When I was growing up, my parents always had an aging fleet of vehicles (meaning two roughly 10-year-old cars) in the driveway. Seems we were ahead of the trend. Experts say recent economic challenges, restricted financing and leasing options have led to increased vehicle age and longer ownership periods than we’ve seen in the U.S. in many years.

Even though the economy is showing signs of improvement, consumer optimism is making a comeback, and auto makers are gearing up for resurgence in new car sales, at least for the short term a great many car owners will continue to be in the market for repair and maintenance services.

Repair shops and service departments across the country have been doing a brisk business for a while and have been hiring to keep up with it. Hiring managers at many of these businesses have been using Snagajob to find and hire licensed and skilled lead technicians and technicians who are highly productive and accommodating, along with office managers who understand how to help grow the business. In other words, they’ve been using hiring technology to look a bit beyond qualifications to find people who are really good at what they do.

Hiring technology is saving automotive repair and maintenance businesses time and money by eliminating the paperwork and guesswork from the process. And perhaps most importantly, it’s driving great people to apply. Here’s how to use hiring technology to make the most out of continuing demand for your repair and maintenance services:

Be where the best hourly job seekers focus their search

The way drive the best people to apply to your jobs is to start at the beginning: the job post. You have a wealth of sourcing options at your disposal to advertise your job openings, but if you make the wrong choice you could end up spending all of your time sorting the unqualified applicants from the qualified instead of focusing only on those who will help grow your business.

Post your job on niche job boards, like Snagajob.com, and you will see applicants who are two times higher in quality than employees attracted through general job boards, and eight times the quality of hires made through traditional newspaper ads, according to a Direct Employers Association Recruiting Trends survey.

A killer job description will motivate great people to apply. Provide detail on what your new hires will  be expected to do along with the reasons why they would want to work with you. Do you promote from within? Offering training as part of employment? Have flexible hours? Highlight the benefits that set you apart from the rest, because with the continuing strong demand for automotive services you will face stiff competition for top talent. And if you want to keep business brisk in the future, it’s going to take someone up front who has a wonderful way with customers.

Look a bit beyond qualifications

Speaking of driving great people to apply, make sure you have an application process in place that’s convenient and efficient for job seekers and that helps you find out exactly what you need to know about them very quickly.

Snagajob’s job posting service would take your applicants through filter questions and a behavioral assessment as part of an online application process. It’s like looking both ways before you step on the gas. You’ll know from the applications who’s qualified, and the assessment results will indicate which ones have the character traits (for example, positive sales and service attitude) that would lead to success in the position. Answers to the filter questions will tell you what’s motivating them to apply – which says a lot about how they will fit in and perform.

Improving the hourly hiring process really is about embracing the technology that will help you do it. Full-on talent management systems go well beyond what we’ve covered here in terms of the capabilities and benefits of hiring technology. But using a job posting service that targets the best job seekers and takes them through a loaded-up online application to identify which ones are perfect for the position is a great start. It will help automotive repair and maintenance businesses find and identify the people who will help them ride the surge of business well into the future.

For more on finding great employees, read our other automotive industry blog posts here and here.