By Bob Cooper / Elite Worldwide
1. Most shop owners will wait until they need someone before they start recruiting. This is a major mistake. Instead of hiring the best service advisor or tech, they’ll inevitably end up hiring the best of whoever is available at the time.
There’s a big difference between the two. If you want to hire the superstar employees, you need to start by identifying who those stars are, and then start building relationships with them. If you do, then when the time comes when you need to hire a star, you’ll have the relationships in place and will be prepared for the hiring process, rather than having to scramble to fill a need and settling for the best available.
2. When you first meet with a candidate, try to avoid lunch meetings. You are far better off meeting them for dinner. At a dinner meeting they won’t be checking their watches, they’ll be more relaxed, and you’ll have a greater opportunity to learn about the kind of person they are.
3. You should look for indicators that help you evaluate three things: their attitude, their aptitude and their ethics. You should also pay very close attention during the dinner meeting as to how they treat the restaurant staff. Over the years I’ve learned that if they don’t say “please” and “thank you” to the servers, then odds are, they won’t say “please” and “thank you” to your employees, or your customers.
4. When hiring service advisors, you absolutely have to take them for what I call a “test-drive.” At the appropriate time, hand them a repair order and have them sell you the recommended service. It’s amazing how many service advisors have the interviewing process down to a science, but then miserably fail when put to the test. If they can’t impress you with their sales presentations, they won’t impress your customers either.
5. Make sure that your compensation program is top shelf. Don’t forget: The superstars will be looking for an opportunity, not a fixed income. Your compensation program needs to provide them with the opportunity to earn a higher income based on their productivity.
6. When you request references, always ask the applicant to list two techs who they have worked with. Not only can you learn a lot from their coworkers, but if you do a great job when you speak with the techs during your reference checks, and impress them with your professionalism, then those techs can become employment candidates, too.
7. In addition to the career references, you need to call those personal references as well. On a personal note, I’m always most interested in speaking with the personal references, because it’s through these people that I’m able to learn the most about the applicant. You may laugh, but if the applicant is young enough for their parents to still be alive, I’ll always ask that they list them as references. It really is amazing what you can learn from someone’s parents!
For additional help recruiting the right advisors and techs, and building a more successful shop, learn how you can team up with the top shop owners in the country through the Elite Coaching Program.
Since 1990, Bob Cooper has been the president of Elite, a team of industry leading shop owners that helps other fellow shop owners take their businesses to new levels of success, reach their goals, and establish a work/life balance that leads to a higher quality of life. The company offers industry leading service advisor training, peer groups, and coaching and consulting services that deliver extraordinary results. You can learn more about Elite by visiting www.EliteWorldwide.com, or calling 800-204-3548.