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A Job Ad that Attracts the Best Candidates

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Cindy Kostelac started in the admissions industry roughly 20 years ago making calls to potential new students. Eventually, she joined the Universal Technical Institute (UTI) to change lives from a different angle. Her new angle? Helping open the door for shops to find hires with training in their desired field, all with the goal of helping change the lives of students.

There’s been no shortage of articles written about the technician shortage in the collision repair industry. At UTI, Kostelac says they have more than 10,000 job openings, the highest since 2010.

“It’s still a competitive environment for these shop owners,” Kostelac, hiring incentive task force member at UTI, says.

That’s exactly why your shop can’t afford to have a poor job advertisement. It’s the first impression a potential job candidate will have of your business, and could be the deciding factor for him or her to apply for a job at your shop or the myriad other shops looking to hire the same position.

Advertise to the employee, not to the employer. More often than not, Kostelac sees shops advertising with language about how much they love their shop and less about how the shop could benefit the employee. Kostelac breaks down her five biggest tips for creating a job posting that will bring in the most qualified candidates.


1.Make it Personal.

The employer must add a personal touch to the job description. Instead of posting open job ads on a career builder site like Monster, Kostelac recommends adding a line to the job opening that says, “Send resume and application to” and then designate someone in the company to receive the applications.

“If you use career builder sites, something gets lost in the personal connection,” she says. “You lose that initial contact with a future employee.”

This is the first opportunity to gain potential talent and if you require too much of the applicant from the beginning, it could put off people from applying.


2.Keep it Brief.

Language should be easy to understand for any potential candidate, Kostelac says. Don’t use phrases that would make the potential employee pause and think, “What does that mean?” because then he or she will click onto the next opening they find. For example, she says instead of advertising a job as a “Utility Technician” opening, the shop should title it “Lube Tech” or “Entry-Level Technician.” The potential candidate should have no qualms about the job for which he or she is applying.

Even something as simple as “technician” versus the title of “mechanic” makes the job seem more appealing, she says.

To advertise the shop, use language that caters the open position to the potential employee’s training. For UTI, Kostelac will list job duties like oil changes, fluid checks, battery checks and maintenance.

A shop should always offer the hire information on how many locations it has, how many employees it has and the “qualifier” it requires. The qualifier distinguishes what type of training the shop is looking for.

She advises adding a brief section on the technician maintaining a clean workspace, but all in all, keep the job description to under 1,500 characters. She’s seen job ads up to three pages, which is excessive, and will lose the potential hire’s interest.

The more brief, the better, she says.


3. Shorten the Process.

Once a candidate applies, it’s vital that you respond as quickly as possible. Reach out to the candidate within 24 hours to make that initial contact. Kostelac says that letting an application linger is equivalent to the kiss of death.

Keep in mind that Job ads should never be posted for longer than 60 days, she says. The ideal max would be a 30-day turnaround.


4. Add Benefits.

Often, employers hide potential salaries on their job sites, she says. Yet, the employee wants to know what could happen long term. If an employee ends up having 33 percent of his or her bills being student loans, it makes surviving on an entry-level salary more difficult.

The solution could be as simple as offering $100 per month to help pay student loans. A tuition assistance program goes a long way to attract the type of talent that is educated for the business.


5. Plan for a Future.

A number of shops write grandiose job descriptions and attempt to make their shop appear reachable but the shop may not offer what the candidate is looking for. Kostelac says that it’s important to keep in mind what the future workforce will look like when writing the advertisements.

She took a look into education management reports and discovered that by 2025, 75 percent of the workforce will be millenials. To top it off, it’s projected that 60 percent of those millenials will enter jobs with student debt. Employers should market their shops as catering to the potential needs of the growing workforce.

Data from EdAssist shows that one out of three millennials want their employer to help pay off loans, 70 percent are focused on retirement goals and 50 percent expect financial support in paying for further education.

Include financial support numbers in the ads. Shops need to show the employee from the start that the company is committed to the applicant’s future, even if it’s only a sign-on bonus or a safety bonus down the line.

“Millenials are probably known for not being loyal but if an employer offers good benefits, then studies show that could change things for them,” she says.

In fact, up to 83 percent of millennials from the study reported they would prefer to stay at a company for a long time.

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