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A growing emphasis on technology and customer experience requires a team of well-trained and dedicated employees to set your dealership apart from the competition. But attracting and retaining highly skilled automotive service technicians is easier said than done.
Here are five effective ways to expand your team of automotive technicians and build a culture that nurtures their loyalty and longevity.
How to Attract and Retain Service Techs at Your Store
Reshape the Image of Automotive Technicians
Start by dispelling the stereotypes: one of the main deterrents for young professionals considering a career in the automotive industry is the negative image often associated with automotive technicians. The media and popular culture have long portrayed service technicians as uneducated and covered in grease, working in dirty service bays for meager wages. As a modern dealership, it’s your responsibility to change this narrative and present the exciting and technologically advanced nature of the profession.
Those advancements include digital tools that streamline processes and make the job of an automotive technician more like an engineer. And with vehicles becoming more sophisticated every year, technicians now require strong technical know-how and problem-solving skills that cater to the latest vehicle safety systems and connected car technologies. Emphasize these aspects in your recruitment efforts to appeal to younger, tech-savvy professionals.
In a time where attracting and retaining the employees is increasingly difficult, it’s also important to showcase the competitive pay and job security associated with automotive technicians. Make sure potential hires are aware of the financial and job security benefits associated with the profession—and be sure to highlight benefits and opportunities specific to your store as well. Not only is it tough building a solid workforce, but you’re also competing with car dealerships and aftermarket shops recruiting nearby.
Shed Light on the Onboarding Process
Increasingly complex vehicles require increasingly complex training to get up to speed. Avoid this potential deterrent by addressing your onboarding up-front and offering a user-friendly software platform that minimizes the learning curve. By making the technological aspect of the job as simple as possible, new hires can focus on diagnosing and repairing vehicles instead of struggling with complicated software.
Your onboarding processes should provide new hires with comprehensive training programs that cover both the technical and customer service aspects of their role. That way they feel confident in their abilities and can hit the ground running at your dealership. This isn’t something you and your team must do alone. Along with a simple onboarding software and program, it’s also wise to partner with local schools or technical colleges to offer apprenticeship programs and create a pipeline of skilled technicians for your dealership.
Present Your Store as the Go-To Dealership to Work
The best way to get the word out about your dealership is to offer a strong presence both in your community and online. Build relationships with educational institutions by participating in career days and job fairs at local high schools, community colleges, and technical schools. Here, not only can you offer introductory programs, but you can also present a brand that resonates with others. Satisfied technicians are more likely to recommend your dealership as a great place to work, which increases trust and credibility with potential hires.
Word-of-mouth drives interest in your service department, but it’s important to bring that advocacy online as well. A strong social media presence can help your dealership connect with potential hires and showcase your commitment to employee satisfaction. Share updates on company events, employee achievements, and available job opportunities to increase visibility and engagement.
Create a Supportive Work Environment
A clean, well-organized shop goes a long way. Not only does it create a more pleasant working environment, but it also helps to dispel the outdated image of dirty, greasy service bays. Invest in regular maintenance and cleaning, and provide your technicians with the necessary tools and equipment to easily keep their workspaces organized.
Don’t be afraid to showcase what makes your dealership unique. Competitive benefits packages, including health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off, can help attract and retain top talent. It’s also important to promote amenities for your technicians, like a comfortable break room, showers, snacks, and entertainment options like TV and video games. These perks can go a long way in making your dealership a thoughtful place to work.
Aside from a clean shop, competitive packages, and standout amenities, give employees opportunities to further their education and professional development so they have even more reason to keep working for your business. In-house training, online, or external courses can help your team specialize in certain areas of service or move to other departments in your store. For example, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) offers industry certifications tailor-made for your techs.
Foster a Collaborative and Inclusive Culture
Just as with any employee, automotive technicians can benefit from regular feedback on their performance. It helps them identify areas of improvement and feel valued for their contributions. Plus, it breaks down any potential barriers or hesitations around these conversations when facilitated regularly.
A positive work environment that encourages collaboration and inclusivity across teams significantly improves employee satisfaction and retention rates—and it helps each individual feel comfortable sharing both accomplishments and concerns. By creating a safe space to do this, management will also have a chance to address those concerns sooner rather than later. Act on their feedback and make any necessary improvements to your policies and procedures to demonstrate your commitment to their well-being and satisfaction, as well as your dealership’s ongoing success.
Attracting and Retaining Skilled Automotive Technicians is Essential for Your Business
By changing the image of the profession, simplifying the onboarding process, promoting your store’s differentiators, creating a supportive work environment, and maximizing collaboration and inclusivity, you’ll create a stronger workforce and more profitable dealership.
To help simplify the hiring process and set your store apart from competitors, contact us today. From seamless software to technological advancements that drive appeal for both new hires and customers, we’re here for you.
All | February 08, 2024