With Baby Boomers retiring and a critical shortage of technicians, it is becoming more important than ever to fill the employment gap.
According to the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), more than 21,500 collision repair technicians leave the industry every year, a trend that has increased steadily since 1995. “Even with 80,000 young people enrolled in collision repair classes, there will not be enough qualified graduates to meet growing labor demands,” said CREF.
No longer can you just put a sign in your window looking for new hires and expect to find the perfect technician. However, there are ways to reach out to find a good match for your body shop.
10 ways to find top talent:
1) Partner with a technical school
Trade schools across the country are working hard to prepare the next generation of workers. By building a relationship with one in your area, you’ll have the opportunity to meet potential new hires and showcase your body shop. Javier Valencia, the campus admissions representative from the Universal Technical Institute, said that technical schools offer students the opportunity to gain specific knowledge that will help them learn what it takes to work in a variety of jobs in the industry.
2) Offer a job shadowing program or internship
Inviting less experienced technicians into your shop and offering them hands-on training often leads to those same individuals becoming full-time employees. Many schools offer internship programs for students and will help place qualified workers in your place of business.
3) Advertise on your website
Set up a dedicated section on your company website to include new jobs. It only takes a few minutes to update the information and also showcases your company’s culture so potential workers will learn about what your business stands for.
4) Look for career websites
There are a variety of career websites to choose from such as CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com and Indeed.com. By listing your job opportunity on one or more of them, it will help you reach a wider audience.
5) Post on social media
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great ways to advertise you are looking for employees. The next generation of workers are more than likely very comfortable on these mediums and use them frequently.
6) Offer perks
A good wage is no longer enough to attract and retain employees. The next generation of workers is looking for companies that are open to flexible hours, make a difference in their communities and have open communication. They also want to learn and grow. Make sure to provide medical and dental benefits as well as the opportunity for advancement, which is very appealing to Millennials.
7) Attend career fairs
Career fairs give companies a great opportunity to meet students who are looking for employment. “These types of events connect students with those looking to hire them,” said Brandon Eckenrode, the director of development for CREF.
8) Pay well and offer additional training
Provide your employees with attractive compensation and make sure they stay current with training. By investing in their future, you will have a better chance to gain a long-term employee. Incentives such as a tool allowance and tuition reimbursement are also appealing to potential employees.
9) Get creative
In addition to the typical ways of finding new hires, it may be advantageous to think outside of the box. Consider reaching out to the military or even correctional facilities. Many have workplace development programs in collision repair.
10) Be passionate
Develop a culture of trust. Demonstrate that you care about your employees and want to create a team atmosphere where everyone is respected and appreciated.
CREF is gathering student information as part of the organization’s National Student Resume Database. High school and college collision repair students looking for full-time, part-time or internship work are invited to provide their contact information to CREF at the end of the spring school semester. The database will be then be distributed to industry supporters. For information, email Brandon.Eckonrode@ed-foundation.org.
The industry is currently looking for new ways to hire workers. If you have additional recommendations on how to find top talent, we encourage you to email us. By working together as an industry, it will help the collision repair industry grow and prosper in the future.