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Is There Really a Technician Shortage?

Employers today must have a very attractive offer in order for good technicians to respond.

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Joe Henry is the owner for ACT Auto Truck Tire Collision Staffing

What if I said there really isn’t a technician shortage?

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You would say, “Did you swallow too many cannabis cookies? Is your brain past the ‘use by’ or expiration date?”

But really folks, here is why there is not a technician shortage. We have more than 20,000 active resumes for car and light truck technicians in our database. We have hundreds for each of the major brand-specific techs, 12,000 diesel techs, more than 2,000 collision techs and more than 900 transmission specialists.

So, you may ask, “If this is true, then why do we continue to read about the shortage and no techs are responding to my ads?”

Because of one factor: We do have a technician job opportunity shortage. What do I mean? Employers today must have a very attractive offer in order for good technicians to respond.

In the past, our industry has been a case study of what not to do when it comes to trying to attract talent in today’s work environment. Just a few decades ago, we were grabbing all the low-hanging fruit. We have been carbo-loading on the young generations that have been trained at high schools and trade schools.

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What are the employers offering that is getting techs to respond? I am going so deep you might think I am fracking, but here are some examples of what to include in your ads to attract techs, and I am not gaslighting here:

Up to $XXXXX sign-on/relocation — This is the most aggressive tool to get techs to at least respond. Some aggressive employers where the shop has so much work or the shop’s techs are being picked off by Boeing, Exxon, fracking and mining companies have to pay as much as $30,000 sign-on/relocation/longevity bonuses. That is not a misprint, up to $30k, but spread over three to five years.
If you are a dealer, some dealers are paying 1.5 to 2 times whatever warranty pays.
Up to $XX per flat-rate hour — In high cost of living or very competitive parts of the country, some shops are paying techs up to $30 to $50 a flat-rate hour. If your shop is paying an extraordinary flat-rate amount, then include it in your ads.
Temporary Housing — excellent tool for re-locators.
Talk to our techs in our shop — A prospective tech will always feel better if he can find out from a peer how your shop operates.
Five-day work week and no weekends — If this is possible, include in your ad.
Customized career path
Minimum weekly hours guarantee
40-hour guarantee with production bonus — for recruiting less-experienced techs.
State-of-the-art shop – if you have one.
Heated and A/C shop
Weekly/monthly cash spiffs
An owner who cares about his/her technicians
ASMs/service advisors who know how to sell, and with honesty and integrity.
Our manager has been with our shop for XX years.
Our upper level techs make $XX,XXX per year.

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Bullet point your ad copy — paragraphs are too cumbersome these days for busy Americans, especially jobseekers.

Include videos of your shop as well as some of your techs and ASM/service advisors on your website.

Finally, respond quickly to tech inquiries. The most common complaint we get from techs is that they called and left a message or they emailed and/or faxed their resume and no one contacted them back.

Click here to view more solutions from Joe Henry and ACT Auto Staffing.

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