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"We looked at each other like, 'How are we going to pay for this?'" ...
When it comes down to it, you’re not just in the automotive collision and repair business. You’re in the people business. That is, your decision-making, your environment and, yes, even your hiring practices should be based on the people you serve.
All of which makes whom you choose to be part of your team extremely important. Your reputation is on the line, and your profits hang in the balance. The wrong hire can be detrimental to your shop and its culture. So, how do you ensure that you’re getting the right people for the job? And how do you retain the good ones? Well, it’s not easy. But, here are some helpful ways that you can get (and keep) the kind of employees your repair or collision shop needs to thrive.
It’s not always easy to find the right fit. According to Recruiter.com, “misjudging a candidate’s cultural fit, competencies and goals can account for as much as 80 percent of employee turnover” (10/14/15). Doing your due diligence when seeking talent starts with defining the position you’re hiring for, seeking out those who truly fit the position, then interviewing potential candidates thoroughly. Generally, the most qualified rise to the top. But don’t settle for those who just know how to repair cars. They need to know how to deal with people, too.
Recruiting the best of the best requires some creativity and a willingness to live by the old adage: You get what you pay for. According to ALLDATA.com, there are many ways to attract the best to your business. These may include:
• Offering a signing bonus
• Referral bonuses offered to employees and customers
• Paid on-the-job training programs for technical school and community college graduates
• Participation in job fairs to recruit high school and community college students
Offering programs that truly allow them to be the best that they can be makes your business very attractive to potential employees. Incentives are a great recruitment tool that can pave the way to getting the type of employee who seems to fit your business best.
In the 1980’s, a shampoo ad campaign used the tagline: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” When it comes to résumé writing practices, some potential candidates will try to exaggerate in an effort to make themselves more valuable. Attention to detail, specifics and design are important clues to the candidate’s true makeup, and could be a window to their future habits as an employee, as well. A résumé that tells a good story should be verified through a thorough interview.
The résumé isn’t the only way to screen potentials. More and more businesses are using social media to screen potential candidates because social sites can tell a thousand stories about prospects. According to ALLDATA.com: “Surveys show that 43 percent of employers use social networking sites to research candidates, and 12 percent more plan to start doing so. That means candidates now have a ‘second résumé’ to groom, in the form of their social media presence.”
If a résumé is worth a second glance, bringing the potential candidate in for an interview is the next logical step. To ensure the interview goes well, it must be totally objective from your end. Asking potential candidates for specific details and encouraging them to relate stories that illustrate their experiences on the job in repair or collision work are imperative in developing a profile on the candidate. And an insightful interview process is a valuable asset to gaining the best employees. Checking references, running a background check (or a pre-employment screening) and conducting a drug test are not uncommon practices when it comes to finding the right fit.
There are many intriguing and telling interview questions that will allow you to glean invaluable insight on the candidate being interviewed. A potential repair or collision tech’s honesty, integrity and passion for the work should be transparent both on their résumé and, especially, through the interview process. Discover their assets and don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions like, “What are your strengths?” and, “Why do you want to work here?” Their answers may be the key to determining if they’re worth it. Or not.