In my recent article (How to grow your own technicians), we explored looking to local secondary and post-secondary automotive schools as a source of new technicians. Now, let's look at bringing those new hires into your shop.
For this article, I called, emailed and stopped into different shops to see if they had an onboarding process or system for bringing in new employees. None did, leaving me to believe that very few shops, if any, have anything in place for new hires. If you have a system, feel free to email me the process so that we can share it in a possible future article!
Realize that hiring a person can be a pivotal moment for not only your shop, but also for the individual applying for the job. For you, they may be the technician who changes everything for the better. For the applicant, it may be the start of a new life for them and their family. Quite a bit rests on who you hire, so why not do it right?
If you raised your own tech via the tech school method, you are already ahead of the curve. Anyone you bring in through that method should give you a pretty good idea of who they are, their attitude and their skill level. It’s like trying before you buy. It helps weed out those who would never work out in your shop before you invest more time in them.
If you haven’t grown your own tech, the first step is the interview. There should be a process for every interview; you shouldn’t fly by the seat of your pants. Here are some steps to consider.
Certifications and drug test
Inform the candidate of your certification requirements and drug testing policies when setting the appointment for the interview. Have them bring their driver’s license, state-issued licenses, such as safety and emissions, and any certifications, like those from ASE. Let them know that you will be running a background check on their licenses. (I recommend doing this with every candidate. You would be amazed at what you may find. It is money well spent.)
Are you doing all you can to protect the pump?
You are doing your customers no favors when you put a new fuel pump into a dirty gas tank. But with this step-by-step video, you can make vehicle performance better for customers.
Have them send or bring a resume. Applicants still in school should bring a report card of their current grades in addition to a resume. When you get the resume, spend some time with it. Write down any observations and questions to use during the interview.
Social media use/personal behavior
Investigate their social media presence. Their behavior online may give you enough reasons to NOT interview them. Look at their posts, see who they are online and see if they’re up to any questionable activities. It’s also good to note mutual contacts (if any). Reach out to those connections for an unbiased reference.