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Dux

Short staffed

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Hello Everyone,

We've been trying to find good help for the past 3 months and have been very unsuccessful. We have ads on craigslist and indeed and had no luck on there neither. Our workload is backed up and now it's starting to affect our profitability, in terms of we're taking 2 weeks to finish a week's worth of work. Anyone have any good suggestions on how to get out of this bind or is being patient our best bet?

 Thanks...Robert

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I'm sure nobody will like this answer but it works.  

You have to be active.  Posting ads is passive.  I actually had to go out online and find resumes and start calling guys.  I found a guy rather quickly.  It seems like lot of techs are upset with the politics of where they are, so if you can give them a pleasant place to work at, they will come and take a pay cut to do it.  

I also have job seekers show up on occasion so I always have them fill out an application and chat them up just in case I need someone in a pinch.  In February my lube tech quit abruptly (story for another day) and I had a new guy start the next day. ;) 

In fact, my lube tech who quit stopped by last week looking for his job back.  Apparently, his new place of employment isn't quite as pleasant to work at.

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11 hours ago, jfuhrmad said:

I actually had to go out online and find resumes and start calling guys.

so where did you find the resumes?

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ok, but how?  what were the search terms?  what websites?  i mean, resumes have to sit on a server somewhere so im wondering where you are seeing them?

Where did you find this guy you hired?

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if you are not going to provide this invaluable way of finding a tech, WHY would you post it in the first place? 

 

OP, i have had the same issues as you, in the end craigslist has been the best in finding us a candidate.  The general service guys are easier to get and look at craigslist. The tech also go there but it does seem to be more difficult to find them.  I post to CL and indeed.

 

I also keep all past applications and resumes and go thru those and make phone calls, got one by doing that.  

 

Just wish we could get the magical search terms to find the golden hidden tech resumes.........

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I told you what I do because it works.  I never said it was easy or fast or a silver bullet.  It takes time and trial and error but it works.  There's nothing more to say.

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I wasn't able to respond directly to some of the responses. Thank you to everyone who responded. I have been contacting people on indeed, just haven't found much luck. The staff that I have now, has just been by pure luck. I specialize in transmissions so that also makes it even harder. I have to try and find a general tech and try to train him up to become fast enough on transmissions. The staff I have now, let's just say this. If I didn't have them, or they didn't happen to stumble into my shop, I'd be in the red and digging myself out a hole. Thank you for everyone who responded. I guess there's no easy solution but to wait and do the best i can.

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I ran an attractive ad on Career Builder for the last month and I only received one application and they were completely unqualified.  I have searched resumes on Career Builder religiously for the last two months and have not found one candidate worth contacting.  I have also searched the state sponsored job site Indiana Career Connect with similar results.  It is very, very difficult. A guy must always be looking and willing to grab a likely candidate if they come along.  I have five techs and four of the five have worked with me before and I took them back. 

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It is getting harder and harder to find quality employees the traditional ways.  Shop owners need to find who the top talent is in their industry and get to know them.  Create a network of people. In other words, always recruit.  Build a pipeline list of people. When the time comes when you need someone, reach out to the these people. 

This is what large companies do, and it's similar to professional sports teams.

 

 

 

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I've tried indeed, monster, linkedin...none of these options provided us with great candidates.

I agree with Joe. It's all about networking. All of the applications we've received that were actually from worthy candidates were from (free) advertising that we were hiring on social media --FB and Instagram. But one thing to note is that we are extremely active on social media and in the local car community (go to /host a lot of events) so the applications were coming from people that knew about us already or knew someone who did.

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Yes, I've been saved by the network. One of the reasons I wanted to post this was, I try to prepare myself for the  "what if didn't have that network scenario." I definitely have been in that situation and have been taken advantage of.  Thanks for putting the professional sports team analogy. I always try to picture myself like a sports franchise.😂 Thanks for the tip Meowpox, that's the avenue our shop has been investing more time on, especially the advertising side.

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I have had a lot of success using word of mouth through the tool trucks, my vendors and the parts delivery drivers . Another way I had heard was to go to the new car dealers and hand your business cards out to the techs. If you go to ally of training seminars you could try there also.

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3 hours ago, Andre R said:

 . Another way I had heard was to go to the new car dealers and hand your business cards out to the techs. If you go to ally of training seminars you could try there also.

ahhhh the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

brilliant ideas there.....walk through another's service dept passing out business cards. I can't think of a better way to say "hi, I'm a slime ball" I wonder what kind of person you might attract.

And at training??? It's bad enough that shops arent sending their techs to training but to now have to worry about someone poaching them? I suspect you and your shop would build quite the reputation. 

 

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7 hours ago, Andre R said:

I have had a lot of success using word of mouth through the tool trucks, my vendors and the parts delivery drivers . Another way I had heard was to go to the new car dealers and hand your business cards out to the techs. If you go to ally of training seminars you could try there also.

yikes, stay out of peoples shops man

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I have tried career builder, indeed, craigslist, facebook and a few others. Craigslist and facebook are the best for leads. We are active with our facebook page so that helps and we do buy some advertising on Facebook. One of the things we were doing is as soon as we got a response from someone (mostly Craigslist) we would request they go to our website to fill out an online application. Rarely would someone do this. Since we don't hire a great deal of people, I really don't have much experience even though I have been in business over 15 years. I noticed my local Chick-fil-A was having open interviews one day so I called up the owner who is a friend and prefaced my question with "No is an acceptable answer". I then asked him if I could sit through an interview for some tips. He said he would do one better, he would come down, pick me up, provide me with lunch, give me a back end tour, and sit through as many interviews that I wanted. He then said he needed to make an appointment for service so I one upped him and told him bring your vehicle, drop it off and we will go in mine while they service yours. 

Anyway they don't require an application for an interview. he has 2 other staff people pre interview to weed out a number of the applicants and then he gets the ones that are pre-screened. He begins by telling them the process of the interview.

1. Introduces himself and me to the applicant.

2. Talks about himself and his background as the owner operator.

3. Talks about he organization

4. His style of management.

5. He then tells them to take about 5 minutes to tell him their story and asks them if its ok if he makes some notes on his phone while they talk. And lets them know he is not texting or answering emails but merely making notes about the interview. He also tells them that he or I might interrupt their story to ask them a few questions.  

6. If he feels compelled he then tells the that he has a position he thinks would be a great fit and tells them about the position. He makes them an offered with the stipulation that they must fill out an online application and screening and if that is ok then they have a job. He asks them if they can go online that day to complete the application process. If they can't do it that day he then asks if they can complete the next day. They all agree. If they don't complete the online part when they said they would then they don't hire them. 

After viewing the operations I could pretty much place each of the interview candidates in various positions and it was actually uplifting because he had some great young people.  

One of the other things he does is to put a couple of napkins on the floor by the table to see if anyone picks them up. 

A couple of things i learned is that they make it a very informal process and get the applicant comfortable. They build some excitement about the organization by telling their story so that the applicants want to come there.  I have changed our process and don't even mention the application now. We go ahead and schedule an interview. We get them to commit to a time and if they are late we will talk to them for a bit to find out what happened and give them a 5 minute shop tour but not much after that. If they're late for an interview then my experience is they lack discipline and are also late for work.  Once we give them a tour we tell them about our organization and vision. We try and get them excited and want to come work with us. We ask them to tell their story, ask them about their hopes and dreams. If we aren't really hiring we let them know we take our time in the hiring process and we are slow to hire. We have also shared our growth plans with them so sometimes is a matter of obtaining potential hires to have in the stable. Once we complete the initial interview we direct them to our website and tell them that our application is a little lengthy but we want to know as much about them as we can because we have an exceptional team and don't want to damage that by a bad hire.  We also do 2-3 interviews. The manager, the lead tech, and myself occasionally.  

A couple of points.

Make sure your shop and your office is clean and well lite. nobody really can get excited about working in a messy dungeon.

Treat everyone of them with respect. We also tell the applicants that they can also talk to any of the employees if they like. 

We treat all the parts delivery guys and all of our vendors with the highest regard. We offer delivery guys cold bottled water and sodas and create good repore with them as they can be advocates for your business. Our last great hire was a service writer referred to us by a major vendor.  One of the last top techs we hired came to us from a combination of parts house and tool truck recommendations. Guy was new to the area and talked to parts houses and tool truck guys and asked if they were looking for a job where are three places they would go. We were at the top of the list. I thought that was a smart and unique way for someone to find a place to work. This was an exceptional tech and we he came to us he was upfront and stated he would only be with us 2-3 yrs max as his wife was a DOD worker and would be transferred after this assignment so he wanted us to know that before hiring him. 

Even doing all this you will still make bad hires as we have also. We terminate those quickly. This hasn't always been the case as I am too nice and give 2nd, 3rd.... chances. My manager is much better at this than me. I have improved greatly over the years because this is extremely costly to morale and culture. 

Anyway I hope this helps and always be looking and interviewing. 

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Marksas said:

I have tried career builder, indeed, craigslist, facebook and a few others. Craigslist and facebook are the best for leads. We are active with our facebook page so that helps and we do buy some advertising on Facebook. One of the things we were doing is as soon as we got a response from someone (mostly Craigslist) we would request they go to our website to fill out an online application. Rarely would someone do this. Since we don't hire a great deal of people, I really don't have much experience even though I have been in business over 15 years. I noticed my local Chick-fil-A was having open interviews one day so I called up the owner who is a friend and prefaced my question with "No is an acceptable answer". I then asked him if I could sit through an interview for some tips. He said he would do one better, he would come down, pick me up, provide me with lunch, give me a back end tour, and sit through as many interviews that I wanted. He then said he needed to make an appointment for service so I one upped him and told him bring your vehicle, drop it off and we will go in mine while they service yours. 

Anyway they don't require an application for an interview. he has 2 other staff people pre interview to weed out a number of the applicants and then he gets the ones that are pre-screened. He begins by telling them the process of the interview.

1. Introduces himself and me to the applicant.

2. Talks about himself and his background as the owner operator.

3. Talks about he organization

4. His style of management.

5. He then tells them to take about 5 minutes to tell him their story and asks them if its ok if he makes some notes on his phone while they talk. And lets them know he is not texting or answering emails but merely making notes about the interview. He also tells them that he or I might interrupt their story to ask them a few questions.  

6. If he feels compelled he then tells the that he has a position he thinks would be a great fit and tells them about the position. He makes them an offered with the stipulation that they must fill out an online application and screening and if that is ok then they have a job. He asks them if they can go online that day to complete the application process. If they can't do it that day he then asks if they can complete the next day. They all agree. If they don't complete the online part when they said they would then they don't hire them. 

After viewing the operations I could pretty much place each of the interview candidates in various positions and it was actually uplifting because he had some great young people.  

One of the other things he does is to put a couple of napkins on the floor by the table to see if anyone picks them up. 

A couple of things i learned is that they make it a very informal process and get the applicant comfortable. They build some excitement about the organization by telling their story so that the applicants want to come there.  I have changed our process and don't even mention the application now. We go ahead and schedule an interview. We get them to commit to a time and if they are late we will talk to them for a bit to find out what happened and give them a 5 minute shop tour but not much after that. If they're late for an interview then my experience is they lack discipline and are also late for work.  Once we give them a tour we tell them about our organization and vision. We try and get them excited and want to come work with us. We ask them to tell their story, ask them about their hopes and dreams. If we aren't really hiring we let them know we take our time in the hiring process and we are slow to hire. We have also shared our growth plans with them so sometimes is a matter of obtaining potential hires to have in the stable. Once we complete the initial interview we direct them to our website and tell them that our application is a little lengthy but we want to know as much about them as we can because we have an exceptional team and don't want to damage that by a bad hire.  We also do 2-3 interviews. The manager, the lead tech, and myself occasionally.  

A couple of points.

Make sure your shop and your office is clean and well lite. nobody really can get excited about working in a messy dungeon.

Treat everyone of them with respect. We also tell the applicants that they can also talk to any of the employees if they like. 

We treat all the parts delivery guys and all of our vendors with the highest regard. We offer delivery guys cold bottled water and sodas and create good repore with them as they can be advocates for your business. Our last great hire was a service writer referred to us by a major vendor.  One of the last top techs we hired came to us from a combination of parts house and tool truck recommendations. Guy was new to the area and talked to parts houses and tool truck guys and asked if they were looking for a job where are three places they would go. We were at the top of the list. I thought that was a smart and unique way for someone to find a place to work. This was an exceptional tech and we he came to us he was upfront and stated he would only be with us 2-3 yrs max as his wife was a DOD worker and would be transferred after this assignment so he wanted us to know that before hiring him. 

Even doing all this you will still make bad hires as we have also. We terminate those quickly. This hasn't always been the case as I am too nice and give 2nd, 3rd.... chances. My manager is much better at this than me. I have improved greatly over the years because this is extremely costly to morale and culture. 

Anyway I hope this helps and always be looking and interviewing. 

 

 

 

wow, nice tips, very good. 

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5 hours ago, Marksas said:

I have tried career builder, indeed, craigslist, facebook and a few others. Craigslist and facebook are the best for leads. We are active with our facebook page so that helps and we do buy some advertising on Facebook. One of the things we were doing is as soon as we got a response from someone (mostly Craigslist) we would request they go to our website to fill out an online application. Rarely would someone do this. Since we don't hire a great deal of people, I really don't have much experience even though I have been in business over 15 years. I noticed my local Chick-fil-A was having open interviews one day so I called up the owner who is a friend and prefaced my question with "No is an acceptable answer". I then asked him if I could sit through an interview for some tips. He said he would do one better, he would come down, pick me up, provide me with lunch, give me a back end tour, and sit through as many interviews that I wanted. He then said he needed to make an appointment for service so I one upped him and told him bring your vehicle, drop it off and we will go in mine while they service yours. 

Anyway they don't require an application for an interview. he has 2 other staff people pre interview to weed out a number of the applicants and then he gets the ones that are pre-screened. He begins by telling them the process of the interview.

1. Introduces himself and me to the applicant.

2. Talks about himself and his background as the owner operator.

3. Talks about he organization

4. His style of management.

5. He then tells them to take about 5 minutes to tell him their story and asks them if its ok if he makes some notes on his phone while they talk. And lets them know he is not texting or answering emails but merely making notes about the interview. He also tells them that he or I might interrupt their story to ask them a few questions.  

6. If he feels compelled he then tells the that he has a position he thinks would be a great fit and tells them about the position. He makes them an offered with the stipulation that they must fill out an online application and screening and if that is ok then they have a job. He asks them if they can go online that day to complete the application process. If they can't do it that day he then asks if they can complete the next day. They all agree. If they don't complete the online part when they said they would then they don't hire them. 

After viewing the operations I could pretty much place each of the interview candidates in various positions and it was actually uplifting because he had some great young people.  

One of the other things he does is to put a couple of napkins on the floor by the table to see if anyone picks them up. 

A couple of things i learned is that they make it a very informal process and get the applicant comfortable. They build some excitement about the organization by telling their story so that the applicants want to come there.  I have changed our process and don't even mention the application now. We go ahead and schedule an interview. We get them to commit to a time and if they are late we will talk to them for a bit to find out what happened and give them a 5 minute shop tour but not much after that. If they're late for an interview then my experience is they lack discipline and are also late for work.  Once we give them a tour we tell them about our organization and vision. We try and get them excited and want to come work with us. We ask them to tell their story, ask them about their hopes and dreams. If we aren't really hiring we let them know we take our time in the hiring process and we are slow to hire. We have also shared our growth plans with them so sometimes is a matter of obtaining potential hires to have in the stable. Once we complete the initial interview we direct them to our website and tell them that our application is a little lengthy but we want to know as much about them as we can because we have an exceptional team and don't want to damage that by a bad hire.  We also do 2-3 interviews. The manager, the lead tech, and myself occasionally.  

A couple of points.

Make sure your shop and your office is clean and well lite. nobody really can get excited about working in a messy dungeon.

Treat everyone of them with respect. We also tell the applicants that they can also talk to any of the employees if they like. 

We treat all the parts delivery guys and all of our vendors with the highest regard. We offer delivery guys cold bottled water and sodas and create good repore with them as they can be advocates for your business. Our last great hire was a service writer referred to us by a major vendor.  One of the last top techs we hired came to us from a combination of parts house and tool truck recommendations. Guy was new to the area and talked to parts houses and tool truck guys and asked if they were looking for a job where are three places they would go. We were at the top of the list. I thought that was a smart and unique way for someone to find a place to work. This was an exceptional tech and we he came to us he was upfront and stated he would only be with us 2-3 yrs max as his wife was a DOD worker and would be transferred after this assignment so he wanted us to know that before hiring him. 

Even doing all this you will still make bad hires as we have also. We terminate those quickly. This hasn't always been the case as I am too nice and give 2nd, 3rd.... chances. My manager is much better at this than me. I have improved greatly over the years because this is extremely costly to morale and culture. 

Anyway I hope this helps and always be looking and interviewing. 

 

 

 

Thank you! I think this will help everyone out tremendously. Chick-fil-A is a great organization and now I know why. I've heard they screen their franchisees very carefully. I like his interview process! Thank you for sharing.

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