Hiring and Keeping Service Technicians

Craig Wilson

Hey all. I was talking to a dealer friend of mine the other day. He said their store is having a hard time finding and keeping good A-level technicians. I'm curious if any of you in the community has a good process for this that you would be willing to share. Thanks in advance!

Amanda Gordon

Craig unfortunately this problem is as old as the car biz. Turn over with techs and sales is typically a problem area. With anything it starts at the top. Your team has to have a strong leader that engages and encourages and prevents people from wanting to leave. It's not always about the money.

Joe Henry

Craig, here is what I share with our over 3,000 dealers across the country that are our clients: One of the most effective tools your dealership can use to keep your Techs/employees AND lure potential Techs/employees is a “Retention Bonus”. I have helped many employers custom design retention programs. Here are the basics for a Technician as an example (also see the calculation below):

Take the Techs total hours turned in a quarter, set aside an additional $X per hour they have turned that quarter. Repeat each quarter. After 1 year and 1 additional quarter, the Tech is eligible for his FIRST quarter bonus. Each quarter after the Tech gets the next quarter. However, Tech leaves …. womp womp, forfeits the bonus. I can tell you from experience, when a Tech gave me the notice and I reminded them of leaving $5k+ on the table, that flipped them faster than a Pro Wrestler in WWE.

Example using assumptions: Let’s say Tech turns 48 flat rate hours every week, we will use $2.25 per hour retention bonus, 52 weeks a year = 13 weeks in a quarter year, $2.25 x 48 hours = $108 each week, x 13 weeks (amount of weeks in a quarter) = $1,404 per quarter. After a year, if they leave, bye bye to $5,616 Bonus Money!!!!

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