The next time you're thinking of looking for new technician recruits, think hard about the message you want to send, and the way you want to send it. You don't have to have the corporate resources that Mack does to create some real excitement!
Frankly, it seems some excitement is needed. Another item in my mail came from a reader who is looking for new strategies to recruit technicians to what he bluntly described as "lower-paying government jobs." The reader, a shop foreman for a county road department garage in Kentucky, doesn't have the kind of multi-media materials that the local Mack dealer now has, but his need is just as great. What can he do to bring in talented new recruits?
One possible answer came our way recently from our editorial advisor Bill Vanden Brook, motor equipment superintendent for the City of Madison, WI.
Bill has recently put in place a "Career Ladder" that was negotiated with the union representing his technicians.
The Career Ladder simplifies the department's job classifications, substituting the word "technician" for "mechanic," and provides a clear line of advancement for technicians who are interested in those "huge" opportunities for growth mentioned in the Mack recruiting kit.
Essentially, the technicians commit to maintaining EVT (Emergency Vehicle Technician) Certifications, as well as ASE Certifications (including a mix of both Automotive and Medium/Heavy Truck categories), and meeting standards of continuing training. In return, the City covers the costs of the Certifications and Re-certifications, provides opportunities for training, and provides paid work time for training and testing. There is a timeline for the technician to complete the requirements, and if the requirements aren't met, the technician reverts to the previous pay scale.
Are there other ways to add some excitement to "lower-paying government jobs?" Are advancement opportunities and better pay scales enough? We'll be following along as both Mack trucks and the City of Madison search for the key to technician recruiting, and we'll let you know what they find.
State and local Maintenance Councils offer something for everybody.