As the automotive repair industry continues to look to boost in-store staffing with qualified candidates, many companies have an opportunity to hire a vital source of trained, skilled talent — the men and women in uniform serving our country.
Each year, some 200,000 military members transition to civilian life. And bring with them discipline, leadership, responsibility, and skills ranging from maintenance of aircraft and combat vehicles to advanced technology, logistics and communications. But translating those skills to civilian life and finding a job isn’t always easy.
As I talk with shop owners across North America, I constantly hear how hard it is to find good team members who are ready to go to work, reliable and responsible. Collectively, as an industry, we have an opportunity to address the staffing shortage — and benefit the men and women who valiantly served the country.
We need to all expand our hiring programs for military members with our network shop owners. Several options include reaching out to local military bases or USO offices to participate in military job fairs, for example, or holding open house hiring events for military members at their locations.
We also have an opportunity to engage more military members as network owners. These veterans bring the management, operations and organizational skills we all need to grow our franchise networks. This is something we’ve done successfully at Driven Brands, and recently, both Maaco and Meineke were included on Entrepreneur Magazine's list of top 10 brands making it easier for veterans to become franchisees because of the 25% discount on initial licensing fees offered to qualifying veterans.
Finally, we should all be committed to giving back to the military members and veterans as a “thank you” for their service. From recognition programs to special discounts to recycled vehicles to support of military service organizations, the national leaders in the collision repair industry and the shop owners around the country should all be considering programs to give back in their communities to those who serve.