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Are Your Shop’s Technician Recruiting & Retention Methods Outdated?

10 Outdated Technician Recruiting Strategies to Ditch

Things are forever changing in the automotive industry. New vehicles and technology are forcing shops to evolve their processes and procedures. However, many shops and dealerships are still stuck in the Stone Age when it comes to recruiting and retaining technicians.

In this blog, WrenchWay and RepairPal partner up to evaluate the recruiting and retention strategies that shops need to bring up to speed in order to keep their bays fully staffed.

1. Thinking you don’t need to put in the work.

The days of posting a “Help Wanted” sign in the window and having technicians knocking down your door for a job are over. There’s no silver bullet or quick solution to finding technicians. Shops need to get creative, be willing to try new things, and dedicate time to recruitment in order to see results.

2. Only recruiting when there’s an open position.

Shops need to be proactively recruiting all year round—not just when there’s an open position. Reactive hiring is not only time-consuming and costly, but it can also lead to bad hiring decisions. Shops need to focus on continuously attracting passive candidates. Passive candidates are people who are not actively looking for a new job, but who are open to new opportunities. Getting in front of these candidates will make your shop top-of-mind when they’re ready to explore new job opportunities.

3. Posting and praying on job boards.

Shops have to do more than post on job boards in order to see results. In fact, only about 5% of technicians are actively looking at job boards. This means shops need to look into other places to get in front of technicians. Posting on job boards is fine, but shops also need to leverage their own website, social media pages, take advantage of WrenchWay, look into employee referral programs, and more.

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4. Being generic in job descriptions.

“We have a great work environment,” says every shop ever. Shops need to think about what truly makes their shop unique, and show (don’t tell) technicians what it’s like to work there. This type of recruiting is called employer marketing, and it’s a great way to attract passive candidates.

5. Not focusing on employee retention.

Shops need to remember it takes more than pizza to keep their technicians happy. The first step in a successful recruiting strategy is focusing on retaining existing employees. Survey your current technicians, find out what’s important to them, and where you can improve their lives. Then, promote how you run things at your shop and why it’s a great place to work to attract more technicians.

6. Not investing in tomorrow’s technicians.

The average age of a technician is 40-years-old. It’s so important to bring young people into this industry, and the best way to do this is by working with schools. And we don’t mean just calling them up on graduation day and asking for their best students. Shops need to be reaching out to local schools and asking them how they can support their auto programs and students. By helping these programs out, your shop will be top of mind as an employer come graduation day.

7. Not being transparent about compensation.

Technicians have their pick of the litter when deciding what shop to work at. Shops that aren’t listing compensation in their job descriptions are at an immediate disadvantage. Technicians will not take the time to apply and interview at a shop before knowing the pay meets their needs.

8. Going stingy on benefits.

Shops that want to attract and retain the best technicians cannot cut corners on benefits. There are many low-cost options for health insurance and other benefits available out there. Shops also need to build an attractive benefits package that not only includes health insurance but things like a tool allowance and flexible scheduling as well.

9. Not having a career development plan.

In another poll, 59% of respondents said their shop had no documented career development plan in place for technicians (WrenchWay). Technicians want to work at a shop where they can grow their careers. This is especially important to the younger generations. Even if it’s not formally documented, shops should give their techs a good idea of how they can continue to grow with you and make it clear what steps need to be taken to get there.

10. Not investing in training.

There is so much value in shops growing their own people rather than hiring new ones. It is important for shops to offer group or individual training for their technicians in order for them to be successful in their jobs and careers. Plus, it’s an advantage for your business to have technicians that are up-to-date on the newest technology and processes.

We Want to See Change, Right?

Change is never easy, but the industry is facing a hefty technician shortage, so shops need to be open to doing things differently. Put the work in, try different methods of recruiting, don’t skip out on pay and benefits, treat employees right, and we’re off to a good start!


About WrenchWay

WrenchWay is an online community dedicated to promoting and improving careers in the automotive and diesel industry. We highlight the best shops to work at, connect shops with schools, and give technicians and industry professionals a voice. Visit our website to learn more:

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