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Public Perception of Automotive Careers – Bill Thompson [RR 801]


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Bill Thompson, President of IMR.INC brings to the podcast a recent release of the United States household perception of the trades, focusing on the automotive career path. Find out who recommends our industry to young people as a career path, the perception of the automotive industry, and more. Bill Thompson, President of IMR Inc. Listen to Bill’s previous episodes HERE Key Talking Points

  • Research once every quarter since 2020, talk to 25,000 households about their perception of the trades in the United States on the auto industry
  • Roughly 46% of parents are talking about college as an option, 33% of the children were seriously considering that as an option. About 30% of those same children thought about entering the workforce immediately. Disconnect with parents and children. More kids prefer to entering the workforce immediately than go to community college or trade school
  • How are the trades perceived? 18% are talking about career options with their child. 65% of the households would recommend the trades as a career option.
  • Parent advocates for the trades- Rural America has the highest likelihood to recommend at 62% recommendation rate. Urban is next to 52.2, and then suburban 42%. 
  • The people that are least likely to recommend the trades are people with a four year college degree 
  • Are we even willing to recommend ourselves?
  • The education path to becoming an automotive technician is unclear, 
  • Career opportunities for women are abundant. But women themselves do not believe that there are opportunities for themselves
  • The general perception- working as an automotive technician is a job, not a viable career. The good news is only 17% of people agree that it's a job and not a career, 44% disagree. 
  • automotiveresearch.com


Connect with the Podcast: Aftermarket Radio Network Subscribe on YouTube Visit us on the Web Follow on Facebook Become an Insider Buy me a coffee Important Books Check out today's partner: Learn more about NAPA AutoCare and the benefits of being part of the NAPA family by visiting www.NAPAAutoCare.com

 
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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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