September 12, 2019
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How to employ the right people in the motor industry
A company is only as good as its people, regardless of its size or industry. If you own a small or medium-sized motor trade business, then the people you decide to employ can mean the difference between failure and success.
 
If you have a team of mechanics working on customers’ cars, then customer satisfaction is going to largely depend on the quality of their work. If it’s substandard, it won’t be long before your motor trade business develops a bad rep. After all, word of mouth travels fast!
 

First things first: check you’re covered

If you run a garage, then just like any other business you’ll need to take out insurance. It’s likely you’ll need a policy that can be used for any member of staff, including new recruits. That motor trade insurance policy will protect your business against accidental damage or any other issues that arise from you or another mechanic working on a vehicle.
 
Because Insurance Choice is partnered with a panel of leading insurers, we can arrange cover for a range of risks, including those associated with working on cars.  We’ll take the time to understand the unique needs of your business, before finding motor trade insurance cover that matches your needs and budget.
 

What to look out for in new recruits

If you’re looking to expand your team, you’ll want to hire the right people first time round. Here are some things you should be looking for:
 

Diagnostics and technical knowledge and skills

Mechanics are going to need to know their way around a car and utilise diagnostic tools to get to the root cause of issues quickly. But you might also want to look for someone who has their finger firmly on the industry’s pulse; a mechanic who keeps up to date with the latest in-car tech, and is also able to utilise modern tools to solve sometimes complex vehicle issues.
 

Advance qualifications/certification

Checking a mechanic has the necessary qualifications is obviously one of the first things you’ll do when vetting potential candidates. But it demonstrates integrity if the mechanic has invested in their own personal development by gaining advanced qualifications and certifications – an example being a Certificate in Advanced Auto Diagnostic Techniques from City & Guilds.

You might even consider hiring a candidate who is skilled in a particular area of car mechanics, for instance, servicing classic cars. Having a mechanic with a niche could really help to differentiate your motor trade business from your competitors.

 

Previous experience

Garages will always examine a mechanic’s experience in the industry when making a hiring decision. While you may want to employ a candidate with lots of years of experience working in a range of environments and on lots of different vehicles, don’t totally disregard candidates with only a little experience. These candidates might have a strong work ethic, be highly adaptable and have a strong desire to keep learning and developing – the latter two of which are vital in today’s fast-evolving industry.
 

Personable, with good people skills

A mechanic’s role isn’t always customer-facing – most of the time they’re going to be lying under a car or peering under the bonnet! But that doesn’t mean they won’t meet customers on a regular basis; they might have to run shop when you’re out of the workshop, and explain to customers how they resolved issues on their vehicles.
 
So, with the above in mind, tip-top communication and ‘people’ skills are an absolute must. A CV won’t be able to tell you whether a candidate has these skills or not, but you should be able to pick them up during an interview.
 

Recruitment agencies and references

If you’re struggling to find time in your busy schedule to recruit candidates, you could always get an agency to do the work for you. It’ll cost you, but it could save you time and ensure you hire the best talent first time round. It may be best to pick an agency specialising in the auto trade, to ensure they’ve got a good grasp on the industry and your needs.
 
If you’re taking on the task yourself, one of the best things you can do to ensure you employ the right people is to follow up the references listed on CVs. Request candidates list two references, with one ideally from a former employer. You can then contact that employer for honest feedback on how good that mechanic was.
 

How to attract top mechanics

It’s all very well wanting the cream of the crop when it comes to hiring your next mechanic, but what do you have that will make them want to accept a job at your garage? If you want to hire the best, you need to promote yourself as a so-called ‘employer of choice’. Here are some ways you can do that:
 
  • Make sure you’re active on social media, as this can help raise awareness of your garage and attract the best talent.
 
  • Seek out popular job sites (in particular auto job sites) and make sure you advertise on there.
 
  • As well as listing the requirements of the role, make sure job ads shout about your garage, its culture and your USPs. You’re advertising a job, but you’re also selling your business to candidates at the same time.
 
  • Think about offering paid-for training for employees, as this shows you’re invested in their personal development.​
 
  • What perks does your company offer? Whether it’s an early Friday finish, free brekky, regular work days out or generous pension contributions, these employee benefits can help to attract top talent. Make sure they’re listed in your job ads!
 

Compare motor trade insurance quotes today

Remember, you’ll need to make sure your new recruits are covered under your motor trade insurance policy.
 
Insurance Choice will take the time to understand the unique needs of your auto trade business, before comparing quotes from our panel of specialist providers in an attempt to find you the right policy, for a great price. Don’t wait around – get a free, no-obligation quote today!