Shop owners like to work with the best information at hand. The same is true for hiring—it's best to work from the largest possible pool of qualified applicants.
The 2022 FenderBender Industry Survey showed that the biggest challenge facing collision repair today is a shortage of qualified technicians, adding to the challenge of hiring. In a competitive environment, you want to grab applicants’ attention quickly and tell the story of your operation.
That’s where an effective job ad comes in. Chris Lawson of TechnicianFind says that when a candidate is scrolling a job site like Indeed, most of the ads are going to appear to have the same headline, introduction, and requirements. But he has some tips about how to make your ad stand out among the rest.
Set the Stage
Having the right mindset going into the job ad is the first step toward success, Lawson says. It’s less about making your shop seem awesome and more about making your shop seem awesome to the specific person you’re hiring.
“The mindset is that you care, and that you want your employees’ lives to work both inside and outside of the shop,” Lawson says. “If you can communicate that in an ad, it completely sets you apart.”
Similarly, you want your ad to target and uplift the job candidate through your shop. It shouldn’t make the technician feel like they’d be lucky to work for you. Rather, it’s about making them feel like they would be supported and successful at your shop.
“It completely changes the whole feel of an ad, and all the time we have people saying, ‘Wow that ad was so great,’” Lawson says.
Appealing to Success
Creating that appeal to the job candidate means that shop owners need to take a close look at what their shop culture offers employees.
Lawson suggests sitting down with key shop leaders and take a “culture audit.” In what ways do employees support one another? How does the shop back that up with its culture and programs?
It also helps to define a set of values for the company, whether you’re a family-centric organization, you have a strong regional identity, or that you have a community service spirit. Through this exercise, you might come away with some additional perks that aren’t on the standard benefit list.
“You'll start thinking about things that you really didn’t think were a benefit that you can fit into the ad,” Lawson says.
Building the Ad
Attention is crucial currency in online spaces, and the job advertisement site is no different. You want candidates to spend their time on your ad.
Lawson invites shop owners to think about how people will browse ad listings. They skim headlines and click on a few, with their mouse pointers on the “back” button ready to browse the next listing. So it’s important to catch attention.
When someone does click on your ad, they’re going to skim it first. Lawson says that it’s important to tell a story through items that grab attention during that skim. Bold sections, bullet points, and dollar signs are sure to catch attention on that skim, and you want them to tell that culture story that you spent time and resources to create.
“If you can tell the story of your shop just by doing that in 10 seconds reading those items only, you’ve got a good ad,” Lawson says. “Those things will catch the eye.”
Once they’re hooked, the reader will go back to the top of the ad and read through.
What about pay and compensation? Lawson says that it’s a good idea to include this information in your ad, but there are several ways to do this.
First, it doesn’t need to be one number. It might be more helpful to show a range, with the top of the range being available to the most excellent candidates. But you have to be ready to demonstrate why someone might be eligible for that top salary number.
“What I always tell shops is if you feel comfortable having a conversation where you can show a technician how you get to that number, then let’s put that number in,” Lawson says.
Other job ads might include a range of what actual employees make at the company, with the top experienced technician making the most. That shows that there is a salary growth path for employees.
One final tip: Don’t be afraid to leave your mobile number in case a candidate wants to send an informal text.
“The call to action should include a mobile number,” Lawson says. “You can increase your responses by 20 to 30 percent, we’ve found, by including a mobile number and a name.”