One of the necessities of keeping an auto shop running is finding and keeping good employees. Previously we’ve discussed various solutions on how to reduce employee turnover, but often the best way to do that is to hire good people to begin with. In that article we advised:
“Hiring quality employees is very important for two reasons. If you hire the wrong person, it will hurt your business’s bottom line and could be very costly to correct. Do your research and take your time during the search process, conduct thorough interviews, check references, and remember to look at each new candidate as someone who must fit into the team you’ve already built. It’s not just about skills, personality and the ability to get on well with others are important as well. If you make the right hiring choices, your new employee will likely be happier on the job and more willing to stay.”
Owners and managers sometimes ask where is the best place to advertise or look for good employees and, specifically, for good mechanics since without mechanics auto repair shops cannot operate. Here are our suggestions:
Go to the source – Look for places where mechanics are looking to improve themselves and their skills and bring your business cards. College career days and training seminars are good starting points. If any of these places have bulletin boards or leaflet areas, leave your information behind.
Form relationships with technical schools in your area – If you can get your foot in the door with the dean of a technical school you will be able to approach stronger candidates directly. If you can hire them in for less skilled work before they finish school, you will have the opportunity to observe their work ethic and also to snap up good technicians before they’re fully fledged techs. Treat them well and invest in them, and your tech supply problems may be over.
Pay for training – Quality entry-level mechanics can be given training to develop the skill portfolio you need for your shop. If you invest in their training and pay them generously, they are much more likely to stay and use the vital skill set they develop for your company’s needs. Sometimes it’s easier to train a less qualified worker to become what you need than to find a qualified worker who is also trustworthy, responsible, and loyal.
Our last article on keeping your auto shop clean got plenty of feedback on our Facebook and other social media. If you have any ideas on where to find a good mechanic or experience training entry-level workers, please let us know either there or on our forums. We always love to hear feedback, and when you leave it you’re helping others out there like you to solve the everyday problems auto shop managers deal with.