Only 1.25 percent of today’s job seekers are interested in careers at a dealership – this, coupled with the historically-low unemployment rate, makes retail automotive hiring incredibly challenging.
Dealers face additional challenges when hiring for hard-to-fill roles such as auto technicians. Between limited interest in technician careers and baby boomers retiring at a rapid rate, the automotive industry is expected to face a significant shortage of technicians in the coming years. In fact, the industry sees an average annual shortage of 39,000 trained technicians each year.
The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) is tackling these hiring challenges head-on.
NADA founded the NADA Foundation in 1975, to serve as the retail automotive industry’s philanthropic arm. The foundation promotes workforce development, provides emergency relief to dealership employees, supports military veterans, and more. In January 2019, NADA launched a new, consumer-facing NADA Foundation Workforce Initiative website, which promotes the value of service technician jobs and encourages job seekers to pursue careers as technicians.
Below, we’ve outlined some of the resources available to aspiring service techs – and job seekers who might not have otherwise considered a technician career – on the NADA Foundation website.
Outlined Career Paths
Today’s job seekers are looking for more than just an exchange of time for money and instead want to build long-term careers with their employers. On the NADA Foundation Workforce Initiative website, a section is dedicated to outlining career paths. These paths are explained across several dealership departments – including sales, parts, office and shop.
On the service technician side, the NADA Foundation describes what a great opportunity a service technician career has to offer. While some job seekers might have the misconception that a career as a technician involves oil changes and other “wrench turning” tasks, and has limited opportunities for career growth, this is not the case. As outlined by the NADA Foundation, the latest technology has created a demand for technically-savvy automotive repair and service personnel. The page also outlines benefits, including merit-based bonuses, retirement plans, healthcare coverage and more.
Beyond general benefits, the page shares an overview of different possible careers in the service department. Some of the options include: service technicians, mechanics, automotive body technicians, service managers, supervisors and service advisors, among others. Listing all the opportunities can help job seekers picture themselves in different roles across the service department – and realize there are plenty of chances for career progression.
Training Opportunities and Scholarships
Many job seekers might overlook technician careers because they don’t meet the job qualifications and don’t even know where to look for training opportunities. Through its Workforce Initiative, the NADA Foundation has created one centralized source for all OEM and industry training programs.
On the training facilities page, NADA breaks highlights the great opportunity job seekers can have as a service technician – local dealerships employ more than 319,000 service technicians, who make an average of $61,067 plus benefits. The page also enables job seekers to search for training facilities based on location, career path or keyword, making it easy for top talent to find what they need to jump-start a career as a technician.
In addition to the list of training opportunities, the NADA Foundation also has a page dedicated to scholarships. Some aspiring technicians might be excited about the possibility of starting their careers, but don’t have the financial means to cover training costs. Available scholarships can easily be filtered based on state and keyword.
One of the best ways for job seekers to picture themselves as service technicians – or in any other role – is to see and hear firsthand success stories. The NADA Foundation website has a Q&A video series called “Perspectives,” which highlights service technician success stories. These stories include: a senior service technician at Motorcars Toyota, who knew he wanted to be a service technician since participating in a vocational program in high school. And a Porsche Gold Meister Certified Technician who has been with Porsche since 2010.
The NADA Foundation is leading the way when it comes to developing the next generation of automotive technicians. And your dealership can apply some of the best practices from the NADA Foundation’s website to your own career site and job descriptions. To get job seekers excited about joining your team, highlight potential career paths with your dealership and share employee success stories. And in your list of employee benefits, make sure to include if you offer any on-the-job training, or tuition and tool reimbursement. For additional tips on attracting quality technicians in today’s competitive hiring market, read our resource, “5 Ways to Attract and Hire Quality Fixed Ops Staff.”