It’s getting harder and harder to attract technicians. We hear this from our customers all the time, so we decided to dig a little deeper into the problem. Our goal: to determine the source of the problem, so we could offer some suggestions on how to address it.
We found three major reasons that hiring is so difficult:
#1 – A study by tools manufacturer RIDGID in late 2014 found that only 6% of high school students hope to have a career in the skilled trades. That six percent has to be split between plumbing, HVAC repair, welding, and countless other skilled trade professions – along with all of the automotive repair facilities in the United States.
This is leading to a shortage in skilled automotive technicians entering the field. Worse, it’s indicative of a continuing challenge going forward, as older technicians retire and fewer young ones have an interest in replacing them.
#2 – Auto technicians are much more likely to be happy with their current job than most other people. A payscale study way back in 2008 found that auto technicians were ranked the 8th happiest employees, and many of the jobs with happier employees were jobs of passion, like Clergy, Professional Actors and Special Education Teachers. Even today, Auto Mechanics, on average, report being “very happy” with their jobs – much happier than most other employees.
This makes it difficult to attract great technicians to your shop. Difficult however, does not mean impossible. A previous post provides an infographic with suggestions on how to attract skilled technicians to your independent auto repair shop, and we’ll be covering these techniques more in future posts.
#3 According to a 2015 Manpower Group study, Skilled Trades Workers were the most difficult jobs to fill globally for the fourth year in a row. They were also the most difficult jobs to fill in the US. The second most difficult job to fill in the US was a technician role; these are defined as production/operations, engineering, and maintenance roles. Collectively, these two job types describe the type of person you’re looking to hire for your shop.
If you’ve been wondering if all shops are having the same problems as yours – unfortunately, they are. That makes it more important than ever that you’re giving your hiring efforts the time and energy they deserve. If you’re hiring, that’s probably because you’re short-staffed – that means you’re probably already working overtime just to keep things running. But it’s impossible to have a high-performing shop without great technicians. Just a few months of staff shortage can really damage your reputation, both to customers and prospective employees.
Stay tuned for more information on how to attract and hire great technicians, or email us at Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com and ask us for the link to our most recent webinar about the topic.