Auto body shop owners are all too familiar with the problem of finding and hiring young automotive technicians. Back in 2012, USA Today stated that the industry faced a shortage of skilled mechanics.
However, with the right strategies and approach to finding and hiring young talent, you can rest assured knowing that your shop won't be shorthanded.
Acknowledge the audience
An essential aspect of optimizing an auto body shop's operations is hiring and retaining new workers who will be part of the workforce for many years to come. Despite the challenges that you may have faced in finding young adults who have a vested interest in the industry, there are many ways that you can seek out and secure talented individuals.
In previous decades before modern automotive technology was widely available, many kids grew up fixing cars with their parents or grandparents. However, these instances have decreased over time as cars have grown more advanced, requiring more specialized maintenance. Additionally, young adults may not be as interested in the work as they are with information technology, Web design and other ultra-modern industries.
As an auto shop owner, you know how high-tech the industry has gotten. Between car code readers and troubleshooting aided by various computers, it's a very modern job that requires tech-savvy individuals. Therefore, promoting this image is an important part of attracting young people's attention.
Know where to look
Finding skilled young employees may no longer be a matter of posting an advertisement and waiting for resumes and cover letters. It may require a more proactive approach, in which case you have to plan out your strategy.
1. Volunteer at technical schools: Taking a few hours every week to volunteer at a community technical school will allow you to scope out prospective new employees while establishing a relationship with them. This way, if they have any hesitations about reaching out for future employment or simply want to reiterate their genuine interest, they'll feel comfortable doing so. It's also a great opportunity for you to speak about how the industry has changed over the years.
2. Market the industry: Reaching out to a young audience may be a matter of featuring an open house of sorts after hours. If your establishment has windows looking into the shop, you can invite people who are interested in the industry to drop by and learn more about automotive care as your technicians work on cars. Windows are the perfect opportunity for people to look in without placing themselves directly in the environment, which can be risky. Set up an educational workshop and advertise it in the local newspaper and on your website. This way, individuals who are considering getting an educational degree in automotive care may be swayed in favor of doing so.
3. Speak to your employees: There's no doubt that your employees have friends and family members who are interested in their line of work. These people may have expressed an interest in learning more about the industry, but may not be able to do so. After all, they can only learn so much at home and may not want to enter school just yet. See if your employees know anyone who's interested and invite him or her over for a day to learn about the various tasks that the technicians do and see whether he or she is still interested.
Finding and hiring new technicians might not be as simple as it used to be, but it doesn't have to be a challenge if you know what to do and where to look!
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