Writer: Steve Johnson
We all know that Top 10, or “whatever number” lists, are popular in media today. At the risk of presenting “a list too long,” I figured this would still be a good approach to what I think is an important topic. Why do technician recruitment efforts fail?
There are, of course, the “uncontrollable” issues. These include things such as: demographics, parental and cultural bias, industry stereotypes and the “four-year degree syndrome.” Let’s not focus on these, but on what can be controlled. Yes, the uncontrollables are there, but we also know that many of you have overcome such obstacles and have creatively established highly successful recruitment programs.
I have been at AED for a number of years and have observed several things that “more than once” have stood out to me as potential self-inflicted obstacles to success. Here are the Top 20:
- Recruiting knowledge and processes – Is there resident or an outsourced expert at your dealership?
- Effectively managed recruitment plan – Is someone in charge of plan development and execution?
- Continuity; short and long-term – Do you turn recruitment programs on and off? It’s counter-productive.
- Resources: financial, material, human – Is the needed investment, per the plan, being made?
- Understanding tech job requirements – Who does the initial screening; are they trained?
- Interest level of those assigned – Do those involved and accountable care?
- Tenacity; persistence – Do those involved and accountable have “the fire in the belly?”
- Market knowledge – Do you know your target audience, competition, and job market dynamics?
- Engagement with local schools – Are there established solid relationships and involvement?
- New recruitment ideas – Are there opportunities for team brainstorming?
- Team decision making authority – Do good prospects disappear while waiting for a decision?
- Promotion and public relations – Do you have a formal plan with items that reinforce each other?
- Repetition – Is your recruitment message communicated repeatedly in various media and events?
- Assigned ownership and accountability – Is this person identified and assigned; with goals?
- Collective local industry efforts – Do you work with other local stakeholders to meet mutual needs?
- Tracking – Do you track recruitment outcomes and take corrective action
- Incentives (recovery rates, production goals) – Do they disincentivize journeyman mentors of new techs?
- Consistency – Does your recruitment team communicate the same message, or create confusion?
- Expectations of success – Do previous recruitment obstacles affect future optimism?
- Student and decision-influencer engagement – Do you spend time to develop these relationships?
The above can be valuable to you as a checklist of potential obstacles to your recruitment efforts. Of course, the converse of these items are potential controllable keys to success. I suggest you take a few minutes with your team to review your recruitment plan. See what is working and what may not be working. Develop new ideas and approaches; talk with others who have been successful. Again, recruitment success is attainable, as demonstrated by AED members who are successful technician recruiters.
Contact The AED Foundation or your AED Regional Manager to discover opportunities for your dealership in these areas.