Chantilly also has taken note of technology skills possessed by many entry level employees that can be put to work. Ellison says during the summer a senior employee began bringing in his son, a recent high school graduate, to help at the shop. To further his understanding of the work, the young man sat with his father and studied I-CAR courses online. The father reported that, not only was his son able to more easily navigate the course, he also outperformed him.
"If this young guy is interested in pursuing a career, we'd be interested in investing in him," says Ellison. "We'd love to have him be our expert on something like our high tech measuring systems."
Retention: The final piece of the hiring puzzle
The one downside of bringing on new employees and developing current ones is the risk shops take if these same folks decide to take their now-honed talents and experience elsewhere. Any organization is going to see some attrition. Repairers wince at the prospect of losing personnel investments.
Interestingly, Top Shops don't share these concerns—at least not to the same degree. Some say employee turnover is rare or practically nonexistent. The reason: These shops continue actively making the case for workers to stay long after a hire or promotion. They provide great working conditions and the opportunity for further advancement.
"Someone else might pay more, but there are other important things that employees value," explains Paterniti. "The culture is important, as is letting them pursue their personal goals."
"If we give them multiple areas to grow, they won't go anywhere else," he adds. The same proactive policies that bring employees into a business can convince them to remain. Developing long-term employees is a cornerstone of any successful recruitment plan.
Doing so helps eliminate the need for rash hiring decisions. It also puts in place veteran workers who can enlist and mold the next generation of employees. With that done, shops no longer need to bemoan the state of hiring in the industry. They've done their part in repairing it.