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I ask all of the equipment dealers I visit or talk with over the phone what their experience has been with hiring veterans. Yes, I hear a few “sour grape” stories, but that is bound to happen. I also hear a lot of great stories, like the guy who told me: “they don’t always have the work experience on our type of equipment, but they sure do have a great “work-ethic” and I’ll take “work-ethic” every time over experience!”
What many dealers and service Managers do tell me however, is that they are having a hard time finding where to go to get the names or see these prospects. How do they find these local agencies to provide them with applicants? Therefore, what I intend to do with the numerous articles I write is ask those who have this information to send me an email and I will make up a “master sheet” of contacts that equipment dealers can use in their search. I am also asking some of the associations and manufacturers to do the same . . . provide me with contacts. As soon as I have gathered up a sufficient
In almost all the ads we see, we see one line that we believe dealers should question and drop: “Applicant must have ____ years of experience working on __________ equipment.” Doesn’t this severely limit the pool of technicians you will be interviewing?
Most manufacturers today are providing excellent “hands on training” for technicians. If professionals have the knowledge of the basics: Finding Information, Pre-delivery, Planned Maintenance, Electronics, Hydraulics, System Trouble-shooting, Diagnosis, Computer Knowledge, etc., then they can quickly learn all that is necessary to work on the equipment that your dealership sells.
Yes, sending technicians off to a factory-training course located in some far off city for a week can be expensive i.e., transportation, lodging and meals, not to mention the lost job time for the individual and the service department. All of these arguments against training only make sense as long as the dealership perceives this training as an expense and not as an investment.
In any successful equipment dealership it is the dealership’s investment in people that pays off! Professionals never stop their education process. Technicians welcome every opportunity for more training and become frustrated when dealers block their efforts and their thirst for learning more about the profession that they have chosen. An investment is not an expense. In today’s fast moving market place the dealer who does not invest in personnel is going to be left behind.
Computer training, understanding and knowledge are a must for professional service technicians. Working on any piece of equipment today is tied into a computer and the technicians’ ability to diagnose the problem via the “black-box”.
Manufacturers are going to continue at an accelerated rate to produce more and more sophisticated equipment. The dealership’s professional sales force will sell this equipment with all of its “bells and whistles”. This equipment, despite the manufacturer’s or the sales person’s claims will at some point fail under operation. If at that point the dealer has failed to invest in the dealership’s technicians, then possibly the equipment is going to sit idle waiting for someone to repair whatever caused the problem.