Human Relations Managers: Everybody Needs Technicians

Following is the conclusion of this article that appeared in September’s NE Dealer.

By John Walker

wrenchPut some imagination into your hiring and think “outside the box”! Money is not normally the #1 motivator for qualified personnel changing jobs.

We know a dealer in a major metropolitan area who has no problem hiring and maintaining a qualified staff of technicians. This dealer pays a slightly higher hourly wage than his competitors, has a superior benefit program and offers technicians all the additional training they can handle.

He is also proud of the fact that he has the highest labor rate in the area, because he supplies the best service in the market.

“Think outside the box!” Advertise the features, advantages and benefits of working for your
company. Look at the living advantages in your location.

Advertise outside your territory. Just maybe you will find a quality technician who lives in the cold and frigid north that would really like to move south.

Many technicians enjoy hunting and fishing. If you are in an area where great hunting and fishing abounds, let your prospective applicants know that is one great benefit you have to offer. (Promise them days off during deer season, or the first two days of the trout season.)

Spend as much time and effort hiring technicians as you would to hire a top-notch sales person. If you know the numbers, you also know that your return on your investment will be greater with the technician.

No, it is not easy! If you want quality personnel and technicians in particular, you must work at it!

If you have a Tech or Vocational School within your area, or a Community College visit them, see what they have to offer, get involved, and get your manufacturers involved. If you don’t get involved then you will lose out on the opportunity to take advantage of the offered opportunities of these training facilities.

One important fact is that most all of the students coming out of these programs have jobs
when they graduate. Some of the key manufacturers in the equipment industry have programs going on to provide their dealers with qualified and professional technicians.

Did the dealers have a financial interest in the students? Sure they did, but it was in most cases minimal. Most of the trade schools we talk with prefer students who are dedicated enough to handle most of their own tuition. It is also not uncommon for
a sponsoring dealer to provide summer work in the dealership.

Right now an area of prospects might be the military. There are cut-backs in the military and in some specific areas this will offer dealers qualified and quality personnel. Someone who has spent time avoiding “unscheduled downtime” on a military tank, serviced both in the field and in a “Motor Pool” should find little problem working on a crawler, a tractor or even a lift truck.

Give a veteran an opportunity!

Another area of consideration for finding potential candidates might be the State Prison
Authority. (Don’t be a negative thinker!) Many State Prisons are developing technical training programs for their inmates.

Now how about Trade Associations, local, regional and national? Many industry associations have recognized this as a North American problem and are gearing up to assist many of their dealers in their membership to provide access to service technicians.

We strongly recommend that all equipment dealers work with and back their trade associations in this endeavor.

Readers and Human Relations Managers, the problem is not going to go away anytime soon! Manufacturers, Dealers and Associations need to work together to alleviate the problem. If Manufacturers don’t, then they may have the best product on the market with nobody to service that product.

Dealers, if you don’t focus upon the problem, you will find a decline in sales and profitability in the greatest area of profitability within your dealership.

Associations, your survival is dependent upon the survival and strength of your membership.

HR Managers and dealers, if this article has been of interest to you and you would like us to send you our monthly special: TECHNICIANS, Field & Shop, finding, hiring, acclimating, retaining and compensating, then email us at and we will email you
the manual. You will be invoiced $16.99; you will only need to pay the invoice if you are completely satisfied with the product. Please let us know your dealership’s name and address as well as your email address and line of products.

“The optimist sees opportunity in every danger; the pessimist sees danger in every opportunity!”
~ Winston Churchill

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