Justin looks at innovative ways to not only hire great technicians but also keep them around for the long haul.
Tactical Tips Episode #3 Transcript
BRAD: Awesome Driving Sales. I’m super pumped to have another tactical tip, we have Justin Pomeroy, he is the Vice President of Fixed Operations at Foundation Auto. So he has some really cool tips for us. We’ve just been visiting a little bit about how to retain your technicians. We’ve talked a little bit about recruiting technicians, but it does no good if you can’t keep them right, Justin?
JUSTIN: I mean here lately in the market I’ve seen anything from $15,000 to $10,000 sign-on bonuses. And what does that really do for you as a business? I mean you’re getting these guys that are coming in for the quick buck and they’re gone in 90 days, and what did that sign-on bonus really do for you, as far as longevity goes? And so we’ve kind of taken a different stance on that and we’re starting to look at apprenticeships, giving the new technicians when they come in if they’re coming straight out of Utech college or something like that, and giving them a toolbox, and basically taking that toolbox and amorgesizing it or for 48 months. And then the way it doesn’t take all at once into service and then allowing that technician to be able to retain that asset thereafter they make, you know, 2 or 3 years on the job, helping them, basically jump-start their career in automotive. So that’s one way of looking at it because to give them just hard cash, do they really use it for what they should? Not all the time. You know, they may go out and get a new tattoo with it, and what does that do? You know, you’re still in the same situation where you got a technician that doesn’t have the tools that they need to do their job on a daily basis. So we’re kind of looking at that opportunity and then also we’ve started to look at opportunities for performance-based retention and scaling that with longevity as well. So you start off at maybe 50¢ for every flat rate hour turned in the annual year, and then in the month of November, however you perform that year, you’ll have that allowance that was over accrued and set aside so that in the month of November you can receive a good Christmas bonus for your family and actually use that money, because a lot of times if you just add on to pay, add on to pay, they don’t use it where it’s really needed. And so to have that lump sum to be able to put towards baby’s Christmas or Mama’s, you know, braces or whatever that might be for Christmastime. It helps getting it in a lump sum. And so if you started there and then in maybe 2 years time you go to a dollar, 3 years you’re a dollar fifty and then 6, two bucks. And so just giving that path to them so they know exactly what they have in you and being upfront in that way so they’re not waiting on a 90-day review and then the manager doesn’t end up having that and then it’s, you know, a year before they really know exactly how they did and what they deserve and so on, so forth. And then again in the month of November, if you’re not a member of the team in that month, you lose that. So a lot of people don’t want to miss out on that big buck cashout so when they have a bad week, that stays in the back of their mind. Not that we want to, you know, keep our employees handcuffed, but obviously, you don’t want one bad day to turn into an automatic resignation. So it kind of makes them think on that. If they really did have a bad day, or if they’re not happy in their situation, at least they can voice that without just being able to ship out and not have some skin in the game.
BRAD: Wow, so that’s that’s amazing. So you’re doing two things there. You’re promoting longevity right, and you’re rewarding those people that are faithful to your dealership and at the same time, the more hours they turn, the more money that they make. So it’s like a double level of accountability there. I think that’s fantastic and I think we talked a lot about hey, “I need technicians”, but anybody can put something like that in place to retain technicians. It’s a lot cheaper to retain them than it is to go recruit them. So I think that’s a valuable insight. I think everybody’s going to get a lot out of that. Justin, I want to thank you for joining us today. You guys do a lot of great things at Foundation and I’ll put your information on the screen in case anybody wants to reach out to you.
JUSTIN: Thank you, Brad. I appreciate having been part of it.