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By Joe Marconi
Perhaps the worst time to look to hire a technician, is when we lose one. At that point we go into “Crisis Hire” mode. We most often settle for anyone, rather than taking our time to find the right person.
We need to take a lesson from large organizations and sports teams. Their strategy? They continually recruit. I did not say continually hire, I said continually recruit.
You need to be on the look out for the talent in your community. Find where the best of the best are working now. Reach out to these people, get to know them.
Make is part of your overall business plan to stay in touch with trade schools, the military for returning vets, and any other employee agencies. Identify key people in your local auto community and ask questions; where are the best technicians? How can I contact this person? Who knows this superstar tech?
In other words, allocate a significant portion of your time in the area of recruiting. Your goal is to have people in the pipe line. So when you lose an employee you have a list of contacts to reach out to.
In the book “Work Rules”, a book about Google and its employee strategies, the author states that Google follows this rule: “Hiring is the single most important activity in any organization"
By Joe Marconi
One thing I see different with young techs today from years back is the lack of hands-on experience. In my era, mechanics got their start pumping gas, working with their father on the family car and helping friends. By the time you landed a job in a garage, you had the basics under your belt.
I am firm believer in hiring entry level techs, always have been. I contact the trade schools; Lincoln Technical, Universal Technical Institute, etc. I have to tell you, the last few years have been a bit discouraging.
When I look at their resumes I am shocked that they never worked in a repair shop. Oh, they have worked as a camp counselor, at the local deli, at Rite Aid and Apple Bees. But no hands on mechanical work? Some of them never worked on car other than what was required at school.
These schools are pumping out techs by the thousands. Are they all like this, and where are they too?
Our future is dependent on a strong entry level workforce. I think we need to rethink the process. I also think that trade schools should adopt a concept similar to the medical field. Nurses and doctors must go thru mandatory work at hospitals while still in school and then go thru internship programs. You would never put a doctor in an operating room, fresh out of Med School with no hands-on experience. Would you?
By Joe Marconi
I was speaking with a friend of mine the other day. He's a high school math teacher. He asked me if the Hi-Tech cars of today and tomorrow will attract more young people to the automotive trade? I never gave it a thought, but it just might.
What are your thoughts, will technology help to bring more talented people to our industry?