Finding the right new members of staff and keeping them happy is one of the more challenging aspects of running a small business of any kind. Attracting people to the motor trade can add further challenges. However, there are plenty of practical steps you can take to boost your chances of finding skilled staff who can take your business from strength to strength.
The motor industry is highly attractive for some young recruits. Budding technicians who have a genuine interest in cars and engines, or sales hopefuls who are seduced by the glossy adverts for the latest high-end vehicles, for example. However, some independent dealers or garage owners will still insist that it’s difficult to convince bright young things to join their team and that there is a real skills shortage in the industry.
Using a consultancy
One way to help you to focus your search and cut down on costs and time wasting over the long-term is to use a recruitment consultancy specialising in the motor trade. They will do the leg-work for you and provide you with the best chance of finding the right person for each of your vacancies.
Ensuring you fill each vacancy with a person that fits the demands of that role perfectly is the secret to retaining staff. High staff turnover is one of the most costly challenges facing small businesses and, for the sake of establishing great client relationships and business continuity, retaining your staff is probably the most important element of recruitment for the independent dealer or garage owner.
Recruit for the future
Don’t just think about the staff and skills you need right now. It’s vital that, during the recruitment process, you also consider the kind of skills that your business will benefit from as it grows. If you are taking on a receptionist, for example. A candidate with marketing experience, who might be a little more expensive, will help your business to grow and save you having to take on a separate marketing person further down the line.
Furthermore, a technician who has experience working on vehicle types that you hope to work on in the future, will be able to help your business to expand, despite the fact that the experience may seem irrelevant right now.
A culture of learning
Although looking for staff with skills that can help your business to grow is a wise move, you can also equip your staff with these skills through training. Establishing a culture of learning in your business is a great way to get the very best from your staff and is also guaranteed to help you retain key personnel who will appreciate the chance to develop their skillset.
Staff who complete training and accreditation schemes will receive a morale boost and will undoubtedly become more engaged in their role within your small business. Training can help individuals to develop a sense that they can offer something very valuable to a business.
A supportive work environment
One of the best ways to prevent staff from feeling that they want to leave your employ is to be upfront about what you can offer them at the point of recruitment. Consider the fact that most young staff members will want to see some scope for job development and should be reassured, honestly, about the prospects of this before they come on board. If there are no such prospects, consider creating some by developing a staff hierarchy that can help recruits build a sense of their progress through the company. Benefits and salary progression should reflect this of course.
Lastly, it’s vital to demonstrate your commitment to closely managing and nurturing the talent you have within your company. Identify if staff members are feeling unfulfilled and address these issues immediately. Offer them a chance to increase their involvement in the company and the role they play in its success and ensure that each staff member is happy with their day to day duties, while engaging them in the bigger picture and overall success of the organisation.
Providing job security is, of course, a vital element for retaining staff, and ensuring you have a comprehensive service and repair garage insurance policy in place will help you to provide this.