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Where have you all found to be the best resource for hiring new techs? I've found the "want ad" to be very ineffective, bringing in the....less than qualified...Our business relationships tend to be hesitant to recommend potentials.

Suprised in this economy that we aren't seeing more walk ins too....any thoughts?

Dwayne

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i have found a simple yard sign out front somewhat effective if your on a fairly traveled street - craigslist is so so but brings in a lot of people with "personal" problems,poor work ethic or little to no experience - once in a while you get a good one though. best source is from past employers- people you've worked with and know a little better than a complete stranger.even current employees who have worked in other shops might know another tech looking to make a move. some might not call this "ethical" - but if its worth fighting for, its worth fighting dirty for, is my motto :unsure:

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with "personal" problems,poor work ethic or little to no experience -

 

This is what we've been running into......amazes me...where are all of the good guys at? All the guys that have lost dealership jobs, independants downsizing and closing? Where are they? Is working out of your garage really that lucrative? If so I may re-consider my strategy here! I know we are seeing A LOT of vehicles coming in for more technical issues (diagnosis of running issues/overheating problems/charging issues/wiring issues/alignments) only to see brand new...brakes, water pump, belt, front end parts, radiator, alternator starter, etc. (The "easy" things" as I was once told....anyone can do the "easy" things)

Are these guys doing these things at home for their friends/family/neighbors because they have the time they didn't before? and are they making enough to offset having a real job?

 

Just curious...struggling to figure this thing out! 10% plus unemployment (depending on who you ask) and unable to find someone (competent) to hire...or even more confusing, the guy that you've managed to keep on through this very lean year (we did NOT see the bump that many of you did) bitching and moaning and generally making life miserable because you can't affor to give him the raise he's expecting....yet he won't leave ( on his own - it may be my decision very soon, though) because there's evidently nothing better for him....I just don't get it.

 

Anyway, thanks for the input, and letting me vent.....A lawn sign!!!! Seems so obvious, but yet I never considered it!

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exactly - most ANYONE can do the easy stuff - and if they cant- they know someone who can- and wont charge half as much as we would.

these are the people who i dont want in my shop anyways - the ones who can do the easy stuff - because they know how much THEY would charge to do something in thier driveway - so they feel thats what WE should charge - ei:thats the value they place on "their" labor- well sonny im sorry but with 50k worth of hand tools in this pretty box with wheels and all the shop expenses it aint workin that way. if i had a little toolbox with a handle on it and some rusty mismatched wrenches and a claw hammer in it i might do it for that price. i have found that small country towns and certain areas of big cities have an abundance of do it yerselfers because a)their daddy taught em how to do it and it aint that hard and/or B) they just simply cant afford it.

i market towards businesses for that reason- and if i didnt, i would market towards the upper class neighborhoods because those people 1: dont know a damn thing about cars and 2: they damn sure aint gonna get dirty tryin to learn.

sorry- off topic

anyways - if you have a local community college that has an auto shop program - try there also- they are for the most part "adults" who would love a chance to get their foot in the door and get their moneys worth out of that college tuition, and get some real world experience- talk to the professor- interview some of the students - book smart doesnt always equal "talent" which is essentially what you need. my wife says im too picky about hiring - i always end up telling her the same thing - im not a daycare and i need dependability and motivation. run an ad for a month and see what you end up with.

as for the guy you have who bitches and moans...does he know your looking to hire? if so that may be the cause of his problem - you cant afford him a raise yet your looking for another tech....he doesnt see himself being fired as the reason for this... just explain to him you can only pay him so much out of what he can produce - 2 people would turn out more work which equals more money with which to give him a raise. or- if hes not worth the raise then hire another guy and starve him out. either way - i need to know the whole situation to give any real advice. just my 2 cents - i am seriously looking to open a small bbq restraunt or bbq catering business- and forget this auto repair thing - i loves me some low and slow bbq and my pit is sitting covered in snow calling to me -

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Thanks for your thoughts. As far as my complainer...he's been like this for a long time....really not the new hire issue that's brought it about. He's a good wrench, just has a really bad attitude - always has. Funny, in one breath, he's complaining because of the raise issue, and in the next he's complaining because "if we had another guy out here...." impossible to please NO MATTER WHAT. we've had sit downs several times about his attitude, I even posted here about it some time ago. I'm really looking to replace him - he's not technically aware that i'm actively looking for this reason though. Gotta make a change in 2011 - gotta bring morale up and get things moving in a forward, POSITIVE direction for everyone - especially me.

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  • 4 months later...

I hate that I am so happy at your distress, but we have been having the same problem. I am glad that someone else can't find help in an economy where there are so many supposedly jobless people that are working so hard at finding a job. My eyes are rolling as I type that one. I have posted ads on craigslist, any free classified that I could, facebook, employment security commision and on and on and on and on. No sign in the yard. Funny... my mom suggested the same thing when I kept complaining about all the ads I had placed on the net.

 

This is our situation. Everything was going pretty well until a few months ago. One of the body techs in training talked the mechanic into quitting with him to go work in a textile mill. One day they were gone. No explanation or anything. Needless to say, they were laid off in less than a month from that job. It has been hell since then. We had one guy that was knowledgeable, but not dependable. He came in, here and there, and finally never came back. Next, we hired a very dependable guy that basically fudged his abilities on his resume and during his interview. He cost the company so much many I don't even like to think about it, but he showed up early and would work late. Never really slacked off. He was just in over his head. He couldn't diagnose or even repair most vehicles. He worked on a water pump R & R for about a week. Yes, a week. Everyone else was so busy they couldn't lend a hand, so he took that truck apart and put it back together about five times. It only needed the water pump because he worked on it previously and damaged the water pump. He also put a bolt through a radiator. Almost every vehicle he touched came back. One came back 5 times. There is one out there now that is a comeback from him, but no one can figure out what he possibly could have done. All it needed was new spark plugs. He of course isn't here. He was fired. New guy started and he was 15 minutes early to his interview and I think the boss heard angels singing. He hasn't been on time since. While replacing an alternator, he blew a fuse on the alternator and damaged the power steering pump on a Lexus. The company ate that one, of course. Now, he is having family problems and missing whole days of work. Blah, blah, blah, blah. You know, my exhusband and I separated one night and the next morning I was at work. I was late because my eyes were swollen shut from crying all night, but damnit I went to work! Looked like hell, but I went.

 

Even the body repair techs are lazy and don't produce, so they need replacing. Do you think I can get a resume or a job application filled out? Nope!

 

Where are all those techs that need a job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????

 

Just thought I would let you know that we feel your pain.

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Our European Technician came and said he was taking the summer off to work on his house and go Opal mining. Go figure. I put an ad in Craigs List and in our State Employment office. We pay more than anyone in our area and better benefits. I had 3 people call, the first one sounded great, made an appointment, called and cancelled, made another appointment, cancelled and made another and never called or showed up. The 2nd one called, he lived over 30 miles one way from us and wasn't really qualified. The 3rd one called and said he had been out of the field for 7 years, would I send him to school to catch up. We have had several dealerships close in the area, where are those techs? Unemployment is still way up, one of the highest states. We are having a record month, but losing a tech the 15th and our shop foreman is going on vacation. We have tried some of the automotive agencies in the past, but after paying their fee, haven't had any better luck. Any more suggestions?

 

 

We are in a poor county and the unemployment rate is very high. I can't even get unqualified people to apply. There has been tons of dealerships closing in this area. There should be techs looking for a job. I think too many have learned that they can make a decent living at home on unemployment. They won't get rich, but at least they don't have to work for the money that they do get. We are going to loose our behind here if I can't find a tech. Silly kid that was hired after kid that couldn't poor pee out of a boot with the directions in the heal is slooooooooowwwwwwwww! He can't even turn an oil change quickly. Somewhere along the line he thought that 8:00 am meant 9:00 am. This morning the boss' 72 year old father went and changed a tire on a fleet account because silly kid was an hour late. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Sorry for the venting!

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         3 comments
      Got your attention? Good. The truth is, there is no such thing as the perfect technician pay plan. There are countless ways to create any pay plan. I’ve heard all the claims and opinions, and to be honest, it’s getting a little frustrating. Claims that an hourly paid pay plan cannot motivate. That flat rate is the only way to truly get the most production from your technicians. And then there’s the hybrid performance-based pay plan that many claim is the best.
      At a recent industry event, a shop owner from the Midwest boasted about his flat-rate techs and insisted that this pay plan should be adopted by all shops across the country. When I informed him that in states like New York, you cannot pay flat-rate, he was shocked. “Then how do you motivate your techs” he asked me.
      I remember the day in 1986 when I hired the best technician who ever worked for me in my 41 years as an automotive shop owner. We’ll call him Hal. When Hal reviewed my pay plan for him, and the incentive bonus document, he stared at it for a minute, looked up, and said, “Joe, this looks good, but here’s what I want.” He then wrote on top of the document the weekly salary he wanted. It was a BIG number. He went on to say, “Joe, I need to take home a certain amount of money. I have a home, a wife, two kids, and my Harly Davidson. I will work hard and produce for you. I don’t need an incentive bonus to do my work.” And he did, for the next 30 years, until the day he retired.
      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. So, here’s mine. Money is a motivator, but not the only motivator, and not the best motivator either. We have all heard this scenario, “She quit ABC Auto Center, to get a job at XYZ Auto Repair, and she’s making less money now at XYZ!” We all know that people don’t leave companies, they leave the people they work for or work with.
      With all this said, I do believe that an incentive-based pay plan can work. However, I also believe that a technician must be paid a very good base wage that is commensurate with their ability, experience, and certifications. I also believe that in addition to money, there needs to be a great benefits package. But the icing on the cake in any pay plan is the culture, mission, and vision of the company, which takes strong leadership. And let’s not forget that motivation also comes from praise, recognition, respect, and when technicians know that their work matters.
      Rather than looking for that elusive perfect pay plan, sit down with your technician. Find out what motivates them. What their goals are. Why do they get out of bed in the morning? When you tie their goals with your goals, you will have one powerful pay plan.
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