Last week, we hosted our third annual TechMission event. We want to give a HUGE shout-out to all our panelists, moderators, sponsors, and attendees. Without your support, we wouldn’t be able to host an event like this.

This year, our theme was “Promote and Improve Technician Careers.” We know how amazing this industry is and all the opportunities within it. Over this two-day event, we identified seven takeaways to help promote and improve technician careers.

7 Takeaways to Help Promote and Improve Technician Careers

Compensation & Benefits

Compensation and benefits are always a hot topic when dealing with technician careers. Minimum wage doesn’t cover it anymore for an entry-level technician. Not only are we competing with other shops, but we’re competing with other industries as well.

However, pay isn’t everything to everyone. Shops have to listen to their people and talk to them to see how they want to be compensated, and sometimes that’s not monetary. Get creative with your benefits. This can include a Scanner Danner subscription, boot allowance, offering laundry, etc.

In this clip, Geoff Berman from ATI discusses how shops can figure out what benefits they can offer that go beyond the norm:

What Technicians Actually Want From Employers

Technicians want to know their employer cares about them and has their best interest at heart. Right now, the demand for technicians is high, and supply is low. Take care of your people and know how you can improve your business so you can make it a great place to work.

A shop that is promoting technicians is doing all the right things. If a shop is terrified of losing its people, do a little self-reflection on why you’re worried in the first place. Look internally and find out what you can do to keep your technicians feeling appreciated and happy.

In this clip, Zack Hackett from R.G Huston explains how students constantly discuss work environment, compensation, and benefits:

Attracting Women to the Industry

The number of women working in the automotive and diesel industries is extremely low. There are people in this industry that still look down on women who want to get involved in this field. Many women feel like they get treated as if they don’t know what they’re doing.

As a shop owner/manager, show that your shop is female-friendly by having women in the front. Ask yourself, “How are you showing customers and employees that you’re a female-friendly business?” Having women in your shop will help attract more women to want to come and work for you.

Jennifer Ellestad from Zimbrick shares a story about her experience as a woman in the automotive industry:

Transforming Your Shop & Making Changes

No shop is perfect and they should be constantly working on making their shop the best it can be. Shops need to invest in and listen to their people. These things don’t happen overnight. Shops have to be deliberate and have the long game in mind. If you get the right people, slowly but surely you can transform and really change a brand.

A great example of how you can make changes in your shop is by getting employee feedback from surveys. Have actionable takeaways from the survey and create a plan to do something about it.

In this clip, Tim Winkler from VIP Tires & Services talks about the importance of addressing negative feedback head-on:

Using Social Media to Attract Technicians

Did you know that 86% of job seekers use social media in their job search? Shops need to take advantage of that 86% by building an online presence and using social media as a part of their recruiting efforts.

Content is everywhere. Post photos or videos of a shop tour, new equipment, shop culture, employee birthdays, team activities, etc. Get your team involved and ask them what the shop should post. It doesn’t need to fall on the shoulders of one person.

Making People Your Priority

Employees need to be your number one priority. Some say that customers are supposed to be your number one, but it’s employees that truly drive sales. Everyone wants a good happy family life, but they also want a good happy co-worker life.

As a shop owner or manager, if you don’t do what you say you’re going to do, you’re going to lose the trust of technicians. At the end of the day, you have to treat people like human beings and with respect.

In this clip, Darin Damron from JASPER Engines & Transmissions discusses how managers need to be consistent in engagement with their technicians: 

Recruiting Technicians

In today’s market, we know recruiting technicians is a struggle. Shops need to keep in mind that it takes a village. Everyone involved in the company should be involved in recruiting.

When recruiting technicians, have a lot of communication and interaction before the interview. Find out their favorite way to communicate. Do they prefer a phone call, an email, or a text? Constant reminders and communication are key.

Lindsey Trett from Walser Automotive Group talks about how a shop’s messaging needs to be more than just, “We’re hiring,” because everyone knows you’re hiring:  

We hope you enjoyed TechMission 2022! If you weren’t able to attend, be sure to watch the recordings on the WrenchWay website.