Commercial vehicle technicians are currently the most difficult area of motor dealer recruitment, with demand far exceeding the supply of quality staff available.
Motor industry recruitment platform jobco-op automotive reports that the trend extends across the whole spectrum of the CV market but gets more pronounced for heavier and specialised vehicles.
Derek Webb, director, said: "CV technicians tend to have more specialised and hard-to-find skills that their car counterparts, often need to offer greater flexibility to meet the needs of 24 hour workshop opening, and generally stay longer in each job.
"At the HGV end of the market, with requirements to be able to work on often very specific and sophisticated items of plant, the problem gets even more acute. There is a limited pool of talent.
"All of these issues make CV technicians a very difficult area of recruitment for dealers. We find that, in most cases, there are fewer quality candidates for each job than for any automotive dealer role."
Derek added that putting a selection of suitable candidates in front of dealer senior management required a large amount of work.
He said: "When we are approached by a dealer to fill a CV technician role, it takes a lot of effort. One thing that works in our favour is the fact that curriculum vitas can be anonymised on our recruitment platform, meaning that employees who are keen to look out for new jobs elsewhere can see what is available without the possibility of their existing employer finding out."
Half of the 83 dealers who have signed up to the jobco-op automotive recruitment platform during its trial period since its launch in May are commercial vehicle specialists.
Derek said: "This is a reflection of the fact that CV dealers face some quite difficult recruitment problems, not just among technicians but among other key roles, such as sales.
"Dealers are keen to try new ways of resolving these issues and interest from this part of the dealer sector in our platform has been very high during the first few weeks of operation. We have already signed up two major CV dealer groups for in-depth trials."
jobco-op automotive is currently in its trial phase ahead of its official launch in late October. The model it offers is thought to be unique – dealers pay a £175 monthly fee to join the platform and, when they need to fill a role, sift through the online "talent pool" with the help of an account manager to view candidate details.
The account manager then contacts the dealer’s preferred candidates, carries out an initial telephone interview based on their criteria, and arranges face-to-face interviews for dealers when appropriate. There is a one per cent fee for successful placements.
Derek added: "We can already see a ‘buzz’ developing around the platform and there are more dealer groups who would also like to sign on for the trial. However, we are using this period of time to ensure everything is fully debugged and working smoothly before fully opening up the system ahead of its official launch."
jobco-op automotive is lead by a team of four of the best known names in the motor industry. Alongside Derek Webb are three other directors – Shaun Price, Ken Trinder and Brenda Webb. Its offices are based in Castle Donington, Leicestershire.