If you are not working on being the best teacher and leader that you can be, you are contributing to all the future challenges of the automotive service industry.
There is a massive lack of young talent. People don’t want to wrench, wrap, or fabricate, and don’t appear to have the patience to learn. They can stay on unemployment, get a job in retail, or go into some sort of administrative job. All of these options are easier on your body, take less time to learn, offer better benefits and stable employment, don’t require your own tools, a college degree or time-consuming certifications, and probably pay just as well as an automotive service job.
However, of these young people who take jobs in other sectors, there is a substantial percentage of them who are interested in cars. Maybe their dad, mom, uncle, or aunt drives a cool car. Maybe they grew up watching Top Gear or The Grand Tour or Fastest Car.
They, like me, may have told their parents or their teachers about their aspirations to work with cars. I dreamt of being a car designer, a mechanic, and a race car driver. After my first year of college, I wanted to pursue a job as a mechanic for the summer, but was immediately shut down. “You don’t want to go work with those grease monkeys.”
Automotive service is not a glamorous, prestigious, or highly respected business. However, it NEEDS to become all of those things in order to keep car enthusiasts in the driver’s seat of their hobby and passion. You are part of the solution that the industry needs. We must attract young talent, turn around the image of automotive service, and elevate the standards of all of us to provide the best service to our customers.
Here are three ways that you can help change the image of the industry and attract young talent:
1. Change your hiring practices. Stop looking for your perfect plug and play employee, and instead look for someone with excitement for cars, a willingness to learn, and a desire to be challenged with unique problems on a daily basis. Prepare training for these people to get up to speed with what you need them to help with.
2. To work in automotive service is to take serious ownership of your career. If you buy your own tools, you’re invested in making it work. Your employer should be investing in you as well. Your team will perform at their best when they know that you care about them and want them to get better. Give them continuing education, resources to help them build the life they want, and comparable benefits to what they could get in another industry.
3. Never stop having fun or sharing that fun. Go to events, win races, win shows, and hire a videographer to follow you. Make epic content and put it out there. Make your team into celebrities by winning events, creating awesome cars, and building memorable experiences that create a fan club.
We need to step up the employment experience in the automotive aftermarket. Give your team an experience that others can be jealous of, and we can begin growing the next generation of talent.
Let me know how it goes – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Driven Performance Advisors
Driven Performance Advisors creates profitable, efficient, and stress-free $5M automotive aftermarket shops. Schedule a consultation at drivenperformanceadvisors.com. Subscribe to DPA Weekly at drivenperformanceadvisors.com/dpaweekly.