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Where Are You Guys Finding New Technicians To Hire?


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I know this question has probably already been asked, but where are you all posting job openings to find new technicians? I've tried the local newspaper and I've been posting in craigslist but I don't seem to get any quality candidates. I recently contacted the tech school in our area to bring on some lower level techs but seem to have real difficulty locating qualified experienced technicians. Any tips on where YOU post/look for new techs?

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I am having the same issue as well. I put in an ad for an entry level OR B level tech with experience on German vehicles. I have received a handful of resumes however mostly fresh tech students and truck mechanics. I have been pondering taking a chance on a tech student however I feel that we would be basically paying into a young kid who wouldn't really be able to produce for us for at least several months.

 

I will let the ad run for a few more days and then start interviewing. If all else fails I will try to take on the top candidate out of the tech student lot.

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Talk to your snap-on/matco/mac tool truck guys. They know who all the techs are and are in an unbiased position to help you. Tech's go and vent to the tool guys, maybe you can swoop up someone who isn't looking for a job but would move to you if the position was right.

I did this 6 months ago and got the best tech around my town. He was upset with his last employer, my snap-on guy knew him and we connected. It turned out great for both of us.

Craigslist brings out a different type of crowd. I got all the wrong candidates when I posted on there. Word of mouth is the best for advertising, so why not for employment too? If you have a few people that vouch for a tech, at least you know he/she did right by others so they might for you too.

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I would like to chime in from the other side of the fence. I am a tech, I graduated from a local trade school in February of 2012 with an A average, which entitles me to a nice starting tool set from my school through Snap-On as no charge to me. I pursued my state safety and emissions inspector license on my own to make myself more employable. I finally got hired into a dealer, and I am not happy there. I hear more good than bad from other techs all over the country through a FB group I belong to. I see the advertisements placed out by my local shops, maybe even some of them are excellent places to work. In the short time of my career, I have already decided I don't want to continue in this field. All my job searches are now back into the banking industry and some retail management as this is where I worked in the past for much better and more stable wages.

 

To answer your question about where all the techs are from the tech schools, the better of us get recruited into the dealerships before we even graduate, and then we get a very sour taste from this career and then we move out of the field pretty quickly. I know of the guys I graduated with me and one other are the only ones still working as techs, and this week I have 2 non-industry interviews.

I wish you the best of luck. From reading, I believe there are some great shop owners here who take care of techs, but I have bills and a family to support, and I cannot afford to take another risk in this industry and I imagine more and more techs feel this way.

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I would like to chime in from the other side of the fence. I am a tech, I graduated from a local trade school in February of 2012 with an A average, which entitles me to a nice starting tool set from my school through Snap-On as no charge to me. I pursued my state safety and emissions inspector license on my own to make myself more employable. I finally got hired into a dealer, and I am not happy there. I hear more good than bad from other techs all over the country through a FB group I belong to. I see the advertisements placed out by my local shops, maybe even some of them are excellent places to work. In the short time of my career, I have already decided I don't want to continue in this field. All my job searches are now back into the banking industry and some retail management as this is where I worked in the past for much better and more stable wages.

 

To answer your question about where all the techs are from the tech schools, the better of us get recruited into the dealerships before we even graduate, and then we get a very sour taste from this career and then we move out of the field pretty quickly. I know of the guys I graduated with me and one other are the only ones still working as techs, and this week I have 2 non-industry interviews.

 

I wish you the best of luck. From reading, I believe there are some great shop owners here who take care of techs, but I have bills and a family to support, and I cannot afford to take another risk in this industry and I imagine more and more techs feel this way.

 

You are not alone. This field is tough. I looked at UTI and ended up going to a city college auto tech program where I was already studying business. I worked for BMW for 6 years knowing once I became a master tech I was opening my own shop and leaving the dealer life behind me.

I get a lot of UTI/Wyotech kids coming into my shop looking for a job. The amount of training and experience they have entitles them to around $12-$14/hr. For a 22yr old fresh out of school, this is almost acceptable. To a guy with a family looking for a new career, it certainly is not. I saw tons of them come into dealerships I worked at (BMW) and they were the top of their class. I never saw one last more than a year. They got kicked around and treated poorly by the techs and management. I think the tech schools pump out a bunch of students with no jobs to go to. Remember, education is a business too. These schools just want to make money so they cram the classes full and pump out students for a $30k degree.

I have found that techs who are a bit more seasoned, 10-15yr veterans are past all this non-sense and actually have skills that will earn them good pay and a steady job. It's hard to see these kids struggle as I was once one of them too, but some do survive and the rest move on to other fields.

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You are not alone. This field is tough. I looked at UTI and ended up going to a city college auto tech program where I was already studying business. I worked for BMW for 6 years knowing once I became a master tech I was opening my own shop and leaving the dealer life behind me.

I get a lot of UTI/Wyotech kids coming into my shop looking for a job. The amount of training and experience they have entitles them to around $12-$14/hr. For a 22yr old fresh out of school, this is almost acceptable. To a guy with a family looking for a new career, it certainly is not. I saw tons of them come into dealerships I worked at (BMW) and they were the top of their class. I never saw one last more than a year. They got kicked around and treated poorly by the techs and management. I think the tech schools pump out a bunch of students with no jobs to go to. Remember, education is a business too. These schools just want to make money so they cram the classes full and pump out students for a $30k degree.

I have found that techs who are a bit more seasoned, 10-15yr veterans are past all this non-sense and actually have skills that will earn them good pay and a steady job. It's hard to see these kids struggle as I was once one of them too, but some do survive and the rest move on to other fields.

I make 11.00 flat rate, I have 5 of 6 Subaru certifications, state inspector, EPA 609, among a decently stocked tool box. I wish I made 12-14.00 an hour. That is why I and others want out so fast. It is hard. My son comes first and I want to give him a good life, and that's not possible in this industry in my experience.

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  • 3 weeks later...

As bad as this may seem, I was the guy that stole most all techs from other shops whenever I needed one. I asked around, found out who was good, where they worked and tried as best I could to check them out. Then made contact, had a talk about what they were doing, how I could help them advance and earn more money. Money in most cases motivates people, not in every case, but it is a major factor. I made sure my techs were the highest paid around, and if they ever left me, they knew that it would be a dramatic drop in their pay. It worked for me and them, the last shop I owned was for 11 years and the newest tech had 5 years, the oldest had 10.5 years with me. Shortly after I sold the new owner felt the guys were paid too much and either chopped their rate or messed with the pay and they all left. Within 2 years the place was closed, all because the new owner messed with what worked and the reason he bought my place...

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  • 3 weeks later...

As bad as this may seem, I was the guy that stole most all techs from other shops whenever I needed one. I asked around, found out who was good, where they worked and tried as best I could to check them out. Then made contact, had a talk about what they were doing, how I could help them advance and earn more money. Money in most cases motivates people, not in every case, but it is a major factor. I made sure my techs were the highest paid around, and if they ever left me, they knew that it would be a dramatic drop in their pay. It worked for me and them, the last shop I owned was for 11 years and the newest tech had 5 years, the oldest had 10.5 years with me. Shortly after I sold the new owner felt the guys were paid too much and either chopped their rate or messed with the pay and they all left. Within 2 years the place was closed, all because the new owner messed with what worked and the reason he bought my place...

 

Weighit, could give a bit more practical advice on how to go about doing this? I know of several shops in our city with great techs. I know I could offer them a better total compensation package. However, I'm not sure how to go about approaching them. Nobody knows them directly, so I have no connections to them. I've heard of owners just strolling into competitors' bays and talking with the techs, but I'm pretty hesitant to start doing that....

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Weighit, could give a bit more practical advice on how to go about doing this? I know of several shops in our city with great techs. I know I could offer them a better total compensation package. However, I'm not sure how to go about approaching them. Nobody knows them directly, so I have no connections to them. I've heard of owners just strolling into competitors' bays and talking with the techs, but I'm pretty hesitant to start doing that....

The people that know all these tech are the tool salesman, Snap-On, Cornwell, type guys. Also the fastener salesman are in every shop and get to know who is good. Paint supply salesman, Napa drivers and tow truck drivers & oil delivery drivers. Some of these guys see a lot of tecks and know who is good and who is trouble. Sometimes they know a tech is being mis- handled, held back, or just plain not happy for some reason. If you talk with these people and let them know your looking for the best and if they know anyone they would recommend you sure would appreciate it. I guess the term network fits this method of hunting. But to get a good employee, you need to be better than where he was in either pay, work environment, benefits or advancement possibilities. Something needs to motivate them to move. I've found someone, we talked twice, i made a offer and then they used my offer to get more from where they were working, they won and I had to start over hunting.

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Good thoughts. I need to change my mindset from seeing these tool trucks as an over-priced nuisance to seeing them as an informal networking tool across multiple shops. Thanks for the idea.

I looked at the tool salesmen as a bother too for a long time. They stopped my techs from working when they were out in the truck spending money. Then I figured out how I could gain from their contacts and used them as I needed them. Give it a try.

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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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