The recruiting game has changed. It was certainly a lot easier when throwing a “Help Wanted” sign in the window or posting an ad on Indeed actually lead to quality applicants.

The good news is it is still possible to produce a steady stream of technician applicants to your shop. The bad news is you need to step out of your comfort zone and start thinking about recruiting differently, and yes, it does require more work.

Thankfully, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Service managers and shop owners just need to take a few lessons from marketing and apply it to their technician recruiting strategy.

Eighty-six percent of recruiters agree that recruiting is becoming more like marketing.

The Undercover Recruiter

Taking a few plays from marketing, let’s look at how shops can better recruit technicians by treating them more like customers.

5 Marketing Strategies to Apply to Recruiting Technicians

Build a pipeline

Just like marketing creates a steady flow of leads, shops need to continually build relationships with potential candidates, even when they aren’t actively hiring. This can be done in several ways, including:

  • Networking and job fairs
  • Helping out schools (i.e., speaking to a class, donating tools/equipment, offering shop tours, etc.)
  • Leveraging social media
  • Employee referral campaigns

Candidate pipeline showing different stages of the job search process.

Nurture leads

Once you’ve established how you’re going to build a pipeline of candidates, then the real work starts. The key is to not just blast every technician you meet with “We’re hiring! Come work for us!” messages. Shops need to focus on familiarizing technicians with their shop and building relationships with them. That way, when the technicians are ready to look for a new opportunity, your shop is top of mind.

Examples of good and bad social media posts for attracting technicians.

Get creative

Messaging is key, and there is no one solution that fits all for technicians. It’s important to try different things, post different content, and see what resonates.

On WrenchWay Shop Talk, we see shops share all kinds of posts, videos, and photos showing off the culture at their shop and all the things that make them top employers for technicians. The posts that perform the best mention nothing about hiring.

Example of a Shop Talk post.

Give the best representation of yourself

From the moment a technician is introduced to your shop to when they apply/ interview, you need to make sure you’re highlighting what makes your shop great. Don’t be shy about showing off your compensation and benefits packages, career growth opportunities, and any unique perks. It’s your time to brag.

Another important thing is to put yourself in the technician’s shoes. Think about all the ways you can make them feel comfortable and at home throughout the entire recruiting process. Some examples include:

  • Give them all the information they want to know about the job before they even apply via the career page on your website or WrenchWay Top Shop page
  • Communicate with them based on their preference (i.e., email, phone, text, etc.)
  • Tell them where to park when they come in for an interview
  • Making sure the shop is clean and someone is there to welcome them when they come in

Example of a Top Shop page.

Measure success… the best you can

One of the most challenging aspects of marketing is measuring success. The same is true for modern-day recruiting. Because the journey of a candidate is so long and involves many touchpoints, it’s very difficult to attribute what exactly got them to apply. This is because a technician rarely applies because they saw one ad or social media post. It’s a culmination of all your recruiting strategies that lead a technician to apply, interview, and accept a position.

Example of a candidate's job search process.

Attracting the Technicians Your Shop Needs

To summarize, adopting marketing principles in your technician recruitment efforts can significantly enhance your chances of attracting top talent. By building a pipeline, nurturing relationships, getting creative, giving the best representation of your shop, and measuring success, you’ll be well on your way to recruiting the technicians your team needs.