In the current market there is a limited number of technicians with many groups and stores expanding their departments the shortage is being felt even greater. Adding to this difficulty finding local talent is becoming an even greater issue forcing employers to try and attract talent from outside of their market. Another issue we are facing is the lack of transparency when dealerships are advertising to technicians. We are witnessing dealerships offer hourly wages significantly above others, however, when a pay plan is fully explained a technician could make more overall at a slightly lower wage yet more hours paid, which could be misleading.
Our most challenging trend with respect to recruiting Technicians in today’s market over the next few years is making sure we continue to keep local high school, community college and apprenticeship pipelines open to replace many of our long-time and very high quality current techs with. It’s important to make sure we are staying in front of and building relationships with those in positions to advocate for us when the time is right.
In 2022, we’re seeing the beginning stages of a recession caused from the fallout of COVID. Every recession offers huge opportunities to gain market share because of predictable patterns/trends. Every previous recession most businesses scale back and do what they feel is necessary to keep things afloat and minimize the impact – that’s easy. This opens the door for significant growth and gaining market share. Companies that go on offense before and during a recession will come out the other side big winners.
What is the most challenging trend you and your team see with respect to recruiting Technicians in today’s market over the next few years?
It’s no secret that recruiting quality Automotive Technicians is consistently a challenge for all dealers. Certainly, the pandemic has exacerbated the problem but is not the core of the issue. For years we have seen a significant decrease in students entering the automotive industry as they have been geared towards attending four year colleges and less and less into skilled trade curriculums.
Currently, the most difficult challenge is finding mid-level Technicians, critical to reconditioning used cars. With new car inventory being low, like most dealers, we have focused on used cars, requiring more skilled Technicians who can help us get our inventory front line ready. Training up our Technicians is essential however, with the increase in used car volume, keeping up with staffing an adequate number of those Technicians is tough.
Over the next few years, training Technicians will be critical, especially with the electrification of vehicles. It will certainly change the Technician’s job. Strong computer skills will be essential. Hopefully, students will soon take notice that cars today and especially the cars of the future will be primarily built around computer technology and software and entice a new generation into the industry. alleviating the headwinds we face in recruiting and retaining Technicians today.