JUST ONE THING
Creating Technicians for the Future of Auto Repair
With Rick White, 180BIZ
One of the reasons why we have a help issue is that you are not excited about the opportunity. It breaks my heart when I hear a shop owner tell a young person to stay away from this industry. I know that this industry is amazing. It has provided for so many, and if you are struggling, we can fix that.
I’ll tell you about another reason why we have help issues. But first, I’ll tell you a story. I love this story.
So there were four shop owners named everybody, somebody, anybody, and nobody. They had to recruit technicians and everybody was sure somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was everybody's job. Everybody thought anybody could do it. But nobody realized that everybody would not do it. It ended up that everybody blamed somebody when nobody did what anybody could have done.
And my question to you is, Who are you? Are you everybody, somebody, anybody, or nobody?
This is the issue. For years we've been talking about the technician shortage coming. We've been talking about a help situation. Now the help issue has arrived. Everyone is looking for help. But we are in a real crunch as an industry because we're looking for very talented help. We're not looking for someone to stock shelves or serve hamburgers. We're looking for someone that has a wealth of knowledge in their mind and experience that's going to help bring our team and our business u to the next level.
The reality is you have a choice. You can either, steal 'em, grow 'em, or create 'em. And everyone has been focused on stealing them. What I mean is you're going out and attracting people that are already in the industry. You're looking for unicorns, right?
This is a problem because there are only so many that we can attract who are already in the industry. There are a lot of technicians who are aging out. That’s a big deal. We can only steal so often.
Now I want to talk about creating techs. You need to create your technicians. You can't wait for someone else to do it for you. You can't be so consumed with today that you're not thinking about tomorrow. We are an industry that is feeding our children by killing our grandchildren. What I mean by that is we are so consumed with today we're not making sure that there's something left for tomorrow. If every shop would pick one person to foster and nurture and grow, it would be amazing.
Yes. It does require time and effort. Especially in the beginning. But if you have a plan, it makes all the difference in the world. They could go to school, but I have another idea. I believe that we can set up a mentoring program, and this is something I want to work on this year. We can have a mentoring program where an older technician, you know, one who is slowing down. He has a wealth of knowledge. He is 55 or 60 years old. And instead of saying, “Hey man, sorry. Love you, bye” because he is slower these days, take on one or two apprentices. Have your older tech mentor them with a curriculum of online training, allowing them to grow so much faster.
I don't want to badmouth any schools, but I've seen so many kids coming out of the schools after two years of an automotive program that can barely do a brake job. Have you seen that too? And that's not what we're looking for today. We're looking for people that can grow. That's how I learned. I learned this industry at my dad's feet. There's just so much that you can learn from others.
This way you're not putting the old cow out to pasture. You're not releasing the older tech that can't produce as much anymore. You are finding a new way to create the next generation for our industry. And I think that's amazing.
This is not everybody's job anymore. This is not anybody's job anymore. This is YOUR job. Now go out there and start finding people and entice them to something that works.
The schools may not have the manpower or the skill set. They don't have one-to-one training. Let's face it, in a class of 20 kids, it’s easy to hide. But with two interns and a mentor, there’s no hiding.
This is all doable. I want you to stop taking care of today and start thinking about tomorrow. Take a look at the technicians in your shop right now. How old are they? Are they in their 50’s?. What's the goal here? Can you not see the writing on the wall? If you have several older technicians, you are in trouble. You are only going for today. Think about tomorrow.
Please share this video. Join us at our next shop owners’ round table and go get you some apprentices.
Take care. Bye-bye.