Gary Gunn, AAM shares some examples of flexible auto repair hiring processes and how they can benefit automotive repair shops. Would you consider changing to four day work weeks, or even hiring only technicians who hunt or have farms? Gary provides examples of shops who did – and, believe it or not – these hiring practices for employees were huge successes for decades!
How could being more flexible in your hiring practices benefit your mechanics and service writers? What about you? Couldn’t you use less stress in your daily life as an auto repair shop owner? Can you think of any other benefits to attract quality mechanics and front of house staff? Don’t miss this video – it could save your automotive shop!
Hiring Process Discussion Recap
When this Working On It Tuesday clip opens, Gary quizzes Brian Pickens on what he’s learned from the class. Brian listed several areas of his automotive business that needed work. He admits he is currently understaffed and his people are burnt out. His previous hiring process proved ineffective and he needs to become more flexible in order to attract the right people.
When Gary polled the class about whether changing hours to help employees’ work-life balance would help, they agreed. Perhaps they should poll staff to see what would work for them. Brian added that he needed to put his foot down, because the current work environment was leading to squabbles between coworkers and grumpy customers.
Hypothetical Candidate Interview
Gary then paints a picture of an interview with a potential new technician. The candidate required a four day work week before he would accept the position, and that is unprecedented in your shop. Otherwise, he is the perfect candidate, and you need him. The next step is gathering your staff and making that four day work week possible. Gary and the callers all provided examples of how to make that happen, including many nurses’ three day work week working 12-hour days.
Flexible work schedules in auto repair are not a new phenomenon! Gary told a story about a shop he used to sell lifts to in Texas. They implemented a four day work week, and employed staff who only liked to hunt. Hunting was an important part of the culture in that area. Since the staff knew they wouldn’t have to work on certain days, they could all relax and bond over their common interest. Some of you reading may think that’s crazy, and it gives employees too much power. It worked out fine for the owner of that shop, who sold it after 27 successful years in business!
Learn More – Get Your FREE Strategy Session
Does your auto repair shop lack direction? Perhaps your business plan has stalled out, so you need an experienced automotive industry coach to help you. Then why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with Brian? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!
Let’s talk about auto repair business ethics. Picture this: you are an auto repair service advisor. You present a necessary service to a customer. They tell you that they just can’t afford it right now. Do you let them go without fixing the issue, potentially letting them risk more harm to their vehicle? What about the other issues you haven’t even gotten to writing up for them yet? Automotive Service Writers have a professional obligation to tell customers about needed repairs, just like doctors are obligated to tell patients about illnesses they may not know about.
Group Discussion on Business Ethics in Auto Repair
Brian then surveyed the group members on what they defined professional obligation as. Karen said business ethics means treating your customers with respect. It’s the only way to ensure they become repeat customers. Next, Bryce pointed out that auto repair shop owners should ensure that technicians watch their language around customers. Finally, Jared reiterated that we are all obligated as professionals to ensure each client a safe, reliable vehicle.
Each caller provided a correct answer. In conclusion, Brian provided the example that we must report everything wrong with the vehicle. Even if the customer is already hurting financially, we do not have the right to withhold that information from them. In short, that is business ethics.
Recently, our own Brian Gillis appeared on the Remarkable Results Radio podcast Town Hall Academy. This show features a roundtable discussion amongst automotive industry experts on a single topic. Carm Capriotto and Bob Greenwood discussed all of the ins and outs of labor rates with Brian on this special episode.
Labor Rates podcast discussion
Brian elaborates that shop owners want to look at the end goal result first. Shop owners must first know the true cost of doing business in order to arrive at their labor rate formula. In fact, as Bob states, it is important for you to employ not one, but at least three labor rate formulas. Today’s automotive industry is more diverse than ever. Thus, you need employ different rate formulas for maintenance, diagnostic, and reflash.
Bob then presents the cost per billed hour (CPBH) formula. Every dollar must have a name, and every expense needs to be accounted for in order to know rates that are right for your shop. Finally, you should net 20% of gross sales after paying yourself (first!) and your employees a professional wage.
Brian and Cam reiterated that you are in the labor business! Therefore, you must give special attention to your team’s rates. Bob then gave examples of the three door rates he mentioned earlier. He presented formulas for setting those door rates, which are based on competency rate and/or efficiency of business operation.
After discussing these key stats, Brian discusses the concept of labor matrixes, specifically accurately charging for the time that’s spent. Then, the hosts welcome shop owner Bill Nalu to discuss the emotional aspects that go along with the numbers. Courage, as well as knowing your worth as a technician, are essential.