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8 Ways Shops Turn Off Good Techs

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You don’t just want any technician in your shop—you want the best. And if you’re doing things right, Bogi Lateiner says, quality technicians will find you.

While the technician shortage affects thousands of shops across the country, Lateiner, owner of 180 Degrees Automotive in Phoenix, Ariz., says her shop is constantly having to turn good applicants away. And it’s all because she understands one simple fact:

“The best employees are currently working,” she says. “You need to capture their attention and speak to their job dissatisfaction.”

That’s where, in applicants’ eyes, your shop can separate from the herd, by avoiding the common mistakes that are turning quality technicians away from shops. At the 2016 WORLDPAC Supplier & Training EXPO, Lateiner laid out several mistakes beyond pay plans and benefits that she sees shops making. Avoid these, and you'll be able to secure your great technicians and attract the best talent from shops missing the mark.

1. Not Understanding What Technicians Want

Part of attracting quality technicians is understanding what they’re looking for at a new job.

“New hires are looking to be a part of something bigger and important, somewhere they can grow, somewhere they're respected,” she says.

Lateiner says the best techs want:

  • To be part of something bigger
  • Opportunities for growth
  • To be appreciated and respected
  • A positive and safe work environment
  • To feel empowered
  • A steady supply of work
  • Access to the best equipment and resources

2. A Passive Culture

Next is making sure your leadership and vision carries out technicians’ desire to be part of something bigger, something great. And that could mean turning your passive culture into an active one.

Lateiner says to ask yourself: “Do I have a clear vision of who my company is and where it’s going?” The clearer your vision, the easier it will be to make your actions match your mentality. Share that passion with your employees, and once everyone is on board with your vision, new applicants will sense that energy and want to be part of it.

If you’re doing everything right, the passion behind your vision should come across during interviews, Lateiner says.

“You are not the only one conducting an interview,” she says. “They are interviewing you and what you stand for.”

3. A Messy Environment

While this seems simple, Lateiner says she often experiences messy, cluttered, disorganized environments that turn away people looking to work at top-notch shops. When you have a clean, systemized work environment, applicants are more likely to see you as a productive shop.

4. An Unsafe Shop

There are simple safety precautions quality techs will notice and ask about your shop, Lateiner says:

  • Equipment and lifts in good working order
  • Gloves and safety equipment provided
  • Fire and emergency equipment available
  • Good lighting
  • Safety training provided

5. Poor Equipment

Out-of-date equipment is a huge turn-off for technicians looking to work at the best shops, Lateiner says. Consider updating your lifts, air hoses, tools, and service equipment, and provide plenty of work bench space for that equipment.

6. A Lack of Resources

The best technicians will wonder about resources available to them, Lateiner says. If your shop supplies its employees with computers and provides access to quality management systems, applicants will see that and want to be part of it.

Also, make it clear you’re willing to spend the money on providing the proper tools that will help them succeed and grow.

7. A Lack of Perks and Amenities

There are simple amenities that go a long way with your employees. Lateiner says to make sure you’re providing a comfortable break room, cool drinks in the summer and warm drinks in the winter, professional uniforms, and a changing room.

8. A Poor Online Presence

Lateiner says you website isn’t only attracting customers—when a technician is looking for a new shop to work for, they’re going to do their research online first and judge your shop before ever stepping through the door.

Make sure your website’s language and all its photos reflect an active culture and you and your team’s vision for something great. Your photos should reflect a clean shop with the latest equipment and happy employees, and the website should be optimized for mobile use.

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