most sites allow you to “pause” your job lead to allow you to stop receiving more applications while you conduct interviews.
Top 5 Automotive Technician Retention Tips
Once you get qualified new technicians in your service department, you want to keep those new hires around long term! These 5 tips will help you to retain new hires and increase the longevity of their tenure at your dealership.
1. Implement an Onboarding & Training Process
Regardless of the experience and skill level your new hire has, you want to make sure you are setting them up for success from day one. Having an onboarding and training process will help integrate them into your workplace culture.
Use this time to set the groundwork for the expectations you have for performance, customer interactions, scheduling, and more. While you likely discussed higher level details during the interview process, now is the time to confirm their understanding of what is expected.
2. Schedule 30, 60, & 90 Day Performance Reviews
Within the first 90 days of employment, you want to keep a close eye on the progress of your new staff. Scheduling reviews at the 30, 60, and 90 day mark will give both you and your staff the ability to keep a pulse on their progress and job satisfaction.
3. Provide Opportunities for Recognition & Growth
A large part of keeping your staff satisfied with their job is by providing opportunities for them to grow their careers. If you don’t already have a formal reward system to incentivize your staff, consider implementing one even with a small budget. Here are some ideas to think about:
- Celebrate employee milestones and work anniversaries
- Create a point system to earn things like gift cards or awards
- Implement an “Employee of the Month” program
- Develop a mentorship program to promote from within and grow new team members
4. Maintain Competitive Compensation
Offering competitive compensation for your employees requires you as an employer to evaluate and adjust salaries regularly. Even if your dealership can’t increase pay immediately, there are other ways to compensate your staff with bonuses and better benefits. All of these elements can maximize your employees overall satisfaction and increase their longevity with your dealership.
5. Offer Perks
Fun perks during the workday can make your workplace stand out to new hires and re-engage current staff while also boosting morale. Poll your employees to see what kind of perks they want, such as bi-monthly team lunches or flexible scheduling.
Implementing these tips into your service department will help you not only work through the technician shortage, but also build and improve the performance of your technicians for the future. Dynatron Software has the expert Coaches who have been on-the-drive training service technicians across thousands of dealerships across the country.
Every team benefits from a Coach and while you know your Service Department best, having outside expertise to assist always ends in better results. Through their experience, we have helped countless service departments improve the consistency of their technicians. Managing your Service Department is hard enough. You don’t need another vendor, you need a partner.