Today’s hiring market is rough. Attracting and retaining good employees is more difficult than ever. We live in a world of entitlement and fluid change. Employees who aren’t getting exactly what they want will bolt to a new opportunity much faster than ever before. It seems many employees are constantly chasing rainbows, or seeking something they will never find because they feel they are worth more, or shouldn’t have to settle.

In the world of fixed-ops, this struggle to attract and retain good employees is particularly difficult. It is no secret that a service technician or parts advisor is not the most glamorous job title. Couple this with the current wealth of available jobs (particularly flashy tech jobs) and you might start to see why you are fighting an uphill battle.

So, how do we attract and retain better employees in fixed-ops? The answer lies in employee recruitment and development. The sporting world has had a good grasp on this concept for a long time. Top prospects are identified in High School (or earlier) and they are groomed to play for whatever college or professional team that shows the most interest.

In order to attract and retain the best talent in this job market, you need to think outside the box. Here are some ideas for recruiting and developing talent in the up-and-coming generation.

High School Recruitment

As a local business, you are probably already involved in the local community. Sponsorships or other involvement with local High Schools can open the door for you to connect with students who are showing a proclivity for automotive or technical careers. Consider conducting workshops, or other extra-curricular activities that will garner participation from these students and get you access to them. The long-lasting benefits of these early connections can be huge for your dealership.

When connecting with these students, you want to educate them on the importance of working in the world of fixed-ops. Help them understand that we all have a role to play in the world and that fixed-ops at a dealership is vital for helping people stay on the road and getting things done.

Connecting with these students is also a valuable way to show them that there are more jobs in technology than simply working for a software company. The auto industry is currently at the forefront of technological innovation, and we need young tech-based minds to be able to service these highly advanced vehicles.

College Internships and Development Programs

In addition to connecting with local High Schoolers, there are many opportunities to be had by offering internships (paid or unpaid) for college students looking for work experience. There are more and more technical colleges springing up every year. This is a great place to start, but there may also be opportunities to partner with traditional universities as well.

Similar to the philosophy of connecting with High Schoolers, a program that involves cooperation with higher education will give you greater access to young minds and will help you mold them into employees that love what they do and appreciate the employer who helped them get there.

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