In her 1996 hit single, Paula Cole wondered ‘where have all the cowboys gone?’ Not to diminish the importance of cowboys, or their whereabouts, but a more pertinent question today is: Where have all the diesel techs gone?
There’s no denying the diesel tech shortage is a real and urgent thing. Not enough young folks are entering the profession to replenish the number of mechanics who’re retiring or getting up there in years. Needless to say, today’s diesel technician recruiters face an uphill battle.
But there is hope! We’re here today with some practical tips and strategies we’ve successfully implemented to help our clients target, reach, and recruit technicians.
They’re out there, you just need to know where to look and how to make your messaging stand out.
1. Social (and Geo) Targeting
Running ads on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other popular social networks is an efficient, cost-effective way to reach techs and let them know about opportunities at your company. The trick is, getting your message in front of the right people.
Here’s a real-world example of social targeting in action, featuring a client of ours who needed to hire experienced techs in certain locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.
We decided to run a Facebook ad campaign for our client, as the mammoth social network is a great venue for building custom audiences. (FB still reigns supreme in terms of active users.) By targeting ads toward our dieseltechjobs.com fans, as well as lookalike audiences, we ensured that diesel technicians (and those looking for jobs in the field) were seeing our client’s ads.
As for the location aspect of the campaign, that’s where geo-targeting — or setting location-specific parameters of where ads appear — came in handy. So not just techs saw the Facebook ads, but techs who lived within a reasonable distance of the nearest location with job openings.
2. Job Aggregators
Job aggregator sites like Indeed, Simply Hired, and Diesel Tech Jobs are another superb way to recruit diesel technicians. The trick here, again, is making sure your postings get seen by the right people and avoid getting buried in the shuffle.
One strategy we use here at RR is to make sure our clients’ job postings get published on several different aggregator sites to increase the likelihood of reaching more diesel techs. It’s also possible to ‘boost’ postings, which differs depending on what platform you use. Indeed, for instance, charges mostly in the $0.20 – $1.20 range per click. If you’re willing to spend more, your post’s visibility will increase accordingly.
The other main component of the campaign mentioned above involved placing ads on relevant job aggregator sites. The links within the ads led to mobile-optimized landing pages that were simple to navigate and complete on any device.
3. Targeted Display
Google is pretty amazing. In terms of finding and recruiting diesel techs, it’s basically a one-stop shop — albeit with many moving, interlocking parts. That’s why we have 40 different Google certifications in house here at Randall-Reilly.
One of the most effective tools to harness in Google’s arsenal is targeted display, which allows you to serve banners on any of the 2 million+ websites in Google’s Display Network. Our audience database and keyword expertise can make sure your banner efforts dovetail with what you’re trying to achieve.
4. Search Engine Marketing
Solid SEM ensures your jobs are found at or near the top of the heap when it comes to Google, Yahoo, or Bing search results.
You know more than anyone that competition to recruit technicians is fierce, so you can’t rely solely on organic SEO-based techniques. Paid search makes you visible.
5. Content Marketing
Content is powerful. Check that, great content is powerful.
Interesting, informative, enjoyable content has the power to humanize your staff and make your company appealing. You can show potential candidates what it’s like to work for your company, dispel misconceptions, and establish connections that can give you an edge over competitors.
Take this video about life as a young ‘newbie’ on a construction crew, which was produced by a carpentry labor supplier in Minnesota.
The video is hilarious, but it also offers a disarming, educational glimpse into the realities of working in construction — a profession that, not unlike diesel tech work — has struggled to attract young people.
So far the video’s been viewed more than 224,000 times, reaching a massive audience with a positive message about the virtues (and often humorous pitfalls) of working in construction. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I felt the urge to grab a hard hat and build something after watching it.
You might not catch lightning in a bottle the way the carpentry company did, but you can create content that highlights the best aspects of working for your company, and shed light on the benefits of being a diesel tech. Working with your hands, learning cutting-edge technology, fixing awesome, important machines, keeping America’s trucks (and our economy) moving, not sitting in a cubicle all day…
There are plenty of cool things about being a diesel mechanic. Content marketing is a great way to bring that to life.