HR You’ve Got to do a Better Job of Selling the Opportunity!
Mechanics are in high demand just about everywhere. We get calls from every State and Province throughout Canada and the USA from companies that are in a pinch, they need mechanics now but can’t find them. The truth is, there are more jobs available than there are qualified mechanics. We looked at some of the reasons why in these posts (There is a Real Shortage of Qualified Mechanics, a Look a the Numbers and Why are Good Mechanics so Damn Hard to Find)
If you are hiring mechanics you need to just accept that there are not enough good mechanics out there and you are in competition with several others to hire the few that exist.
Like with many things, accepting this basic truth is the first step to a solution. There are too many companies out there that are still trying to hire as they did 10+ years ago and take the attitude that they are the employer, they are offering a job and people should be lucky to be considered. This is arrogant and will only result in a prolonged vacancy or only having access to the lowest available talent. Understanding that there is a shortage you need to sell your opportunity, sell the shop and stand out from the crowd.
Selling starts in the job ad, continues in the interview and needs to still be present during the onboarding. Obviously selling and lying are differing things, don’t lie to get people to come on board as that will only result in turnover. Instead, figure out what the best parts of your shop are and sell them. I do believe there is a selling feature for every job and you just need to figure out what yours is. If you do not have a selling feature then you have a much bigger problem and you need to work on Repairing Your Shop before you even start to consider hiring.
Some selling features that you may want to consider:
1. Pay Rate
I don’t love the idea of only selling on pay rate because this can be very expensive to do and very easy for your competition to match and/or beat. That being said the only reason people go to work is that they get paid and the higher the pay rate the more attractive the job is. Make sure your job is at least market rate and ideally a little higher but keep in mind that if the only thing that makes your job good is that it pays well, there are lots of companies that can pay well and your techs will leave as soon as they find one with a higher pay rate.
2. Your Shop
This is one of the more important ones. Invest in your shop and your technicians will stay with you. Invest in the best tooling and equipment, make the job easy for them and do not try to save cash by using cheap shop supplies. I was speaking with a tech recently who left his job because they switched from cloth shop towels to paper shop towels and it just became an annoyance.
If you keep a clean, well-equipped shop brag about it. Your website and social media platforms should have pictures or your shop and you should talk about the shop in your job ad. During the interview make sure you take them on a shop tour. Taking pride in your shop can go a long way.
What perks does your job have that others don’t. Make sure you highlight these in your job ad and during the interview, you have invested in these perks but if you do not promote them they will not help your case. These can be things like:
- Flexible schedule
- Benefits package
- Retirement plan
- Ability to use the shop after shift times to work on personal vehicles
- Tool allowance
- Shop security (no one wants to work for a shop where their tools could be stolen)
- Shop Insurance (are techs tools covered by your insurance, if there is a fire and their tools are destroyed are they covered)
- Team lunches/events
This is the big one that can really set apart your job from the other. When it comes to the culture there is no one corporate or shop culture that is going to stand out, everyone is attracted to what they are comfortable with. Tell a story in your job ad and in your interviews, paint a picture of what life is like at your company. This will not appeal to everyone but will appeal to the right tech that you are trying to attract.
Most Mechanics love overtime, that is where they make their money. Outline your OT policy and be honest about how much they can expect. There is one company I am working with that has open overtime, techs froth at the mouth over this, they can work as much or as little as they want.
6. Pay Structure
Most mechanics see flat rate as a system that only benefits the employer. If you are a flat rate shop, consider offering a guaranteed wage plus flat rate bonus. This way if the shop is slow your techs are still covered and they are also rewarded when they are achieving hours.
These are just the top 6 things that many mechanics look for but anything you feel makes your shop/company stand out is something you should be leveraging. If you are stuck, ask yourself why you work there, what makes you keep coming back, that is a selling feature. Go ask your other techs on the floor what they like, use this info, sell it and promote your shop. If you treat your interview like a questionnaire you will not attract candidates, treat it like a sales opportunity.