As the only specialist consultancy focused on contract placements of vehicle technicians and MOT testers, we are seeing continuous growth in requests for placements to cover skill shortages. In Q1 of 2019, the demand from our clients rose by 73% compared to the same period last year. In the first 3 months of this year, our network of technicians and MOT testers covered a staggering 113% more hours than in the same period in 2018 – and we now work with 80% of Motor Trader’s Top 100 dealerships, last year this figure was around 40%. With the shortage of skills prevalent within the automotive aftermarket for some time, we've assembled six simple tips for garages and workshops seeking to fill vehicle technician vacancies.
Brexit and the rapid advancements to vehicle technology are increasingly changing the face of the automotive industry. This has resulted in uncertainty and recruitment challenges, but dealers have to adapt to this. Whatever the coming months and years will bring, my advice is, the most effective way to attract candidates is to continue doing what you are already doing, just do it better:
1. Don’t let others beat you to it.
Although nobody aims to be inefficient, most organisations can improve on the speed and quality of their recruitment practices. From how quickly the CVs are reviewed and responded to, to how candidates are engaged with during their recruitment interview. Good quality candidates are extremely sought after and they won’t hang around for weeks waiting for your response. An average recruitment cycle for a permanent position is 3 months – 3 months of lost profit – work on ways to make it as quick as possible on your side.
2. Do your numbers.
Workshop staff need to be rewarded in a way that mirrors their worth to the automotive aftermarket. Offer salaries that are a true reflection of the skills and experience that you are seeking, as well as the market reality. Candidates must feel appreciated, otherwise they will leave – not just your business, but potentially the industry – make working for you a more financially rewarding option for a skilled candidate than stacking shelves in their local supermarket!
3. Training and upskilling.
Automotive technology is changing at a very fast pace. Technicians are upskilling throughout their careers and investing their own money in tools and training so it is important, to retain the best workshop staff possible, that you offer training courses, clear career paths and opportunities for progression. Don’t try to hire the perfect candidate, hire the candidate with the right attitude and train them to be the best asset to your workshop.
4. Happy employee, happy employer.
Think of perks and benefits you could offer that will stand you out from your competitors. A better work-life balance is unquestionably the holy grail these days - be reasonably flexible when it comes to working hours patterns.
5. Invest in the young generation.
Recruiting vehicle technician apprentices offers garages a massive opportunity to mould your most loyal employees of the future, yet so many fail to grasp the potential of hiring an apprentice.
6. If you don’t have the time or resource to do it yourself, let a specialist recruit for you.
But use an agency with a narrow specialism, like Autotech Recruit. Recruitment within the automotive industry is evolving and the days of recruitment agencies focused on volumes are gone. Niche and specialist recruiters, who focus on particular skills and job roles, will do a better job for you than someone who tries to cover the entire market.