How Your Diesel Business Can Outsmart the Labor Shortage


One of my favorite questions to ask business owners isWhat’s keeping you up at night?

“Finding the people I need to make my business successful” is the answer I hear most often.


Check Out These Job Market Stats

7% is the demand growth for all US jobs between 2016 and 2026. As Baby Boomers retire, there aren’t enough younger workers to take their places.

By 2026, there will be 46,000 open positions in the automobile service industry without workers to fill them.

54% of the US labor market is skilled trade jobs

The number of US employees voluntarily quitting their current jobs is at its highest level in 17 years

51% percent of employees surveyed reported that they are thinking about looking for a new job

51% of job hunters prefer online sources, such as Glassdoor and Indeed

1 in 5 high performers surveyed intend to leave their job in the next six months

$2,724: Average annual pay raise for a US worker who changes jobs

Role changes are 3 times as more likely to happen because of switching employers rather than being promoted from within

50% of annual salary: Cost to hire and train a replacement for an entry-level position

125% of annual salary: Cost to hire and train a replacement for an mid-level position

200% of annual salary: Cost to hire and train a replacement for a senior-level position

[Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Glassdoor, Forbes, National Skills Coalition, CBT Automotive Network]


For more than a year, the number of job openings in the US has exceeded the number of unemployed workers available to fill them, report Vox and other sources. The shortage is most acute for low-skilled workers and what they call “middle skill” workers—people who lack college degrees but who have some community college credits or technical training of some kind. If you’re looking for diesel technicians, customer service personnel, or office managers, you may be feeling the effects of the talent crunch in your own business.

With such a robust labor market, it’s easy for workers to find new jobs if they want them, and many are doing just that to get the pay raises they desire. Turnover is at an all time high.


Here are some tips for surviving and thriving during the labor shortage:

Even if you feel pressured to hire, don’t rush or skip crucial steps so that you end up hiring someone who hurts your business long-term. We’ve got some practical strategies for doing just that. [link to related article in suite]


Grow your bench. Master technicians are hardest to find, says Amanda Barnett, a consultant at Performentor who helps automotive service providers and manufacturers recruit, hire, and retain skilled workers. Invest in your entry-level A players and grow them along with your business by providing training, tuition reimbursement, or advanced certification opportunities. We’ll share more of her tips in an upcoming article.


Make sure that your business is a desirable place to work and that any online reviews of what it’s like to work at your business are accurate. We’re interviewing experts to discover best practices for workplace culture building and online reputation management in future posts.


Got any tried-and-true lessons you want to share from your diesel business? Contact us at

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