The competition for quality technicians has never been higher for today’s shop owners. As fewer young people join the automotive repair job force, shops are being forced to fine-tune the way they recruit new talent. Unlike years past, shop owners are being called to think outside the box to entice prospective candidates. In many cases, this includes offering more than just a paycheck.
Shop Owner talked to hiring expert Dana Manciagli about what the next generation of technicians is looking for from their employers, and what owners can do to attract the best candidates, avoid common recruitment pitfalls and outmaneuver the competition. Dana is a global career expert, trainer and speaker who specializes in helping connect qualified candidates with the right employers.
What should shop owners know about attracting the best candidates?
There are essentially three generations of job seekers vying for jobs today: baby boomers, Generation X (Gen X) and Generation Y (Millennials). While the unemployment crisis has been dominating the news for years, a serious and related problem that companies face today is a talent crunch.
Companies of all sizes are concerned about — and ill equipped to face — these three challenges: creating a differentiated employee value proposition, attracting the right talent for the future and enhancing the retention of new hires.
- Update Your Hiring Value Proposition
Are you inspired by your company’s job description(s)? Would you apply? Who wrote the copy regarding new job openings, and when was it last reviewed? Have you asked for feedback from someone from each generation to see if it’s appealing to prospective hires?
I review job descriptions with my job-searching clients and guide them to do research on prospective employers. Often, I hear comments like, “This company sounds old-school,” or “I want to work for a cool, fast-paced employer,” or “I want to make a difference and this reads like a dead-end job.”
Reboot your hiring value proposition: rewrite your key messages to speak to the audiences you want to reach. Develop multiple angles depending on the target generation and job function. Relaunch a great employee referral program and use your local resources to reposition your company as a great employer.
- Develop a Talent Pipeline Filled With Internal and External Candidates
No matter what size your shop, your talent needs can change overnight. You should maneuver to make sure you’re staying competitive.
I believe one of the biggest potential threats to many companies is the lack of a robust talent pool from which to select their leaders of the future. Owners should ask themselves whether their existing talent pool has the people skills, the leadership capabilities and the overall knowledge required for their shop’s future.
Challenge yourself to interview your current employees and clearly understand what role they aspire to in the future, what motivates them and what is missing from their current role. Focus on doing a better job conveying your hiring value proposition during the recruiting and interviewing stages, and stay in touch with candidates who either declined an offer or individuals you’ve met who have a great background but don’t match an open position.
What are some of the biggest things you see companies and business owners do that hinders them from securing top talent?
Mistake #1: Delegating the Recruitment of Talent
Shop owners must be immersed in writing their job descriptions, reviewing candidate applications, interviewing and thinking strategically about what talent they need in the future.
Mistake #2: Making the Recruiting Process a Lower Priority
If you don’t prioritize your recruiting process, it will be apparent to the candidates! A company’s brand is closely tied to the way they treat customers, but it’s also tied to how they relate to prospective clients. And the state of candidate “treatment” during the recruiting process is pretty abysmal. Here are some stark examples of what not to do if you want to secure top talent:
- Don’t make them wait. Once the candidate applies, reply to them quickly if you are interested. Also reply to them quickly, with a personalized note, if you are not interested.
- Don’t have a recruiter call screen the candidate then make them wait. The candidate often hears, “The hiring manager is too busy with other things now.”
- Don’t have a face-to-face interview with the candidate, then make them wait. It shouldn’t take you that long to get all the feedback you need.
How should companies be promoting a job opening to get qualified candidates?
There are so many vehicles to promote job openings. Here are the keys to selecting which ones to use:
- Be where your target candidates are. If they are on LinkedIn, then be sure your job posting is there.
- The major job boards are very powerful, such as Glassdoor.com and Indeed.com, so use them.
- Have a great recruiting set of pages on your website and ensure it is mobile-enabled.
- Have an employee referral program. Some of the best talent comes from the talent you already have! Offer a $500 or $1,000 cash bonus if an employee introduces a great talent that you hire, and pay it out once three months pass.
- Either hire or contract the skills of a great sourcing person — someone who knows the secret to sourcing candidates on LinkedIn.