ATTRACTING TOP TALENT: And keeping them around

As the industry sits sandwiched between a technician shortage and an unprecedented pandemic, understanding how to attract top talent to your facility is crucial.

The number 1 rule for attracting top technicians and bodyshop talent is to highlight what makes your working environment unique. What makes your facility stand out among the rest? How can working for you further their career in collision repair? What will the technician learn under your tutelage? What types of training will be provided to them?

There are many aspects to consider when recruiting new talent. Check out the tips below for some sure-fire ways to ensure your shop stands out in the Canadian sector.

MAKE IT PAID

If an apprentice must choose between a program that will further their education, versus a program that will further their education and pay them, they will always choose the paid apprenticeship.

One of the best ways to pay an apprentice and keep them working hard is to stagger pay to increase as the program progresses, though ensure the rate you are paying the apprentice is considered fair.

SELL A FUTURE, NOT A JOB

One of the most attracting aspects of careers in the skilled trades is their longevity—there will always be work for the autobody repairer.

Allow the opportunity for your apprentices to become full-time employees after they complete their apprenticeships, and ensure they are aware of this potential opportunity. If you have qualms about guaranteeing post-apprenticeship employment, simply say it’s a “very realistic possibility.”

MAKE IT REPUTABLE

Offering both a youth and master apprenticeship program is a great way to do this—but you must prove the program can be successful. Getting the parents on your side can be a key deciding factor!

PROVIDE INFORMATION

The more information apprentices can find on your program, the better. Provide easy-to-access information like minimum hour requirements, classroom education, required shop knowledge, etc. An engaging website can be super effective!

CREATE A ROADMAP

When deciding who to hire, it’s extremely important to make sure both sides agree with the role. Does this apprentice fit your shop’s working environment? More importantly, does your working environment fit the apprentice?

Discover the answers to these questions by asking potential apprentices where they see themselves in one, two or three years. What are their goals in this industry? Do they want to own and operate their own facility someday, or continue to perfect their skills? Finding ways to align apprentices with their future goals will help earn you their loyalty.

APPEAL TO THEIR INTERESTS

Employees tend to like flexible requirements, and apprentices are no different.

Make sure to account for different skills based on the student. Some students will have different interests, and one may be more interested in one area than the other, allowing them to work on what they are interested in will spark their interest and passion.

USE EMPLOYEE TESTIMONIALS

Let apprentices talk to employees and ask questions about the shop. Let them get an honest viewpoint. This includes letting them talk to past apprentices from the program!

BUILD YOUR REPUTATION

Meet regularly with your apprentice and talk through everything happening. Good communication is key.

COMMUNICATE

Communication is key in any workplace. Ensure you keep an open dialogue with your apprentices, so they feel comfortable approaching you with questions or concerns. Trust is crucial!

CELEBRATE MILESTONES

Allow for celebration as the apprentice moves through the program! This will allow for a sense of achievement and ensures your apprentice feels valued in the bodyshop.

MODERNIZE YOUR PROGRAM AND TOOLS

The times change fast! Make sure your program moves with it. Apprentices are more likely to choose an up-to-date program at a modern shop with modern tools.

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