The automotive industry has been grappling with the shortage of skilled service technicians for years. This shortage poses a considerable threat to the revenue potential of dealerships, as the ability to service and maintain vehicles becomes increasingly critical in a market where consumers are holding onto their cars longer due to high new car prices and fluctuating interest rates.

How can dealerships overcome the shortage and hire top-tier automotive technicians? First, we need a little background on the shortage itself.

Understanding the Technician Shortage

Several factors contribute to the technician shortage. One of the most prominent is the retirement of Baby Boomers, who have historically formed a large part of the blue-collar workforce. As these experienced technicians retire, there is a lack of younger workers stepping in to fill their roles. This gap is made worse by a societal shift that has increasingly emphasized four-year degrees over trade and technical education. As a result, the pipeline of new talent entering the automotive repair industry has dwindled.

Moreover, the remaining pool of technicians is highly sought after, not just by dealerships but also by independent repair shops and other businesses that require skilled labor to service vehicles. The competition is fierce, with 27,254 dealerships in the U.S. competing for a limited number of qualified candidates.

What can dealerships do to be competitive and stand out to technicians?

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Strategies for Attracting & Hiring Top Technician Talent

Here are a few ways to optimize your hiring process and attract the best talent for your dealership.

Focus on Your Employer Brand

Technicians should be able to get a feel for what it’s like to work at your dealership before they even apply.

Give technicians a place where they can:

  • See all the details around compensation, benefits, work environment, career development, and hiring process
  • View videos and photos of the service area and your employees
  • Have an easy way to contact you with any questions in case they aren’t ready to apply

Check out Toyota of Seattle’s Top Shop page to see a great example of how to build your employer brand for technician hiring.

Make the Application Process Mobile-Friendly

Modern job seekers prefer to use their phones for job searches and applications. Dealerships need to ensure their applications are quick and easy to fill out via a mobile phone.

Consider making your application more mobile-friendly by:

  • Avoiding the requirement for resumes initially
  • Only asking for basic contact information (name, phone number, email) in the first step
  • Gathering detailed information later in the process to fairly evaluate applicants

Keep the Hiring Process Short & Communication Open

Technicians expect quick responses from potential employers due to the high demand for their skills. Aim to complete the hiring process within two weeks (14 days) to avoid losing candidates to competitors.

Streamline your hiring process by:

  • Including all the important job expectations and needed experience in the job description
  • Clearly communicating your hiring process up front
  • Reviewing incoming applications promptly
  • Communicating with candidates promptly throughout every phase of the hiring process via phone, email, and/or text

Want More Technician Hiring Strategies?

Check out the recording of a recent webinar we hosted with Hireology, “The Secret to Hiring More Technician Talent.”

Watch the Webinar