What happened with Aftermarket jobs in 2018?
Well, what a year last year was – huge changes across the industry (including a few important personal ones of course!) that have an impact on all of us in the job market, whether that be employer, employee or recruiter. So, let me give you my view on how the automotive aftermarket job sector changed last year and the trends I foresee moving forwards this year.
A lot can firstly be attributed to the uncertainty in the marketplace that has happened over the past few years (Brexit and its fallout of course plays a part of this). Mixed in with the market consolidation that has shown no signs of slowing down, the industry is constantly changing year on year.
The story of aftermarket jobs in 2018 has been a case of chain reactions within a number of different vertical job roles with various market / employment pressures, affecting other related areas. Taking field sales for an example, there has been a reduction in the amount of BDM’s working for motor factors and so the pool of candidates to choose from to help them progress upwards is limited. Alongside this and due to market consolidation, there are less BDM’s on the road working at a supplier / manufacturer level. This means that there are both fewer candidates out there to employ and fewer roles to employ them into – hence the candidates drain away to other industries.
Another major trend that is only set to continue is the severe lack of candidates with good commercial vehicle parts knowledge. With both commercial vehicle factors and dealerships developing their own parts supply programs, the requirement for experienced parts people is always going up. A cold war of salaries has begun that in the short term is great news for candidates getting paid more, however in the long run will have the negative affect of reduced jobs, wage stagnation and employee stagnation.
Not just the automotive aftermarket, but business as a whole is going through a period of transition currently that can be traced back to the recession over a decade ago. Since the crash of 2008 when unemployment rose sharply, it has continued to decline to current record breaking figures of people who are in work. Our own opinions need to change quicker to understand that there are simply not the number of people out there that are necessarily looking for a new job (which in turn pushes wages up etc…)
Training new staff is going to be the key to success in 2019 and beyond. With a lack of individuals who are compatible for any job due to the issues detailed above, organisations will have to think outside the box with regards to candidates and appreciate that investing in training the new employees rather than expecting them to come onboard with a wealth of knowledge will help to create a healthy candidate pool for the future.
Is there any good news? Well the good news is that we don’t know what the future looks likes ultimately. The market is constantly changing for both good and bad depending on your viewpoint and aftermarket jobs are intrinsically linked to them. As an industry we must do our best to make our own good news, by helping to develop skills, train people and look outside of our industry for the best individuals.