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How to Recruit and Retain Better Mechanics in a Talent Drought?

Worker in uniform disassembles vehicle engine, car service station. Automobile checking and inspection, professional diagnostics and repair

The automotive industry is being touted as one of the fastest-growing industries over the past few years. There are many factors driving its growth; the foremost being the rise in sales of vehicles. But it takes a lot of effort for an auto repair shop to stay on top of the competition. For example, having a qualified and capable team of auto mechanics is critical for success. 

However, the real challenge is to recruit and retain capable automotive mechanics despite the ensuing talent drought. And we are here to help you do exactly that – assist you in drafting a foolproof hiring process especially if you are looking to hire a mechanicWhether you are looking to hire a super qualified automotive technician or just an entry-level technician for minor auto body repairs, our step-by-step guide will be a real help!


Understanding The Automotive Industry


Before you set out on the hunt to hire an auto mechanic, it’s important to understand the industry and how it is unraveling over time.  Auto mechanic jobs are increasingly becoming more technical with the advent of new technological advances. Gone are the days when you needed an auto mechanic to just slide under the car and do his magic.

In the present day, your auto mechanic needs to be a qualified individual who has technical expertise and also a progressive mindset. But unfortunately, the industry is experiencing a talent drought for mechanics and there is a clear automotive technician shortage.  

Experts in the industry have reported that the young and upcoming generation of automotive technicians lack the technical understanding, expertise and drive needed to make a repair shop thrive. This is one of the major reasons why hiring mechanics has become such a tough nut to crack. To keep up with the growing demand, it’s important to stay abreast with effective recruitment and retention strategies to help your business ride out the drought.

You also need to know that the automotive technician that you are looking for now has to be more capable than just performing ‘wrench work’. You also need to hire mechanics who are also tech-savvy because vehicle diagnostics are increasingly using technology.

So essentially, you will need to hire someone who’s savvy in terms of technical and digital skills! This makes the job search even harder. The number of vehicles on the roads is increasing by leaps and bounds; which is also causing the surge in demand for repair and maintenance services.


But now it’s time to get to the real question – how do you recruit and retain good mechanics?


What To Do While Looking To Hire A Mechanic


Building your team of technicians and mechanics will need much more than just a job posting on your website. To attract top talent, you will have to follow all the steps below.


1. Understand Your Target Talent Pool


You can’t just hire an automotive mechanic without understanding the target pool available. Nowadays, people are looking for much more than just decent pay in a job. And given that we have a restricted pool of capable mechanics, it’s best to run the hiring process just right. And to do that you will need to jump into the market and really understand what your target talent pool is looking for.  This will help you in drafting an attractive package that will help you in hiring and retaining them. 

The first step in understanding your job seekers is to group them into different categories. For example, there are marked differences between millennials and Gen Z.

Usually, millennials are looking for flexibility in a job while Gen Z is more inclined toward a long-term career path. But the common factor between the two types is their desire for transparency and authenticity. As a potential employer, you should be upfront about the job requirements and the culture at your company. Even if it is a tough job, it is best to let them know so they can decide accordingly.


2. Flash the Job Benefits and Perks


Do you know what’s the important component of a job description that really stands out for the job seekers? It’s the benefits and perks that your company has to offer!

Benefits and perks are particularly attractive for the younger generation. Especially after COVID-19, job seekers are increasingly looking for flexibility and other perks in a job description. The generation also values investment in human resources like ongoing technical training and support in achieving certifications in their field.

So make sure you add all of the fancy perks of working with you in the job ads! The talent pool will be eagerly looking for it. This is your chance to get a qualified automotive mechanic to apply to your company! Make sure you are flashing the real stuff.

You can even offer top-tier talent company paid ase testing or hands-on training with other automotive equipment especially to retain your best hires.


3. Network With The Community


It’s one thing to find and hire the right automotive mechanic for your shop but entirely another to build a whole pool of candidates through networking. And to do that you and your service managers really need to get in the field and network with the community.

This is really easy – you can connect with different target groups by hosting and attending events like career fairs, training or even visiting trade schools for guest speaker sessions! This will help you in building a solid network that you can tap into every time you have a hiring need. It also supports getting a decent amount of traffic on job ads.


4. Show off How Tech Savvy You Are 


If you are looking to close a journey-level automotive mechanic, it is recommended that you show off how technologically and digitally savvy your company is. 

Nowadays, applications and software have emerged as a replacement for service advisors. You can now perform essential functions for an automotive repair shop within minutes using specialized software, leaving behind the need for other mechanics.

However, the point here is to show off how technologically equipped your shop is. Most mechanics from this generation is interesting in interacting with companies that have the best and most up-to-date technology. This serves as a great incentive for their advancement as well.


5. Build A Good Workplace


If you are looking to shoot a job alert for a master technician, you should probably take a glance around your service bay area. How does it look? Do you think it looks like an attractive place to work, in your latest job alert? Do you have services for employees like wifi and a clean bathroom? 

Think about all these things before you head to an employment agency to get your hands on some new hires. Once you schedule interviews, your target talent will do a quick survey of the place to form an opinion about the ambiance and culture. Before you hire anyone, make sure you are fully equipped with a mechanic’s tool set, laptop, or anything that your new team members may need for the job. Set up a professional, safe and healthy environment for your technicians so they are tempted to stick around for a long time.


6. Keep Your Radar On 


Even if you don’t have immediate hiring needs and someone qualified walks into your shop looking for a job, don’t refuse. You never know when anyone from your team decides to ghost on you, at least you will have someone on your speed dial!

This way you also won’t have to spend money on advertising jobs on job boards – you can just easily give a call to your prospective hire and consider them for a mechanic role. 


7. Perform The Necessary Checks


So if you have already advertised vacancies on job boards, collected a handful of applications, and decided who to hire – this step is for you. 

It’s recommended to conduct thorough background checks for all people you have hired on open positions. This way, you will feasibly be able to spot any red flags.





The Best Strategies To Hire On Auto Mechanic Jobs


Recruitment strategies play a huge role in the success of a business. For instance, if you want to hire an auto mechanic, there are many factors to consider before you’ll ever hire the person, including personality, culture, salary, experience, references, availability, and trustworthiness. That being said, you also need to be mindful of the automotive labor rates

Recruiting is a process that you have to go through several times if you want to ensure that you’ll have a stable group of employees.

When you want to get new employees, you have to advertise for them. You can post job openings on job boards or in newspapers. 

Then you have to select a few applicants who have the qualifications you’re looking for and call them to schedule interviews. You have to meet with them and evaluate them on their skills and qualifications. 

You can also hire someone if you have a friend or relative who knows about the job and can recommend someone. You should be open to hiring people with different personalities and cultural backgrounds.

Then, you need to get information about the applicant. You will ask them about their past employment history. You can ask about their education and background. You can also ask whether they were able to complete their education on time and whether they passed their classes. 

Also, you can ask whether they have any experience that can help you. You can check their references to see whether they are reliable or trustworthy. You should also check their personality and culture. 

You need to know how the applicant will fit into your company. 




Finally, you must find out if they are available or not. You have to make sure that they are free enough to work for you. After checking the various aspects of the applicant, you can start to negotiate.

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