The automotive aftermarket is becoming increasingly competitive – and not just in the ways you think. Not only is your shop competing with the dealerships and other local shops for customers, you’re also competing for the automotive labor force in your community. How can you attract and retain top automotive talent? Here are four tips to help you do exactly that.

1. Incentives Are Key

Let’s get this one out of the way right up front. You may not be able to match the dealerships dollar for dollar in terms of compensation and benefits packages, but you absolutely still need to be competitive. Of course, there are reasons other than a paycheck why your employees choose to work for you, but they have families to provide for and personal financial goals they want to achieve. Financial incentives are just as important for retaining existing talent as they are for bringing new talent in the door. Reward your longstanding employees with a pay raise when you can, bonuses when their work warrants it, and other incentives for them to remain in your employ. The dealerships will be trying to woo your top automotive talent, and you need to give them a reason to say. It sounds callous, but money talks.

2. Have the Best Company Culture Out There

If you’re tempted to skim right over this point, you’re probably the person who needs to read it the most. Employees don’t want to just clock in, do their job, and clock out anymore. They want a work environment that supports them and their goals. What are you doing for your employees that shows that you value them as individuals, not just as cogs in the machine that makes your business successful? To attract and retain top automotive talent, provide opportunities for your employees to be truly engaged in the day-to-day running of your business. You don’t have to spill all your secrets or let every employee sit in on every meeting, but giving each member of your team a say and a stake in what goes on in your shop will dramatically increase how invested they are in your success – and how likely they are to stick around.

3. Hire Correctly in the First Place

Consider that perhaps many of your retention problems would be solved if you hired employees more effectively in the first place. All employees are not created equal, and just having bodies in your shop is not the same as having qualified, dedicated workers. You know this, of course, but do your hiring practices show it? If hiring is something you leave to your office manager as just one line item on their endless list of things to do, chances are it isn’t getting the attention it deserves. When hiring, try to discern whether or not your potential employee shares the same values that you do. Do they believe in the mission of your shop? Are they just out for a paycheck or do they take pride in their work and in the brand they represent? Are they seeking professional growth, whether it’s new technical skills or management experience?  Filling your shop with employees who are excited about and share your vision in the first place will make retaining top automotive talent much easier.

4. Learn from Failure

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your top automotive talent will leave your shop. When that happens, use it as a learning experience rather than getting frustrated or defensive. Sit down with the employee on their last day and have a candid discussion about what you could have done differently to encourage them to stay. Listen humbly and don’t make excuses – this is about learning and possibly making changes for the future. That’s not to say you should revamp your whole shop every time an employee leaves or brings up a grievance, but it does mean you should take those opportunities to reflect and consider how you can do better moving forward.

Putting Your Shop’s Best Foot Forward

Attracting and retaining top automotive talent is something you should be taking seriously if you want your shop to grow. However, it’s just one of may things you have to juggle in a given day – a business owner’s work is never done! How about you let 360 Payments take your credit card processing off your plate? We’re proud to be a true partner to over 4,000 businesses, and we’d like to show you why our customers are so loyal. Give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website. We’re ready to help you make credit card processing an afterthought so you can focus on what’s more important – serving your customers and providing for your families.

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PPS – Text to Pay isn’t the only way technology is transforming the automotive industry. Learn more here.