The death of flat rate pay plans

Ty Bullard

I am trying to figure out how to recruit other industry mechanical types into the auto tech world. I am realizing or thinking that the number one objection is being paid on a flat rate system. I am trying to connect and learn if any others out there have adjusted from the flat rate pay system or been able to find creative ways to recruit out of auto industry technician applicants. I don’t post on here much at all but just feel like it is just like full commission salespeople and the younger generation wanting more guaranteed money even if it is less as that is how they are wired. Think maybe I am not even realizing how bad I am hurting myself just because that is the way we have done it since we started. Any help or thoughts is much appreciated. 

Randi DeSantis

Personally, I don't think that the decline in automotive technicians has anything to do with flat rate- it is because the trades are no longer taught in schools. Plus- we programmed youth for years to believe they needed a 4 year degree to be successful, ruining trade schools. 
I think fewer people know about the potential earning income, great hours and options of being a technician, therefore fewer are pursuing the career. I think if dealerships advertised the potential to earn, partnered with local schools, and gave options to potential candidates for training, schooling and tools- there would be more success in recruitment. There are earlier obstacles to overcome than flat rate. 

Ty Bullard

Thank you for your feedback. I totally agree with your points and think they are spot on. Hard to be scare them off with flat rate if you don’t even get the chance to show them the pay plan due to no one applying. Sounds like cresting an apprentice program and circulating it with local schools might be a good avenue to grow some young technicians. Thanks again for the feedback. Really appreciate it 

Clint Jones

I personally believe that the Flat Rate pay plans are running qualified technicians away from the franchise stores.  The Independent repair facilities are poaching these franchise technicians with pay plans that are much more stable.  This technician may ultimately make a little less, but the annual journey to their W-2 is much less turbulent.

I am an Independent dealer without a service facility so I contract my mechanical recon to the Independent shops.  These are the technicians working on my cars.  Some are Master Certified GM technicians that just grew tired of the process in the franchise store.

Yes, there are less students in the tech schools.  If you exclude the franchise sponsored programs, the student body in nearly non existent in my area.

Bart Wilson

What are you doing to recruit techs? If you can't rely on trade schools anymore, is the answer to build techs from the ground up or is this proving to be impossible as well?

Craig Ness

I'm a independent with a 16 bay repair facility. We have a hybrid plan for younger techs but once they cap out they go on flatrate. I know shops paying hourly and they still can't hire help. We' train the younger ones. If they've got the natural talent it's faster and cheaper than finding a seasoned tech. They also don't have bad habits.

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