This job offer for a qualified automotive technician posted on an Internet job site captured my attention. More importantly, did it capture a response for the independent repair shop owner who’s ready to hire?
Is the offer an empty promise? The math works with overtime factored, and assuming a shop’s volume provides the technician with at least 50 hours of repair work each week. At $35 an hour, the estimated annual compensation is $91,000 plus benefits, plus continuing education, plus no weekends, plus free lunch Wednesdays, plus paid vacation.
This is an incredibly attractive opportunity for an experienced and well-trained technician. I underlined experienced and well- trained to spotlight the challenge of most shop owners: finding and hiring qualified technicians.
In conversation with MANY shop owners, there isn’t a single answer. As a start, I can share solutions during these conversations that may prove helpful:
• Shop Owner A: Parents have no idea of the opportunity for their children provided by a career in automotive service. I’m not a great speaker, but I do connect with the local high school in my community twice a year to provide a brief description of the wonderful opportunities available with a career in automotive repair, including the required training and, yes, the potential income.
• Shop Owner B: The Boy Scouts of America have a merit badge for automotive maintenance. About twice a year I invite the local troop to my shop to provide an overview of basic car care. From there, I can extend internship- or apprentice-type opportunities to kids who show an interest.
• Shop Owner C: The local high school has a Car Club and I invite two students every semester who have interest to help me tear down an engine, including a basic conversation on the primary components. There’s a direct correlation among the students who participate, and those who have an interest in mechanical repair as a career.
• Shop Owner D: I teach one class at the local Tech/Vocational School, which helps me establish a relationship with students who are interested in a career in mechanical repair. I’ve had success in finding future employees among the students I meet in the classroom.
The common denominator is the grassroots effort among these four owners. They are making a connection with students at a time when they begin to consider career opportunities.
Not all young adults have interest in a four-year undergraduate degree and that’s OK; there are plenty of individuals who are mechanically inclined, but haven’t realized their potential. Making the connection with these young adults, as described by the actions of the four shop owners, yields results; it just takes a little time, patience and energy.
Have a solution to help your fellow shop owners? Call or send me an email.