In our “Can We Guess Your Fleet’s New Year’s Resolution?” quiz, many of you answered that the technician shortage was the story that caught your attention most in 2015. While the technician shortage was a major story in 2015, it still threatens our industry in 2016.
Did you know that the U.S. Department of Labor predicts that over 76,000 bus and truck technicians and diesel engine specialists will be needed for industry growth and replacement between 2014 and 2024? Despite the growing need for technicians and engine specialists, the fleet industry is having a hard time filling open positions.
More and more technicians each year are reaching retirement age or leaving the industry for other reasons. If the fleet industry doesn’t work to recruit the next generation of technicians now, then the technician shortage of today will become the technician crisis of tomorrow.
The next generation of workers, known as “millennials”, is already making an impact on today’s workforce. By 2025, 3 out of every 4 workers globally will be millennials. In order to boost your organization’s appeal to millennials and combat the technician shortage, you need to put more effort into recruiting tactics; however, in a recent study on millennials by Monster, 26% of millennials said that they don’t plan to stay at any job for the long haul. If millennials don’t want to stay at one job for too long, how can you expect millennial technicians to grow within your organization?
In this article, you’ll learn not only how to find millennial technicians, but also how to ensure that they’ll want to stay at your organization for the long-haul.
How to Find Millennial Technicians:
- Get Involved Early
How many of you know little kids who play with toy trucks? At what age do you think those kids will stop thinking trucks are cool? If you make a strong impression on kids when they’re young, you’ve already won half the battle. Young kids in school or other programs often take field trips to fire or police stations, so why not garages? Get involved with programs targeting kids, like Boy and Girl Scouts or even elementary school career fairs, in order to expose them to and educate them on the fleet industry.
- Connect with Students
Reach out to technical schools and colleges in your area in order to connect with young talent. Many shops and garages around the country have partnered with schools in their community to start internship or apprentice programs. Programs like these target students about to enter the job market and help your organization build relationships with the technicians of tomorrow.
- Get Online
Millennials aren’t scanning the Classifieds or industry-specific publications for job postings; instead, they go online. Websites like Monster and Indeed contain thousands of job postings from all over the world. If you aren’t sharing your job postings online, then, chances are, millennials aren’t seeing them. Social media sites, like LinkedIn and Facebook, are also excellent places to post ads.
- Sell, Sell, Sell
Thousands of technicians graduate from technical programs and schools each year, so where do they all end up? The answer is simple: more appealing industries, like wind or solar power generation. How can fleet win back young techs? Again, the answer is simple: You must market your business and industry the right way in order to attract millennials. Ask yourself these questions before writing your next job posting:
- What are the best parts of working in your industry?
- Why should someone want to work for you?
Once you nail down the answers to those questions, marketing your fleet to millennials will be that much easier.
How to Keep Millennial Technicians:
- Highlight the Career Path
In the fleet industry, there is room for professional growth and development. Many people who started working on the shop floor moved up through the years to senior management positions. When you highlight these opportunities for life-long careers, job seekers will notice- and stay long enough to see themselves develop professionally.
- Make an Effort to Connect
If you Google “millennials”, many articles take a negative stance on the young men and women of this generation. Some think they’re self-absorbed and too wrapped up in their cell phones, while others think they were never taught how to lose. In reality, millennials have many characteristics that would flourish in the fleet industry. They adapt quickly to new technologies, are professional multitaskers and are the most connected generation yet. If you carry a negative view of millennials, there will be a great disconnect between you and your new employees, which might cause them to crave a new job in a different industry.
- Improve Technology
The millennial generation was the first born into the technological age. They use and understand technology better than any other generation, so they are naturally drawn to organizations with up-to-date technology. Invest in modern technology for your shop floor and let the new generation of technicians thrive within it.
The time to start preparing for the technician shortage is now. Millennials are on the cusp of taking over today’s workforce, so it’s important for the fleet industry to connect with younger generations.
Let’s face it. The millennial takeover is already well underway. The time to start prepping your fleet for the new generation of technicians is now. To learn more about how you can improve mobile technology within your fleet, click here.