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When was the last time you hired someone?

Maybe it’s been a bit since you advertised for a new tech. Or maybe you’ve been advertising all along but haven’t quite found the right person. Whatever your particular situation is, it can’t hurt to take a look at your job description and make sure you’re hitting all the right notes.

But Fullbay, you may be saying, what else can I do? I’m a shop owner, not a publicist!

Hey, we hear you. Hiring the right person is a mixture of art and trial and error. We’ve seen a lot of shops struggle with striking the right tone and utilizing the right information. We knew we wanted to produce a piece that would help shops craft the right message, but how?

We ended up sitting down with our friends at Find A Wrench, who specialize in connecting shops with technicians, to compile a general list of job posting do’s and don’ts. They’re so awesome, they even helped us put together a template you can customize.

Ready to start crafting works of job posting art? Let’s go!

THE DON’TS

Usually we like to start out with the dos, but we also recognize that a lot of shops have picked up some bad habits over the years that need to be nipped in the bud before anything else. So here are three major don’ts that could be hamstringing your efforts.

Don’t Be Cute
You’ve probably looked at job posting boards for inspiration, right?

It’s OK. Everyone does it. It’s hard to just start typing with a blank screen (or, more historically, a blank piece of paper). Sometimes glancing at other job listings can help jump-start the ideas.

Except a lot of jobs these days are trying to be…well…funny. Raise your hand if you’ve considered writing something like this:

“Are you sick of your life? Are you ready to change the world through beer pong and upgraded rims? We need a rockstar technician who can switch out axels in their sleep and has nightmares about not using fairly traded coffee beans.”

We get it. You want to look unique. You want to show off that your shop is a fun, cool place to work. Who doesn’t want that?

Don’t cloud what your shop is about (or what you guys do) in a haze of silliness. Most techs who are looking for work want the Who, What, and When; they don’t care if you have a ping pong table or a lifetime supply of Costco birthday cake (although cake is awesome). Something else to consider is that not all potential techs are going to have English as a first language. If they can’t find the information they need in your post, or have to sit there trying to understand what you’re saying, they’re just going to scroll past it.

Don’t Let an HR Person Write It
Okay, Fullbay and Find A Wrench,” you’re saying, “how about I just let an HR consultant write the thing?

You can, but you need to ensure you’re working with that HR person to create an ad that’s compelling.

Here is what can happen when you just hire an outsider who thinks in terms of legalities and OSHA regulations: You wind up with a job description, not a posting.

Confused? Here, let us explain a bit.

A job posting is like an advertisement. A job description is really more like an internal document. Lisa breaks it down a little further, comparing the job posting to the sort of marketing you’d do to attract customers to your shop, while a job description is more like the estimate you’d send to customers. The latter is long, detailed, and ultimately very useful, but it’s not something you would use to attract people to your shop, right?

Unfortunately, that’s what you’re going to get if you don’t carefully supervise or collaborate with an outside HR rep.

Don’t Think You’re Their Only Option
This last “Don’t” might be the most important part of the hiring puzzle, so read it carefully.

A lot of shop owners think – and act – like they’re the only place that’s hiring.

They operate as if there isn’t a tech shortage and make wild demands regarding skill sets (and sometimes even personality traits) in their job ads. “They take a confrontational approach,” Lisa says. Stuff like, “If you don’t have seven years of experience and won’t work a 17-hour shift when I ask, don’t bother applying.”

What reads as borderline hostility probably does come from a good place. These owners have likely been in business for a long time, and they feel strongly about who they want to join their crew. Unfortunately, this type of ad – and the owner personality behind it – tends to go over poorly with…well, just about everyone, but especially the younger techs shops are often trying to attract.

Here is the cold hard reality of the situation: Each tech you interview will probably have a dozen offers by the end of the week.

In other words, you have competition.

Lots of competition.

If you’re not entirely convinced that your shop isn’t God’s gift to techs, think about the financial impact of not being able to hire a tech. It’s estimated that being down one technician can cost you something like $5000 per month.

That’s a lot of lost revenue.

Remember that your shop isn’t the only one out there. If you can’t be bothered to treat people decently, techs are going to find a shop that does.

THE DO’S

“Okay, Fullbay and Find A Wrench,” you’re saying, “we know what not to do. But…what can we do?”

We’re glad you asked. Find A Wrench kindly outlined some of the most effective things they’ve seen in job descriptions:

Do Keep It Basic
Does your shop have a cool story? Do you pay flat rate? What is your workflow like?

A potential applicant wants to look at your job description and get an idea of what it would be like to work for you. You can achieve this by writing a couple of sentences about your shop and what you do, followed by a meticulous description of the job and the duties a tech will have. FAW likes to see a list of 5-10.

Be realistic about what you do and don’t offer. If you provide health insurance, say so. The more information you provide upfront, the better the fit you’ll find.

It can be difficult to estimate an annual salary, but FAW encourages shops to take a crack at it. What is your annual workflow like? Are you all pulling multiple shifts in the summer, but shutting down in the winter? When will your techs be busy, as opposed to being bored?

That kind of description paints an accurate version of your shop, and gives a potential applicant all the information they need.

Do Make Your Shop Competitive
Why should a tech want to work for you?

We’ll let you think about that for a minute.

Can you come up with anything that makes your shop stand out from the back? Anything more than “It’s a job, and there’s a paycheck”?

Yeah…that’s not going to help your shop’s cause.

Let’s use health insurance as an example. Some shops don’t provide any health insurance because it’s expensive. Believe us – we get it. If you can’t afford health insurance, look at your finances and see if you can set up something. You may be able to set up a program that you minimally contribute to, but it’s still helping your techs.

The point is, it’s something.

What else can you do to make your shop attractive? Maybe you pay (in full, or partially) for additional certifications and courses. Maybe you develop a program to help them pay off their school loans. Maybe you offer a signing bonus.

Lisa spelled it out in rather dire terms: “You can’t afford not to try something.”

Remember, there’s a tech shortage and you need to make your shop stand out from thousands of others. Almost any kind of perk makes a difference. Work on yours!

Do Make it Searchable
Unless you’re posting your app on a super-secret message website accessible only via password and secret handshakes (and if so…why?), odds are the web crawlers will pick it up.

You want search engines to find your ad – it’s a free way to help you spread the word. So don’t fill it with insider or marketing jargon. Use full words instead of abbreviations. Write “automotive tech” instead of “strong AB tech.” Along those same lines, “Are you an awesome diesel lover?” isn’t going to get you anywhere. “Senior diesel tech wanted” says the same thing and makes more sense.

DID SOMEONE SAY TEMPLATES?

Fear not, Fullbay friends! We won’t leave you to throw together job descriptions. We sat down with Find A Wrench and came up with a diesel tech want ad. And if you know someone who’s hiring automotive techs, well, we made one for them too. Remember to plug in your own story, by the way.

If you want to see more detailed versions of these templates, head over to Find A Wrench’s latest offering, WrenchWay, and check out their new app. They’re helping shops build the kind of job descriptions that will land them great techs.

We’d like to thank Find A Wrench for virtually hanging out with us and sharing their wealth of knowledge – if you’d like to know more, we definitely recommend paying them a visit.

Good luck, and happy hiring!

Suz Baldwin

Suz Baldwin got her start in the automotive industry, writing and editing for several motorcycle and classic car magazines straight out of college. In the years that followed, she’s written all sorts of copy for brands big and small while consuming enough coffee to paralyze a dinosaur.