Auto Service World
News   February 10, 2022   by Adam Malik

Why it’ll take more than money to attract techs

If a shop is not attracting or retaining technicians in your shop, money may not be the only reason.

Yes, a shop owner needs to make sure their wages are competitive and benefits meet a technician’s needs. “But I would argue young people are really like anybody else. Yeah, the paycheque’s important. Yeah, the pay grade’s important. But do I have an atmosphere in my shop that supports new people? Are we welcoming of diversity? Do we try to include people of colour?” Mike Coley, president of the ASE Education Foundation, noted as key questions for a shop.

Especially when it comes to young technicians, they want to know that they have a future in a business. They want to grow their careers.

Towfiqu Barbhuiya / Unsplash

“Do we have a culture that’s welcoming and inclusive, that takes young people and doesn’t just chain them to lube rack, but instead grows their skills over time, lets them see a career path where they can move up? An employer needs to look at the full package,” Coley said. “Yeah, pay is important. But a student, or any person, they want to be part of a family. They want to be part of something important. They want to be part of a team. And those aspects shouldn’t be overlooked when an employer is trying to figure out, ‘How do I attract and keep the best technicians?’”

And if they don’t see a viable path for growth, the technician will leave. When ASE surveys techs on why they leave, that’s usually the top reason why, said Trish Serratore, senior vice president of communications for ASE.

“So they didn’t say money — they said career path,” she emphasized. “And I think that speaks to Mike’s point there — they’re looking for the full package and … they want to be recognized. It isn’t just pay — it’s that pat on the back every day or that recognition. There’s a lot that’s going into it.”

For whatever reason, young techs aren’t treated as well as they should be when they’re coming up the ranks, Seeatore observed.

“We are an industry that eats our young. We have some expectations, but as a shop or a business owner, sometimes we don’t walk the walk. We just say, ‘Oh, we’re going to do all this stuff,’ but it doesn’t really happen,” she said in an interview. “And so those people come in an they don’t see what they saw when they were in school, they don’t feel like the workplace is holding up their end of the bargain.

“So I think our industry on the employer side has some work to do to be accepting of young people as they come in and understand what they’re looking for and how to support that.”

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4 Comments » for Why it’ll take more than money to attract techs
  1. Terry Fairfax says:

    There is no future for automotive repair as we see it today. There will only be dealers and select specialty shops open in the future. Imagine no oil changes, 250,000km brake jobs, no exhaust work and no tune ups. Take that work away from our shops today and we are all closed. A future tech in this trade is a pipe dream. Tech are leaving because they know there is no future in this industry. Tires, alignment and body shops will be the only service industry left after the full electric line-up takes over.

    • super narrow minded of you to say this, electric cars will require tires, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, just like gas cars, there will always be a need for the automotive technician

  2. Techs that I see leaving this industry are looking for easier lifestyle at work and trying to get away from retail clients that don’t appreciate their work . They want benefits , pension , easier work , less hours and more money . I’m trying to think of ways to get them that but $200 oil changes and $200 alignments as an example may turn away the retail clients that in turn will get passed the bill for the pay structure needed .

  3. Terry i believe your reply has some truth to it but i do believe you are wrong, now is the time to step forward and stick to the maintance. Look at hyundai for instance there full electric car at 25,000k has a service light due, had one in last week, full inspection, brake service etc. once the miles are accumulated we are still golden, the industry does not have huge profit from oil changes, so to cut that out sure it is some money, but keep your techs smart and you will stay okay, just becuase it is electric does not mean there electronics are built any better. There is still ball joints, sway bar links, brake service, wheel bearings, calibration ETC keep your head up we got this!

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