If you’re like 45% of shop owners, you feel that technician shortage is one of your top concerns. According to the Automotive Service Association’s (ASA) 2017 “How’s Your Business” Report, that’s the #1 concern of shop owners.
Times have changed dramatically in relation to helping students in their career path. Our society is still heavily focused on white collar career placement and education which has added an increased burden on skilled trades such as an automotive technician.
On a search through popular job listing directories and Facebook, a job search for “mechanic” or “automotive technician” reveals that, as we suspected, many shops are hiring. The problem is shops are putting all their eggs into one basket by promoting the job in only a few places (not strategically), AND the messaging is all wrong.
That’s right, your messaging is probably completely wrong.
People looking for a job have a problem. They have bills to pay, a family to feed, they want to find a place where they’ll enjoy working all day and do something they enjoy. Does your ad address any of those issues? Likely, not.
Your marketing for new customers will not be that different from your marketing for a technician. Solve a problem. Help them.
Take the time to hire right. If you’re in a rush then you’ll likely hire the wrong person which will only make your life more frustrating and difficult later on. Have you heard the saying “Hire Slow. Fire Fast”? Take it to heart. Training and development of a new employee can be exhausting.
Marketing for a technician can include:
- Facebook Advertisement
- Recruitment bonus to existing technicians
- A video testimonial of a happy tech from your shop
- Connection to local trade school
- Host a “Technician After Hours” event
- Discreet conversation with your Tool Man
- Connect with your local Workforce Commission
Far too often, shop owners put a job listing out in one spot, but it would be to your advantage to spread your wings and diversify your recruitment strategy.
We have created a Technician Recruitment Campaign that has a wide variety of ideas and sample social media posts and graphics to help you. Download it here.
A major takeaway for you is to get your messaging right first. Not only does that include what you say, but also the graphics you use.
Start off talking about what the potential technician is in need of. Does he/she want to be busy all the time? Are they looking for a place where they’ll be happy and leave the work day in a good mood? Is it salary that’s their concern? How much pay will they receive? Household income is a big stressor; they’ve got bills to pay and need assurance their employment search ends here.
Let them know that working at your shop will allow them to bring their best self home to their family instead of being grumpy and aggravated. It’s also ok to hit the nail right on the head and address the big issue: they need to make money.
Example of using a billboard in your hiring campaign – This is just one graphic that’s included in our free, downloadable technician recruitment kit – All provided as editable .psd files
Tell them that! “Got bills to pay? Work with us. We’re busy!” Keep your message SIMPLE. They want to know how much pay they’ll receive and more importantly that they’ll pay their bills.
Now, let’s talk about graphics. You don’t need to start off with a graphic of your shop. I know you’re proud of it. I know it looks great and it is well organized. No worries, there’s a place for that but to start off, show an image of a happy, successful technician. Let them see their employment search is over!
Allow your graphics or photos to appeal to the tech you are recruiting. You want them to see themselves in your ad. They should see the ad graphic and text and think “I want that.” or “That can be me.” Bring them into their own story.
THEN, you can talk about you. That’s when you introduce your shop, the cleanliness, organization, procedures, processes and education. If you start off talking about how great you are and your shop is you will likely lose them.
Recruiting a technician is, no doubt, difficult today. It’s not impossible. It may require you to stretch yourself and do something a little differently, but you can do it!
Recently reading a blog by the Center for Performance Improvement I was reminded of Firestone Complete Auto Care’s current slogan: “Robots may build cars, but it takes human hands to keep them running right.” I love that! Remember: you’re in the business of humans helping humans.
If you need help, have questions or just want to discuss this further do not hesitate to reach out to us.
About The Author
In addition to being co-owner of Shop Marketing Pros, Kim is a Master Certified Solution Provider with Constant Contact and a StoryBrand Certified Guide. Kim is a past shop owner and has served as President of ASA North Carolina.