In this article, we’ll discuss ideas on how to make your auto repair business stand out to better position yourself to attract mechanic and technician talent amidst an industry-wide labor shortage.
Conceptualminds | June 28, 2022
Stand Out in the Auto Repair Mechanic Drought
You’ve no doubt heard plenty about the ongoing mechanic hiring crisis.
There’s one candidate for every five openings, collision repair backlogs are on the rise, and on top of a 4% drop in technician availability over the next decade, there will be 100,000 additional job openings from retirement.
Add to that an industry and non-profit response that appears altogether insufficient, and it’s almost too discouraging to think about.
Sure, there might not be enough mechanics to go around for the foreseeable future. But even with the small talent supply, there are ample opportunities for auto repair shop owners willing to compete at a higher level.
Mechanic Openings Go Up, Employer Demand Goes Down
Advertising has always been about differentiation. Consumers have to pick from a virtual ocean of competition, so sticking out is your best shot for getting noticed.
The same goes for attracting mechanics. Like customers, they have plenty of options, so they need a good reason to take a deeper look (And an even better one to sign on).
To make up for that differential, your job openings and employee experience have to be meaningfully different—and more attractive—better than the competition.
What Standing Out in the Mechanic Shortage Requires
The first step to standing out is knowing where you stand. That means having a better understanding of the following:
- You—your business and your employer experience
- The competition—and what they offer
- Mechanics—what are today’s current crop looking for
Understand Your Own Business First
Most organizations describe themselves the same exact ways; “we’re a family,” “we’re flexible,” and “we work hard and play hard.”
Attracting talent requires more than generic platitudes. You have to deeply understand what it’s like to work for your business if you’re looking to make a compelling pitch on its many silver linings.
How does one go about that?
Ask your employees about their experience, likes, and dislikes.
Decide in advance which questions you ask, how you’ll ask them—interviews, questionnaires, anonymous submissions—and how you’ll record those answers for later analysis.
Coming up with questions may sound like a pain; think of it like you’re identifying employment pain points.
What Your Competitors Care About
It’s always good practice to check out the competition’s approach before you commit to one yourself.
Search job boards—both in your coverage area and nationwide—and write down what they’re offering candidates; pay, benefits, culture, inclusivity, and opportunities for advancement.
Pay close attention to how they describe their company and culture to cater to younger mechanics.
Learn What Millenials and Gen Z Want from Their Workplace
Take it from marketers, it’s hard to appeal to demographics that you don’t really understand. If you’ve been hearing the same old stereotypes about Millenials and Gen Z—lazy narcissistic, incompetent—the truth may surprise you.
So what is it that makes younger generations different?
Today’s workforce wants the same as older generations; flexibility, good pay, benefits, and a healthy work environment.
Specifically, Millennials and Gen Z prefer transparent and authentic leadership. Past generations see ethics as a personal trait leaders can possess, while younger workers look more closely at the impact behavior has on people and the outside world.
And unlike Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, this group grew up in more diverse environments, without permissive attitudes towards stereotypes and targeted jokes.
They expect differences to be respected in their workplace. Do that, and you’ll be just fine.
End the Auto Repair Mechanic Talent Drought on Your Terms
There’s no better way of weathering this drought than by taking proactive action. And there’s no better practice for attracting interesting strangers than running a business.
At Conceptual Minds, our team helps automotive businesses get the most from their marketing dollars with tried and tested methods backed up by regular testing and research.
We equip our clients with the tools and knowledge to eliminate the guesswork from their marketing efforts and get top ROI through our tailored services. Our Print Marketing Services