On the surface, recruiting and hiring appear to be the same. But when you dig a little deeper, you realize that you are dealing with two distinctively different subjects. If you do not treat them as two different actions, it will limit your success.
Recruiting is really a sales and marketing concept. It requires good sales and marketing skills to be a successful recruiter. Look at any major corporation, the military, or any other professional group. They’ve got recruiters out there beating the bushes, and they are trained in sales and marketing.
Hiring brings someone on board after recruitment. You will never get to this point if you don’t carry out all of the necessary recruitment actions; working out the compensation plan, getting the new recruit through the shop policies, and covering all grounds of the basic do’s and don’ts.
Think of Potential Employees as the Consumer
Anyone who has been in the auto industry for more than a week knows that there is a shortage of qualified help. Top techs and service advisors are not lined up on the street looking for a job. This is not a new problem, but the writing is on the wall for anyone looking; the problem is getting worse. Vehicles are more sophisticated, and most of the local high schools have discontinued their automotive shop training programs. Young people are not being exposed to our industry as they once were. But before you throw your hands up and scream, realize there are some very effective actions you can take.
What is an Employee Looking for in the Workplace?
It is important to understand what consumers look for in a business. It is just as important to understand what people are looking for in a job. The new generation of workers has different needs and wants, and concerns in employment. A recent survey of millennials showed how this generation is more concerned with safety and the shop’s environmental impact. They were also concerned with advancement opportunities. A standard tool of marketing is to conduct surveys. The only way to know for sure what people think is to ask them!
Would You Work for You?
Once you have discovered what people are looking for in a job, look around your own shop, assume the viewpoint of the potential employees and ask yourself, “Would I work here?” If the answer is “no way!”, then you know you have some work to do to make your shop a more desirable place to work. Make a list and tackle just one task at a time.
Write a Good Ad
Using the information you get from surveys write an ad that will attract applicants. It has to be inspiring and address the needs and wants of applicants. Develop a pitch that you could deliver in 30 seconds on why someone should work at your shop. Learn to sell your business!
Launch a Campaign
It is not enough anymore to just run an ad and expect to get the right applicants. You have got to have a campaign that doesn’t only include a good online ad. Talk at job fairs at the local high schools, visit and meet with teachers at vocational tech schools. You have to work the grapevine and let vendors, customers and anyone else you can think of know that you are looking for help. You should also hold training and social events at your shop and invite people. A great client of mine always recruited, even when he did not need someone. He kept a file full of resumes and worked them. He understood that you lose employees, especially good ones when you can least afford to. This is how you would want to stay on top of that problem.
Be Willing to Train
A friend of mine once told me that he would take a willingly interested apprentice over a difficult master tech that is harder to get along with, any day of the week. He was right. Employees must have willingness and an aptitude for the job, but you have to know how to, and be willing to train. With the right applicant and the right training program, you can get an apprentice billing 20-30 hours a week for you in a short period of time.
There is no magic wand or silver bullet when it comes to recruiting and hiring. Understand marketing and how it relates to the subject of recruiting, do-the-do, be persistent and you will achieve you goals!
MANAGEMENT SUCCESS! is a company that specializes in training and consulting the independent automotive repair shop owner. Bob tours the country as an educational speaker and writes numerous columns and articles for trade publications. Additional articles on management can be read online at www.managementsuccess.com
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