Every day I hear someone say, “If I could just find a few Technicians”…. That being said, lets take a deeper look at that statement. As I’ve professed many times, the Tech of today is just not the Tech of yesterday. What I mean is, at best they have to do twice the transactions they did 10 years ago just to break even. Now let’s toss in the fact that vehicles are now complex beyond comprehension, and you’ve just amplified the problem further. Then there’s the whole, Techs now have to be “On the Clock and At Work” much longer than before, just to survive.
These people are tired, frustrated, largely unsupported and burned out. So when you say “If I could just find a few Technicians”, remember your problem is far more complex than you realize or would freely admit. There are countless opportunities out their for these folks that Do Not Include; inhospitable work environments, over sensitive-constantly complaining customers, arrogant and often inadequate Service Advisors, poorly designed and managed dispatch systems, indifferent Parts associates, unbelievable schedule requirements, and lets not forget…the erosion of the average Technician’s compensation by our industry. Yet through all of that, they are expected to be grateful and worship their jobs.
Well, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but not only could you “Use a few more Technicians”, you’re about to need even more, because apathy and lack of action is going to kill off what little remains. So before you make the “I need Technicians” statement again, you better sincerely start doing something to keep the ones you have. How? Stop thinking they’ll be OK with a once in a blue moon $2 an hour Flat Rate increase. NOPE, not going to fix the problem! How about those crazy insane work schedules you expect them to honor? NOPE… you better come up with a better plan. How about they just sell some more “Snake Oil” to close the gap? NOPE, peddling reconstituted dead dinosaurs in a can isn’t going to supplement the loss or bridge the gap!
Ok, now that I’ve beat that dead horse enough, let’s circle back to the opening statement. Let’s say you already do, or are quite willing to provide a better place for your Technicians to prosper… What about attracting some “New Techs”? Don’t expect them to come running to your door if you’re known for being cheap, unappreciative, out of touch, and run a slave driving culture. And you better be prepared to pony up if you expect to attract anybody worth having. You’d better be willing to pay a Sign Up Bonus, or Relocation Allowance, -and- potentially be willing to provide a Tool Allowance, -and- Most Importantly, actually offer Real Compensation truly commensurate to what they bring to the table. If you intend on looking for a “Few Techs”, just remind yourself, contrary to popular belief, “YOU NEED THEM, THEY DO NOT NEED YOU!” And one more additional thought, if you hand out Bonuses and such to incoming candidates, you better have a reciprocate provisional plan in place for your existing workforce, or they will bolt! Hey, what’s fair is fair, right?
Oh you say, you’re going to “grow your own”, well good luck with that… Considering the work ethic of the individuals entering the workforce these days, you’d have better luck just recruiting from Starbucks. These people will “Ghost” a job at the drop of a hat and equally within 3 months feel they should be managing the place. It’s certainly possible to build a new Tech base, but it won’t happen overnight. Also, if you don’t have enough “B” level guys now, imagine where you’ll be when a few more of them drop off the radar while youre grooming the newbies. After all, you have to have a staff that can fix more than a sandwich!
You just need to realize, Technicians have options, they are being heavily recruited by the Aerospace Industry, Fleet Maintenance, Online Diagnostic Providers, Warranty Companies, Technology Providers, Independent Businesses, and more. Most of which offer Monday through Friday schedules with handsome Salary Based Compensation plans, and in some cases, allow their candidates to work from home. Are you prepared to compete?
Let me wrap this tirade up by leaving this little tidbit with you… It’s estimated that 22,000+ solid Technicians have retired or abandoned the workforce in the last 4 years. And if that number doesn’t shake you up, just take a look at the Indeed Post below. Yep, there are currently 47,823 jobs available for Technicians. Let’s say for those in Dealer World we weed out 50% as Independents looking for help, and another 10% are Others, you can rest assured there’s at least a solid 21,500 Tech positions available in that pool. Remember that first number I gave you, it would seem people much smarter than me are on to something. I would suggest you get on board with the obvious, because before you know it, if you don’t DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, you’ll be fixing cars yourself.
Automotive Technician Jobs, Employment | Indeed.com 47823 Automotive Technician jobs available on Indeed.com. Apply to, AutomotiveTechnician, Technician and more!
-Rick Fowler / Owner -Fixed Specifix / A Technician Management Cooperative