Parts Interpreters – the new Technicians?

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“We desperately need parts interpreters!” is something we hear every day. It’s fast becoming as common as the question, “do you have any technicians looking for work?”. 

We can’t be sure what the underlying cause of this increased demand for interpreters is; however, we’ve noticed some interesting trends over the past few years that we are confident are at least a driving factor for this demand.

The pandemic has shifted everyone’s views on the importance their job plays in their everyday life. Whether people are looking for more job satisfaction to help them forge ahead with their career, or their job isn’t as important to them as being at home every afternoon and night with their kids, Covid has placed these thoughts at the front of most people’s minds. The result of this is that we have seen a huge decline in the desire to work tough “blue collar” jobs with unpaid overtime.

Roles offering a salary with no overtime but standard hours of 40+ hours per week are becoming very difficult to fill. Yes, people are still happy to work big hours: however, if they are going to do it, they expect to be rewarded. We recently recruited for a role where the standard hours were 50 hours per week with no paid overtime. Every single candidate interviewed for the role was no longer interested in the role when they found out the required hours.

Parts Interpreters - the new Technicians?

Another interesting change has been people’s desire to “stay put”. If people are happy in their role, it pays well and helps them see their family every night, then they don’t have too much to complain about. Why risk upsetting the apple cart when you’re happy, right?

Finally, with the increased pressures of cost of living, the almost sole reason any interpreter is looking for a new job currently is because they are looking to increase their earning capacity; thus, making applicants firm in their salary expectations and driving up the rates required to obtain good people. 

These three trends have hit all hit each other head-on, resulting in a huge reduction in applications for interpreter roles. On top of this, because interpreters have become so hard to find, companies have shifted towards ridiculous counteroffers to keep them when they resign (just like what we saw with good technicians). This collision of complications has resulted in one of the toughest recruitment markets we have seen.

What can you do to keep attracting applications and ultimately ensure your business survives?

Reduce your hours to a 38-hour work week or start paying an hourly rate or overtime.
There is no doubt that companies that fail to do this will struggle to fill their vacancies this year and beyond.

Don’t be picky.
The days of rejecting every candidate bar the industry expert from your competitor down the road are well and truly gone. Four years ago, when we began to see the same trend with technicians, it was the companies that managed to think outside the box with their recruitment that were still able to fill their vacancies. The companies that refused to be flexible with the required experience were left trying to fill vacancies for months, and in many cases, years. This is now happening with interpreters – do not get left behind.

Find out what your competitors are paying their interpreters and make sure you are beating them
Word will spread quicker than you imagine, so if your competitor starts paying significantly more than what you are offering, the last thing you want is a mass exodus. Get creative and contact competitors or an industry expert recruiter and do whatever you have to do to be sure that your company sits high in the market.

Where do we see this trend going? It’s simple, go and talk to your service manager about their experience with finding technicians. Unfortunately, this is what we believe is the future for interpreters.

But with every challenge comes opportunity, and it is the dealerships that acknowledge the climate and embrace change that will ultimately succeed in catching the fish in the increasingly smaller pond.

If you would like any specific advice around recruiting interpreters or any other position, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Teamrecruit is Australia’s most established recruitment agency specialising in truck, earthmoving and agricultural machinery dealerships in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Find out more about Teamrecruit and how we support employers and candidates in the dealership industry.

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