Recruiting and hiring can be a challenge, but whether you need to fill an open position asap or you’re experiencing steady growth, finding the right person is essential to your shop’s success. Sometimes that means finding someone with a specific skillset or talent. Other times, you just need someone who embodies a certain work ethic or attitude.

No matter what you need, recruiting the next generation of techs may require a different approach than what you’re used to. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Start by identifying your specific need. Are you hiring for a particular skill or personality type? What kind of person would thrive in your shop? Once you have a clear objective in mind, it’s easier to attract the right candidates.

Remember: skills are easier to teach than work ethic. Regardless of the position you’re trying to fill, if you’re going to invest in a new hire, you want someone who’s loyal and dependable. If you come across a candidate who has a great attitude, but lacks in training or experience, it may not be a bad idea to hire them anyway. Give them more training at first so they can grow into their role. If you hire on skill alone, you run the risk of disappointment and stress down the road when personalities clash.

Don’t be afraid to look outside the industry. Depending on the work ethic and personality you’re looking for, your perfect candidate might not have to be an expert in the auto industry. Being open to candidates from other fields gives you options to work with and a new perspective to bring into your shop.

Make sure your benefits are competitive. Many millennials are looking for careers that do more than pay the bills. They not only want health and life insurance, but also a positive environment that makes them feel good about what they do. If you haven’t updated your employee benefits in a while, talk to your current employees to see if there’s anything they’d like to change. Together, you can come up with benefits that satisfy current employees and draw in new ones.

Cast a wider net by offering a paid training program. If you’re having trouble finding qualified candidates in your area, consider starting a paid training program to help people transition into a new role or launch a new career in the auto industry. Hire candidates that are driven and career-minded, then work with your current employees to teach skills over a short training period. After training, you’ll have employees that know how to work to your standards, new employees and current staff will be well-acquainted and you’ll have plenty of ideas about how to keep improving your training program so you always have a pool of qualified employees to hire and promote from.

Now that you know who you’re looking for and what you can offer, make sure you can find them. More and more, people are looking to online job boards (like and social media ads to find jobs they love. In your ad or listing, make sure to give solid reasons why someone should be interested in working for you. Include the perks or benefits you offer, clearly list out the qualifications for the job and the expectations of the role (how many hours, required skills, locations, etc.) Be proud of what your shop can offer and they’ll be proud to work for you.

These six areas of focus are just the start of recruiting the next generation of auto techs. Ultimately, you know what’s best for your shop, so it’s important to stay true to your vision, but with less young people entering the trade, you may need to get creative. Seek out potential, reward promising candidates and try new things to get the results you want.