In our industry there are all different types of technicians with varying skill levels and abilities. But in my experience, there are a handful of qualities that unify all of the best technicians. On this week’s podcast, Coach Christian and I narrowed down the 5 characteristics of high-quality technicians across the board. I think there are likely more than 5, but this list is a really solid start.
Being able to identify top technicians right out of the gate will help you cut through the clutter quicker. I know finding quality candidates can be a challenge at times, but we can’t just be hiring the first guy who comes in with a pulse.
Keeping an eye on long-term potential will save you headaches and money down the line. An easy fix is never the right call. Spend the time to interview thoroughly. It’s an investment in the future of your business, so I’d say it’s worth it. Here are 5 characteristics of high-quality technicians:
Characteristic 1: High-Quality Technicians Stay Organized
Top performers see every second as a dollar. They know if everything’s organized and clean, they’ll be able to work more efficiently. They take ownership of their space and design it for performance. This attention to detail manifests in a variety of ways. For example, the most-used tools might be stationed within arms reach. And every tool has an exact designated slot where it’s supposed to live. That way, there’s never any uncertainty about where something might be. Christian also shared an anecdote about one of his techs who would always mop up the floor of his stall at the end of the day, even though a cleaner would come at night. These small tweaks are all about efficiency and details.
Characteristic 2: High-Quality Techs Have Consistent Systems
Another sign of a high-quality technician is their emphasis on following detailed routines. From the second they grab an R.O. to the second they start working on the car, they follow the same process every single time. There’s usually quite a bit of thought put into these routines. Great techs know which mistakes to avoid, and which steps to put in place to ensure results. Ask them about their process in the interview to get a window into how their brain works. If they try to just make up a process on the spot, you can usually tell. And if their process is just a one sentence summary, they’re not thinking on the kind of granular level that reflects high performance.
Characteristic 3: Self-Education
If a technician remains open to new ideas, that’s also a great sign. If they’re fixed in their ways, that’s something to pay attention to. An exceptional tech stays ahead of the game by following developments in the industry to look for ways to improve. It’s also a great sign if they’re actively building up their own toolbox with the latest and greatest tools to make sure they’re operating at peak efficiency. Great techs take a lot of pride in their tools. Christian mentioned a technician from his old shop that bought some of his own battery chargers so that he’d never have to wait in line to use the shared chargers. That’s the kind of efficiency you’re looking for in high-quality technicians.
Characteristic 4: Taking Pride
How a tech handles a comeback tells you everything you need to know. If they immediately deflect and blame others, they don’t take pride in what they do. If they own the mistake right away and start figuring out the solution, chances are you’ve got a high-quality technician on your hands. That level of care is essential. If they take pride in doing high-quality work on every repair, you’re going to have way less comebacks and a higher CSI in turn.
Characteristic: Genuine Curiosity
Finally, another sign of a great technician is a bit more general, but it’s a big one. You want to hire technicians that are interested in how they can improve their work. They’re constantly looking for ways to beat the book. It’s a spirit of genuine curiosity. They know the book by heart, but they try to find smarter, even more efficient ways to get things done. This trait goes hand-in-hand with following trends and investing in new technology. If a technician is trying to get 1% better at their job every day, then they’re the kind of person you want in your shop.
Recap: 5 Characteristics Of High-Quality Technicians
All in all, these five characteristics encapsulate the spirit and work ethic of the ideal technician. Try to get a pulse on these areas of focus in your job interviews as best you can. Ask them open-ended questions about their processes and behaviors. Give them potential problem scenarios and see how they’d react in the moment. Ask them how they’ve updated their workflow and technology in recent years.