More and more service companies are reporting unprecedented difficulties recruiting skilled engineers. If you employ engineers, you’ll know that skilled labour shortages are not new. Recently the recruitment sector has seen huge demand from employers across the board from restaurant waiters to nuclear engineers. Whether you blame Brexit or the pandemic; shortages aren’t going away soon and for skilled engineers the situation has just got worse.
The most advanced businesses are not just working on new recruitment strategies but are playing the long game instead.
By that, we mean using technology to automate processes and reduce administration so the productivity of engineers increases. Because did you know typically only 25% of an engineers’ time is actually spent fixing or maintaining things?
Automating processes to reduce human inputting can reduce administration by 90% and increase accuracy too; whilst businesses are driven to do this for productivity reasons the other big side effect is retention. Because let’s face it, most service engineers hate admin and want to use their skills instead.
With process automation you can remove duplicate work (which is boring) and increase first time fix rates (which is rewarding). Your scheduling is better, so engineers have more time for the job not the paperwork. Ultimately, you need less engineers because the ones you do have are more productive and happier.
Whenever there’s a skills shortage and salaries rise other factors also become more important too. Engineers care about job satisfaction and if you can make job delivery easier and more rewarding (whilst matching salary expectations) you will likely keep them for longer.
So next time you speak to a recruitment agent or post another job advert, think, if you improved your service management software would you really need as many skilled people? Or would you lose as many engineers so frequently? Taking a long-term view on people, processes and technology enhances jobs and performance, and overtime increases retention of your best people, making those recruitment nightmares a thing of the past.