Obtaining qualified technicians is one of the most pervasive challenges many fleet managers are currently facing. Jayson Ramirez, fleet services manager for the City of Grand Prairie, Texas, has been able to overcome it by restructuring his hiring process.
This reorganization involved creating different job descriptions and levels not previously implemented.
“Before, if I had an open fleet technician position, that's all I could hire for. Now when I post, if somebody is more qualified and they have all the certifications required, I can actually hire them in at a higher pay grade.”
For instance, the fleet technician apprentice position, the lowest on the totem pole, doesn't require any certifications. The next step up is a fleet technician, who is required to obtain four ASE certifications within the first year, as well as a Class B CDL and some other certifications. Other higher positions include senior fleet technician and a master fleet technician..
Ramirez says he’s fully invested in helping techs succeed and acquire the knowledge needed to pass certification tests.
“We have all the study guides, as well as online practice testing, which has helped them significantly. We've tried to give them as many resources as possible. During the interview process, we tell them this is what we have and we'll set you up, but it depends on whether or not you want to progress to that next level.”
If a tech comes back to Ramirez with proof they’ve obtained a next-level certification, he can collaborate with HR to promote them to the next pay grade.
Providing opportunities for professional growth can make the difference between a mechanic who stays and one who is just along for the ride until they find a better paying position.