It's not easy hiring the right staff for your auto body shop.
Skilled employees can grow your business and build your reputation,
but as quality in the industry varies wildly, making the wrong hire
could leave you lumped with a hack that brings more harm to your
business than good. Don't let this happen toyou; here are 10 things
for you to consider when making a new hire for your auto body
Education isn't everything, but it's a good place to start.
Highly qualified staff are able to hit the ground running and are
more likely to produce quality work. Checking the qualifications of
your prospective hires will tell you their strengths and
specializations, and for assurance, you canalways ask for a
reference from their tutors.
Ensure candidates have a bank of high quality experience. Ask
specifics in the interview to gauge their skills and comfort zones.
Don't be too caught up by the length of experience someone has,
it's what they can do that's most important. Someone with 3 years'
experience as a technician may have spent half that time as the
body shop flunky doing the car washing and porter duties, while a
candidate fresher to the industry may have been given quality,
on-the-job training and development from day one. Remember, its
quality that matters and as almost anyone can call themselves a
technician, it's important for you to get a handle on the level of
By working with local schools and colleges, you can offer work
placements for current students. If you find a hard worker who fits
in well with the team, then consider making them an offer.
Investing in the future of your staff breeds loyalty, and it's a
lot less risky than taking on an external hire, as you already know
what you're getting.
With new vehicles coming in every day, you need reliable staff
to enable you to complete a quick turnaround. Punctuality and
attendance mean a lot in the auto body shop industry. When making a
new hire, check previous sickness records and have an attendance
policy in place which quickly allows you to get rid of the
5. Verify credentials
Always ask for references and conduct criminal record checks.
Some candidates exaggerate and tell outright lies on their resume;
don't fall for it. All it takes is a quick e-mail or phone call to
obtain a reference, and you'll be safe in the knowledge you're
hiring someone you can trust.
Ensure candidates are right for your role by knowing up front
exactly which part of the business they will be involved in. This
sounds obvious, but if you know in advance that you want a
detailer, narrow down your search to those with the specific
experience and training. Specialized applicants will be more
productive and produce higher quality results.
7. Pay more for talent
In the body shop industry, reputation is everything. Choosing
the right staff can make or break your business, so don't leave
anything to chance. Top technicians may cost you more in wages,but
the satisfaction their handiwork will bring to customers ensures
this is well worth it.
Technical skills matter, but you've also got to work with this
person on a daily basis. Make sure you get someone with a good
personality who will fit well into the team, and who isn't too much
of a diva to do the grunt work, like car washing, when the porter
calls in sick.
Get to know local tutors and get involved in the social side of
the auto repair industry. Networking contacts can help you find the
right staff, let you know if anyone reputable is looking for work,
and enable you to spot new upcoming talent before your rivals.
10. Test or trial period
Anyone can talk their way into a job, but not everyone can do
it. Set a practical test in the interview, or initially employ new
staff on a trial period so you can assess the quality of their work
before making them permanent.