Do you plan on hiring fixed ops people this year? Maybe a new hire or replacing someone who’s not getting the job done — technicians, service advisors, parts managers and service managers? If so, do you have a well-thought-out strategy for recruiting top performers? That’s right — top performers!
What You Want
What is a top performer? It is simply someone who can perform above the industry’s performance guides for the respective position you wish to fill. These people thrive on performance-based compensation. They are not looking for just a weekly pay check. They have the entrepreneurial spirit and they expect to be well compensated for their above-average effort that in turn produces above-average results, which usually means more profit for their dealer.
To put it another way — you get what you pay for! That being said, how do you find and recruit these top performers? One thing is for sure, they are not standing in line at the unemployment office or sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring. They are most likely employed by one of your competitors.
The first step in recruiting for any position is to determine the maximum compensation you are willing to pay to a top performer for the particular position you want to fill. Secondly, you must prepare a list of all the benefits you can offer this person. Thirdly, you must decide how you are going to search for this person. Let’s look at technicians, for example.
It does not matter whether you want to recruit a C-level, B-level or A-level technician, an effective ad will recruit all of the above for you. To begin with, determine the W-2 earnings last year for your highest paid technician. This is probably a technician who has a productivity level of 140 percent or higher. Let’s assume he earned $100,000 for the full year, this now becomes the benchmark for the new hire’s compensation.
Put Pencil to Paper
Now you must define your benefits. In doing so, understand that you want to recruit from your aftermarket competitors as well as other dealers so list all of the benefits of working at your dealership. Here are some examples:
- Paid Health Insurance
- No Sundays
- No Nights
- Paid for Training Programs
- Professional Work Environment
- Terrific Bonus Plans
- Full Appreciation for work done
- Ohio’s Top Pay Plan
Lastly, you must decide how and where you intend to advertise for this position, which for most of you will be your local newspaper. When advertising in the newspaper do not buy a three or four-line ad in the help wanted section. Instead, spend the money to buy a display ad, maybe two columns by five inches.
I know, it will cost a lot more money than the liner ad, but you will get what you pay for. A liner ad will produce maybe two or three applicants, whereas a display ad will bring in closer to 10, which of course gives you a lot more candidates to choose from.
Now, let’s put this all together to see what the ad content will look like:
Rope ‘Em All In
Obviously, C- and B-level technicians will respond to this ad and so will A-level technicians who aren’t currently earning $70,000 a year or who don’t have health insurance or a 401(k). Aftermarket techs will respond as well since they won’t have to work nights or Sundays and are looking for additional training to increase their skill level.
I recommend you strive to recruit aftermarket techs because most of them bring some very good work habits with them. Habits such as performing a complete inspection of every vehicle before they make any repairs and habits like inspecting air filters, cabin filters, wiper blades for possible replacement, to name a few.
Everywhere I go I hear dealers and service managers utter these same words: “Don, you don’t understand, technicians are hard to find.” Well, I do understand this — there are five times as many aftermarket service facilities (over 80,000) as there are new car dealers (about 16,000) so who do you think employs the majority of the technicians in the work force?
Where the Talent Is
These technicians service all makes and models not just one franchise. They are trained on light repairs and maintenance services, which is exactly the kind of work you need in your service department to increase your retail service sales. Over time these technicians can become top performers in your dealership so be aggressive and open minded in your recruiting efforts and start growing your service business because you can. Starting right now.
If you need help designing your recruiting ads, just send me an email and I’ll be glad to send you some samples you can use at no cost to you.
Don’t recruit someone else’s underachiever. Be aggressive, spend a little money and recruit as many applicants as possible and I’m confident you will find a top performer.