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Recruiting and Retaining Technicians

May 26, 2004

As the backbone of any new car franchise, proper staffing of the service department is essential to the financial health of your dealership.But once you have assembled your winning team, how do you keep them? Have you designed a pay plan that is going to get the most out of your mechanics?In the workshop “Recruiting and Retaining Technicians,” from NADA’s 2004 Convention, it is submitted that instead of structuring a plan based on hours produced, you should reward bonuses for technician proficiency.This can be determined by dividing the hours produced by the hours available.This plan also will encourage your techs to seek training and information to increase their proficiency.Their growth, and your encouragement, makes for a happy and fulfilling workplace. Service departments have evolved and aren’t what they used to be.The average automobile today has more electronic equipment than the Apollo spacecraft that made the trip to the moon.You need to treat your technicians with the respect that one with an advanced level of expertise deserves.Money talks, but according to industry experts, the #1 reason any technician works for you is the respect you show them. The pools of prospective employees you have at your disposal to recruit from are numerous.Perhaps one of the most beneficial, to both your dealership and the community, is the AYES program.Standing for the Automotive Youth Educational Systems, it provides a line of communication from you to local schools which would serve to educate young people to the opportunities available with your dealership after graduation.More importantly, is the relationship you’ll create with the young, eager students who will come to learn under your manufacturer-certified technicians. [Editor’s Note:For more information on NJ CAR’s involvement with the AYES Program, please visit the “AYES Information” page on the public side of the website.]