How to attract, recruit and retain mechanics in the rental industry – outcome of the ERA Technical Committee workshop
On 8 June, during the ERA Convention, the Technical Committee held a workshop on how to adapt trainings to different staff. The first step of the discussion was to review what the rental companies can do to improve the situation related to attracting, recruiting and retaining mechanics.
The workshop included a presentation on trainings – ‘Value is only real when shared’ – by Francesca Marchesini (Kohler Engines). The presentation dealt with people as a business investment and focuses on the importance of trainings in a labour market that does not meet demand. Better trainings mean less downtime, increased productivity, better staff engagement and improved company attractiveness.
Recommendations to attract, recruit and retain mechanics
Flexibility and freedom were identified as being necessary in companies. The style of management also needs to evolve to be more empathetic. Employees are looking for recognition and rewards. The ways to recruit people have to be renewed: People departments must adapt to the new generations and the use of social media to reach them must develop. Making a career may mean something different for young people.
Vacant positions must be described honestly in order to avoid disappointment and mismatches. The participants insisted on the lack of information made available to young people about the mechanic world, so it is important to advertise more about the benefits of working in the industry. Training programmes, with the possibility to learn about all the positions available in a company but also about the customers and the reasons why they use the equipment, can help show what the industry is about to younger generations. More participation in school events would enable a first contact with future potential employees. It was suggested that companies sponsor schools with equipment or engines.
Companies need to propose an attractive work environment (sustainable, diverse, fun) and to differentiate from the image of the construction industry (3D, i.e. dirty, difficult, dangerous). The participants identified several aspects where diversity and inclusion would benefit rental companies: hiring more women, even in technical positions; recruiting outside of the traditional pool (for instance, hiring mechanics even if they don’t come from mechanical studies or hiring veterans); accepting differences in age, in gender or in background.
If you are a rental company and would like to be represented in the ERA Technical Committee, please contact the ERA team at [email protected].