Fleet Maintenance - 15
ful of others," says TechForce Foundation's Settle.
"In this day and age, many businesses would be
very happy to just get a new employee who meets
"According to my personal advisory board for
my program, soft skills are valued more than technical expertise in the majority of situations when
it comes to entry-level technicians," adds Duncan
Polytech's Rubio. "Traits like timeliness, integrity,
[and] having a good attitude along with a great
aptitude are invaluable to prospective employers.
I have been told numerous times that employers
would rather employ a technician with a growth
mindset, a great attitude, and the willingness to
learn over a technician that may have experience
but poor work ethic."
When it comes to assessing technical abilities,
Settle advises that basic technical skills are really
all that's needed. The rest can be trained on the
job based on the responsibilities of that employee.
Conduct the interviews
» American Diesel Training Centers offers
300-hour, 12-week technician training
programs that can provide students a base
knowledge of vehicle service and repair.
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various technician recruitment programs.
"Get to know what drives them, get a feel for
what kind of attitude they have and dive into the
technical side," Goninen says. "Lots of times, good
technicians feel most comfortable talking about
how they fix things. Having them tell you stories
about what they've repaired in the past can be a
really effective tool. If you're listening, you'll be
able to pick out pieces of their story that can help
you understand their level of expertise."
"But I think we, in general, would say we look for
those intangibles," adds American Diesel Training
Centers' Spurlock. "[Look at] the attitude and the
aptitude over what they have on a resume."
Get on the same page
First and foremost, make it easy to apply for the
job. Include a "careers" section on the company
website, accurate details on the job requirements,
location, and benefits, and provide a clear direction
on how to submit an application. A cumbersome
online application can quickly deter a potential
employee from completing the necessary forms.
Oftentimes, the human resources department
that is vetting potential hires may overlook a
number of qualified candidates. This can happen
due to a misrepresentation of the job posting created by the corporate office or human resources
department, compared to the actual needs of
the service department. It is critical that fleets
establish consistency and common goals between
all departments within the organization for the
resume review, interview, and hiring process.
"Job descriptions, experience level, credentials,
and other things that are configured in the electronic application and what is actually needed by
the shop/service manager may be two different
people," says Arrants.
Also consider the consistency between expec-
tations established by management and by technicians. Find A Wrench's Goninen says that the
industry has come a long way with creating a
professional image of the service technician, but
there is still some work to be done in order to help
improve this image.
"We can preach professionalism all day long, but
it won't matter until we get total buy-in from techs,"
says Goninen. "There are a really high number of
what I would consider professional techs that take
a great deal of pride in what they do. I also think
there are still a good percentage of technicians who
are wary of management, and I'm not sure they
trust that the shop owner/manager has their best
interests in mind."
Communication between the manager and technicians to establish wants, needs, and expectations is key to addressing this issue and to help
build trust between both sides.
"Many of the organizations that we struggle
recruiting quality technicians for have a different perception of their reputation than what
the outside world is seeing," says Goninen. This
may require management to complete a detailed
assessment of the benefits, working conditions,
and company culture.
"We really want you to put your ear to the
ground and hear what people are really saying
and thinking about you," he adds. "It could be
drastically different than you think," he adds.
Focus on the soft skills
So, what does an ideal new hire look like? The
answer is across the board, dependent on the needs
of the organization. Technical know-how can be
trained on the job, whereas the interpersonal, or
"soft skills," of a candidate are more often inherent.
Examples of soft skills include being dependable, punctual, respectful, and presentable,
and representing themselves and the company
"Don't call in sick or with excuses frequently,
stay off your cell phone, be well-groomed, have a
little humility as you are learning, and be respect-
There are two primary areas employers should
keep in mind when conducting interviews: determine cultural fit and assess technical abilities as
it relates to the position. In other words, does the
potential employee have the right attitude and
personality, and will they know how to complete
the assigned tasks?
"If companies did more benchmarking of their
current technicians and used that as a guide for
all potential candidates, that may assist in finding those who could fit that shop environment,"
Arrants suggests that other employees who will
be directly supervising or working with the potential hires be part of the interview process. This may
help to determine if the candidates would be a qualified fit for the job requirements and the culture.
"The interviews should be conducted by other
technicians and/or people they are going to need
to work with, instead of an individual or group
that asks the same questions [for every interview]
and may never have direct contact with that hire
after the interview," he says.
Find A Wrench's Goninen proposes shops
continue recruitment efforts even at full capacity.
This can help to ensure a pool of qualified candidates in the event an employee leaves, and it can
help keep interviewing skills sharp. He suggests
setting a goal of at least one interview per month.
"As competitive as the market for technicians
is, I feel like you're always just a day or two away
from being 'a tech short,'" Goninen says. "If you can
change your mindset to truly focus on continuous
recruitment, you will automatically have a leg up
[compared to most other shops]. Do the recruiting
when your shop is full, and I can guarantee you
will make less hiring mistakes."
American Diesel Training Centers' Spurlock
suggests adding an additional component to the
interview process, by having prospective employees audition for the job. Allow them to spend a
few days in the shop to showcase their skills to
determine their knowledge and abilities.
"Some of the best shops that we work for they'll
say, 'Look, you're hired today. I like you. You have
some experience, but you're essentially going to
audition for the job. I want you to come in, and I
July 2019 | VehicleServicePros.com
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fleet Maintenance
Uptime - How you can make the most out of your shop's ROs
Foundation for success: How do you find and keep technician talent?
Vehicles - Examining the e-systems available for today's fleets
In the Bay - Do techs understand the fundamentals of electrical system diagnosis?
Shop Operations - How to assess replacement parts
Reman, Rebuild, Replace - Reasons fleets should consider reman
Economic Outlook - Uncertainties with today's global economy
Tire Tactics - Factors to help determine the lifecycle of tires
Management - The "shop improvement" conundrum
Fleet Parts & Components
Tools & Equipment
Guest Editorial - Increase shop efficiencies through fluid management
Fleet Maintenance - 1
Fleet Maintenance - 2
Fleet Maintenance - 3
Fleet Maintenance - 4
Fleet Maintenance - 5
Fleet Maintenance - 6
Fleet Maintenance - 7
Fleet Maintenance - Uptime - How you can make the most out of your shop's ROs
Fleet Maintenance - 9
Fleet Maintenance - Foundation for success: How do you find and keep technician talent?
Fleet Maintenance - 11
Fleet Maintenance - 12
Fleet Maintenance - 13
Fleet Maintenance - 14
Fleet Maintenance - 15
Fleet Maintenance - 16
Fleet Maintenance - 17
Fleet Maintenance - Vehicles - Examining the e-systems available for today's fleets
Fleet Maintenance - 19
Fleet Maintenance - 20
Fleet Maintenance - 21
Fleet Maintenance - 22
Fleet Maintenance - 23
Fleet Maintenance - In the Bay - Do techs understand the fundamentals of electrical system diagnosis?
Fleet Maintenance - 25
Fleet Maintenance - 26
Fleet Maintenance - 27
Fleet Maintenance - 28
Fleet Maintenance - 29
Fleet Maintenance - Shop Operations - How to assess replacement parts
Fleet Maintenance - 31
Fleet Maintenance - 32
Fleet Maintenance - 33
Fleet Maintenance - 34
Fleet Maintenance - 35
Fleet Maintenance - Reman, Rebuild, Replace - Reasons fleets should consider reman
Fleet Maintenance - 37
Fleet Maintenance - Economic Outlook - Uncertainties with today's global economy
Fleet Maintenance - 39
Fleet Maintenance - Tire Tactics - Factors to help determine the lifecycle of tires
Fleet Maintenance - 41
Fleet Maintenance - 42
Fleet Maintenance - 43
Fleet Maintenance - 44
Fleet Maintenance - 45
Fleet Maintenance - 46
Fleet Maintenance - 47
Fleet Maintenance - 48
Fleet Maintenance - 49
Fleet Maintenance - 50
Fleet Maintenance - 51
Fleet Maintenance - 52
Fleet Maintenance - 53
Fleet Maintenance - Management - The "shop improvement" conundrum
Fleet Maintenance - Fleet Parts & Components
Fleet Maintenance - 56
Fleet Maintenance - 57
Fleet Maintenance - Tools & Equipment
Fleet Maintenance - 59
Fleet Maintenance - 60
Fleet Maintenance - Classifieds
Fleet Maintenance - Guest Editorial - Increase shop efficiencies through fluid management
Fleet Maintenance - 63
Fleet Maintenance - 64