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What you should look for in a second in command

Sunday, September 15, 2019 - 06:00
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You’ve spent many years building your business. Your culture is amazing. The employees in your organization are happy. Your customers are feeling the effects of all the great efforts you’ve created. Now it’s time for you to enjoy the fruits of your labor and take a much-needed vacation. But first, you’ll need to designate a Second in Command (SIC).

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An SIC is the person that fits the criteria you deem fit to run your business when you’re not there. You would train this individual on your standard operating procedures and expectations until you’re confident that they could run your shop on their own — the real test of independence.

For some shop owners, this test is a difficult pill to swallow. They take that much-needed vacation that they’ve been putting off for the last year, but it makes them feel uneasy. They’re constantly watching the phone to see if they got any calls, until they finally give in and call the shop. Meanwhile, their wife and children are irritated and feel ignored and less important. These shop owners don’t trust that their SIC has it covered because they don’t trust that they’ve hired the right person.

Prospect Interview Questions

Once you have a good job description, the best place to start is with a great interview! If you are not sure of what you need to ask them, a great place to start is our Prospect Interview Questions. To download your very own copy of these questions simply go to for a limited time.

In some cases, the shop owner’s suspicions are confirmed. They find out that the SIC does not have everything covered and under control at the shop. They call the shop and find out bad news: customers are upset, their lead tech is ready to quit, their service advisor needs help, or that their SIC only worked four hours that day. As you can imagine, their vacation is ruined, and they spend the rest of their week fielding phone calls and running the shop from afar.

So, how did this happen? The answer is simple. Chances are they didn’t hire the right person for the SIC position. And, the reason why many shop owners make this common mistake is because they don’t take the time to define and set their expectations. Then they don’t allow the new hire time to learn while the owner is still present in the shop to mentor them. To learn how not to let this happen to you, let’s listen to ATI Coach Bobby Poist explain how he mentors shop owners on dealing successfully with this extremely important position.

How to hire the best SIC     

The first step in hiring an SIC for your shop is to create a job description. Think about what duties your SIC will be responsible for on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis and write them down.

Once you have a job description you can interview potential candidates based on the criteria. You can also use this information to determine whether promoting from within is best. I urge you to consider whether any of your current employees would fit the job description and be effective in the role. You already know these individuals and have seen their track record of successes.

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