I know finding good technicians is difficult however, it is not impossible. The number of available technicians is very low and most are content in their current employment. Ads have not proven to be fruitful in most markets, there is no rhyme or reason why, they are just not working and they are very expensive. For the same money you can generate some very valuable leads by giving incentives to the people around you.
Using people around you as recruiter’s works well because you generally get a higher quality applicant. Technicians know other technicians and will tell you about ones they would want to work beside. Offering your technicians a bonus for bringing you a technician benefits both of you. They work to find a technician that they respect and you get a good technician.
Another source is the tool man, they are in shops all the time and you would be amazed on how well they will recruit for you for a little cash. Unlike a paint jobber who has loyalty to the shops they support, the tool man works for the technicians and he needs them to be employed. This gives him an added incentive to assist you.
It is hard to offer technicians a higher hourly rate as a lure, our industry has polluted those waters by offering technicians a $1 more to a point where most technicians are earning 50% of the door rate. Using a sign-on bonus is a way to provide the appeal without costing you a decrease in labor gross profit.
I recommend phasing in the bonus, 25 - 50% at time of hire and the remainder after six months. I would create bonuses equal to what you have been paying in employment ads, but even if you end up putting out a little more it will be because you have actually hired somebody, not just paid for ads.