I hope when you read the title of this blog post you had Waylon Jennings tune dancing in your head. You can blame me later when it’s still there!
Good help is hard to find.
For as long as I can remember, good help has been hard to find in our industry. A recent article in Automotive News sited that just in GM and Ford dealerships alone will be a shortage over the next 5 years of 25,000 auto technicians! That’s a crazy number. Skilled workers with a strong desire to do the best for their customers’ needs to be at the core of what any business culture truly is. I know this has been a value we have never compromised on even when getting the right candidate in for an interview has been a struggle.
So why aren’t more of the high caliber work staff flocking to become auto technicians? Well that’s the million dollar question. Many factors contribute – long hours, back breaking labor, poor pay, grease monkey are just a few of the stereotypes that plague the image and perception of what being an auto technician is. It could not be further from the truth.
Progressive shops and competitive benefits.
In today’s progressive shops, ownership and management understands the culture of the organization is the foundation for retaining and recruiting skilled auto technicians. The shops are well lit, clean, organized for production and safety, and have the latest and best equipment and training. The technicians have extremely competitive compensation plans, family health insurance, 401K retirement plans with employer matching, paid uniforms, vacations and holidays, and in many cases weekends off. All in a very job security stable industry. Not many layoffs, RIFs or furloughs here.
Today’s auto technician has to be an engineer, IT programmer, fabricator and detective all wrapped up in one to solve the complex systems of today’s modern vehicles. Heck, even the simple oil change is one of the more detail rich, complex processes in our shop. This knowledge makes auto technicians local celebrities. I can’t tell you how many times I go out to get a gallon of milk and I get stopped and asked some kind of automotive trivia. Even my wife by association to me is thought of as an authority in all things auto repair. She gets asked all kinds of car questions and probably knows less than most about auto repair because she has no need to know it. All you have to do is flip through the cable channels and see the countless shows dedicated to cars to see how popular you can be.
So what are you waiting for? Mamas, send your sons and daughters into a highly rewarding industry where they can have a great work environment. Allow them to provide for their families without the stress of worrying: is my job going to be there tomorrow? We need them!