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With the increasing demand for service repairs, dealers are scrambling to recruit more technicians. At the same time, the pool of experienced technicians is dwindling, as not enough new technicians are entering the workforce -- and demand will only increase.
Regardless of how much money your dealership may spend to expand your facilities to accommodate more work, if there aren’t technicians in the bays to do it, it’s a losing proposition. In fact, many dealers are aggressively recruiting technicians from other dealerships, offering increased pay and better working conditions. But don’t throw in the towel just yet. Winning the war for talent could be within your reach, with a little thinking outside-the-box.
One way to increase technician availability is by recruiting inexperienced young people and providing them with on-the-job training. They can start with routine quick-service type ROs including tire rotation, changing out windshield wipers, checking fluids, and lamp replacements. While this can help provide more useful hands, it also takes years for a brand-new technician to gain enough knowledge to be on par with the already experienced technicians. And, as new technology continues to dominate vehicles, even the most experienced technicians can essentially be forced to go back to school to learn how to repair today’s highly advanced vehicles.
According to an article in Automotive News, there is perhaps a more practical way to access technicians who can immediately perform and increase service revenue. That is by recruiting military veterans. And that makes perfect sense.
Frequently, when businesses actively recruit military veterans, it is because they want to reward these patriots for their service to our country. However, let’s not forget that many military veterans simply did their four years of service, learned a trade, and left. Many were fixing multi-million-dollar aircraft, tanks, military transport vehicles, and other machinery that are, in fact, vehicles. These veterans leave the military with a skill set that may even surpass many dealership technicians, except for the OEM specific knowledge. This potential pool of candidates already has an extremely sophisticated knowledge-set, and it can be much easier (and quicker) to get them productive.
It might, at the very least, be good food for thought.