How to Hire Best Auto Techs

In a tough economy with record unemployment, it's a common misperception that employers have an easier time finding highly qualified staffers. But a surplus of available workers can actually complicate the hiring process. That's because employers must weed through lots of resumes and applications to find the right candidate. So, it's important for employers to understand and quickly identify the key

In a tough economy with record unemployment, it's a common misperception that employers have an easier time finding highly qualified staffers.

But a surplus of available workers can actually complicate the hiring process. That's because employers must weed through lots of resumes and applications to find the right candidate.

So, it's important for employers to understand and quickly identify the key success factors for recruiting, hiring and retaining the best auto technicians.

From auto maker-specific training to professional conduct standards, there are important attributes dealers should consider when hiring new technicians.

Technical schools are a great resource for qualified talent.

For instance, Universal Technical Institute has been training technicians for 45 years. We've worked with top dealers to help place top candidates with manufacturer-specific and manufacturer-approved advanced training.

Dealers who post job openings with a technical school can reach a highly motivated group of graduates who have already invested 12 to 18 months in an automotive-training program.

In addition, technical schools can reduce a dealer's hiring overhead by providing access to a staff that can recommend high-caliber students and graduates for job openings.

Some technical schools also host job fairs and employment days to bring dealers together with qualified entry-level technician candidates to fill employment opportunities.

Dealers end up determining that graduates with proper training can make an immediate impact and a great addition to their team.

Technical schools, particularly those focused on the automotive, diesel, and collision repair fields, operate in facilities that meet industry standards and graduate highly skilled entry-level technicians.

Graduates earning a technical degree from a school offering a reputable core automotive program will have extensive hands-on experience diagnosing and repairing domestic and foreign vehicles.

These students are taught how to troubleshoot using the latest equipment under the guidance of experienced instructors. They have mastered a curriculum based on the latest industry technology and procedures that is balanced with theory, diagnosis, demonstration and garage work.

In addition to the technical training, students at top automotive schools learn essential workplace skills with a focus on customer service and professionalism.

The quality of a candidate's technical education background can be reaffirmed by nationally recognized industry standards.

The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation examines the structure and resources of training programs against national quality standards that students must master.

Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification through NATEF ensures that students graduate from a certified training program that will meet or exceed industry-recognized standards of excellence.

Select automotive training schools have partnerships with original equipment manufacturers and have developed training specific to those manufacturers.

Graduates of basic automotive programs can qualify and elect to complete this specialized training. By completing these programs, these technicians are also able to understand and maintain OEM specifications.

Conversely, to fully certify an entry-level technician with no prior factory credential training is a long process. It can take a dealer up to five years or more to assist the technician in attaining such credentials.

With more candidates in the work pool, dealers will have to sift through many more applicants to find the right talent for their organization.

To get the best, it is not only important to know what skills and experience to look for, but also where to find the best- trained candidates. Recruiting from technical schools is a great place to start.

Greg Dickson is a senior vice president at Phoenix, AZ-based Universal Technical Institute that educates students preparing for careers as vehicle technicians. He can be reached at [email protected].

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