Hire the Best, Forget the Rest

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford

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This quote speaks to the modern experience of hiring employees. According to Bill Haas and Sara Fraser, respective President and Creative Director at Haas Performance Consulting, you can never follow the same hiring script.

Things are constantly changing. For this reason, your hiring process needs to evolve too!

In a recent AutoLeap webinar, Haas & Fraser cover:

  • What happens when leaders fail
  • What today’s employees value
  • What the best candidates want from your shop
  • How to create effective employment ads
  • Prepping your employment offer
  • And much more!

What happens when leaders fail

Why do people leave?

It’s a question shop owners and business leaders grapple with. But according to Haas, the explanation is quite simple. “People don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses.”

Here are specific reasons Haas says employees move on:

  • They feel devalued. “If you’re not making sure people are feeling appreciated for the talent they bring to your organization, they will leave.”
  • They don’t trust you. “This can even include smaller things like saying you can meet later and never showing up.”
  • They feel you are incompetent. “If they don’t feel like they know what’s expected of them in their job, that’s incompetence.”
  • They feel you are insecure. “The reason you hire people is to grow. If you are so insecure in the things that you do and won’t delegate, people will question why they are here.”

Fraser says she left previous jobs because of poor co-worker treatment. She has also departed when it felt like her voice wasn’t heard. “Communication is huge in keeping somebody.”

When Fraser stays at jobs long term, it’s because leadership prioritizes communication. They focus on the small things. Give employees compliments. And provide their colleagues a voice. These efforts all go a long way to help retain your best workers.

To overcome hiring challenges, you also need to understand what modern employees value.

What today’s employees value

Different is NOT wrong, it is JUST different.

As a shop owner, you need to embrace this important hiring point. “We aren’t willing to accept people that are different from us,” says Haas.

Today’s employees:

  • Seek transparency
  • Want to do meaningful work
  • Value flexibility
  • Want to use technology in every way possible
  • Want constant, creative, training and “instant coaching”
  • Need lots of feedback and recognition
  • Expect you to listen to their ideas
  • Prioritize safety

Does this sound like the experience for employees at your shop? If it doesn’t, you need to devote thoughtful resources and attention to each area.

The “BEST” people work for someone, why not for you?

“Why would they entertain not wanting to be in your company?”

Haas asks this question to get you assessing the potential weaknesses in your hiring process and overall employee experience.

To start, focus on answering these questions:

1) Where do you look for them?

2) When are you looking? “You need to look all the time. You should never stop looking,” says Haas.

3) What does the invitation sound like? “That is the most critical element to me.” Avoid looking and sounding like other shops. Don’t just list all your job requirements. “I call those disqualifiers. The minute you create that list, those are things people will use to disqualify themselves from the process.”

The last point is very important. Your shop may miss out on talented candidates because you list firm requirements. Why include five years experience? Or must-have ASE certification?

If a candidate is very talented but doesn’t quite meet those benchmarks, they will disregard your job post.

Here are some other tips to attract the best candidates:

  • “Take advantage of going through resumes and invite people to apply. Don’t just wait for those applications to come,” says Fraser.
  • Try everything and see what works. “What if the one person we’re looking for is only on Craigslist? You’ve got to try it,” says Haas.
  • Go back to speak with instructors after graduation and ask if anyone is looking for employment.
  • Create attention-grabbing job listings. People have short attention spans and will only skim your post.

Do you even know what it’s like to work for your company? Have you asked for employee reviews on their experience?

Fraser recommends inviting your staff to participate. Record this conversation on video. Keep things organic, as people can tell if your delivery is robotic from a script. Promote this video active across your social media channels. Again, make sure these testimonials are both authentic and transparent.

Interviews can apply to employees who are leaving your company too. Conduct an exit interview to decide why they are walking away. Use this info to improve your shop.

Finally, what is your public reputation as an employer? “You really need to understand this,” says Haas. Ask around for an honest, objective take on your leadership. Get creative with this process. Haas referenced an example of using a third party to call competing shops and ask what they hear about your business.

What the best candidates want from your shop

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What will working from your shop provide?

Fraser says you need to deliver on the following points:

  • Challenging job with opportunity to grow
  • Clear, honest, consistent communication
  • Positive environment and uplifting culture
  • Mission and vision that’s believable
  • Recognition of performance
  • Work/life balance

“The people you hire today will not make work their life. That’s what work/life balance is about,” adds Haas.

You know what the top candidates value. It’s time to advertise effectively and capture their attention.

How to create effective employment ads

Messaging matters. The tone in your employment postings will establish an expectation for the candidates reading them. Does it sound demanding? Or is it inviting and collaborative?

Here are some examples of effective job statements that candidates appreciate:

  • Would you like to be part of a team that strives to be the best? Join us!
  • We love to hear new ideas, and you’ll never feel like you don’t matter here. Our employees are family
  • We are focused on hiring and training the very best to add to our team
  • Work in a fun environment with individuals who take pride in their work, care for their clients and team
  • This opportunity is challenging yet rewarding career you can be proud of
  • Fast-paced environment at the cutting-edge of automotive repair
  • The tools that help you fulfill every customer’s needs and support your growth
  • We value and respect our staff. Our shop only works five days a week
  • We can’t wait to meet you!

You have a stand-out job description and employment advertisement.

Great news! Candidates express interest and start to apply. After reviewing their application and resume, you are ready for the next step.

Before you can interview, it’s time to run through a pre-employment checklist.

Completing your pre-employment assessments

Here’s a step-by-step checklist for your pre-employment assessment:

  • Call previous employers
  • Check social networking sites
  • Review application and resume
  • Make notes of items to discuss
  • Write a list of questions
  • Know the questions you can’t ask
  • Have job description ready
  • Create your list of non-negotiables. “Non-negotiables are things you don’t allow,” says Haas.
  • Know Federal & State employment laws
  • Don’t ask the wrong questions
  • No notes on the application
  • Understand what discrimation is

Has the candidate cleared these hurdles? Do you feel prepared for next steps? It’s finally time for the interview!

Mastering the interview process

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Your interview has one purpose. Gather enough information to determine if the candidate will add value and make a difference in your work environment.

Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, the process can sometimes feel anything but straightforward!

Here are some tips to help you prepare:

  • Ask open-ended questions. “Did you really learn anything from a yes or no question?”
  • Ask tough questions
  • Listen more than you talk! “If you give candidates that space to talk, they will typically use it,” says Fraser.
  • Watch their body language!
  • Ask about gaps in employment
  • Ask the reason they left a previous employer
  • Ask questions based on previous answers
  • Ask the same question over
  • Present a real situation. How do they respond?
  • Ask the question, then be quiet

You get the overall approach, but what about the questions themselves?

Haas and Fraser recommend preparing your own tailored interview sheet. Here are some sample questions to potentially include on that discussion guide:

  • Tell me something your resume doesn’t
  • What is your best/worst attribute?
  • What do you do for fun?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • If there was one thing you could change at your last job what would it be?
  • Explain your most difficult diagnostic or customer
  • How did you handle it?
  • What is your most valuable tool?
  • If I met your best friend, what would they tell me they like about you?

As you get more comfortable doing interviews, your skills for guiding the conversation will improve. “You learn a lot by doing multiple interviews. Ask the same question twice, do you get the same answer? Are you really getting who they are,” says Fraser.

Prepping your employment offer

You found the right candidate. They ace the interview process. After deliberating, it’s time to move forward with them. You feel good about inviting them to join your team!

While the employment offer process may feel the most cut and dry, you still need a thoughtful approach.

Here are three things to keep in mind:

  1. Remember that starting pay is NOT a negotiation
  2. Prepare a meaningful benefits package
  3. Keep in touch before their starting date

One final word of advice on this front: don’t just settle for the best candidate available. Do they meet all of your requirements? “Use the tools you have to your advantage before making an offer,” says Fraser.

Also remember that your shop’s reputation matters. Attend to the small details like notifying candidates you don’t hire with a thoughtful message.

Orientation time

Your attention to detail shouldn’t end with the official hire. New employees should experience your commitment to culture from their first day.

A thoughtful approach to orientation includes:

  • Personally greeting them upon arrival
  • Walking through a facility tour
  • Taking them out to lunch with the team
  • Having something for them to do (not reading the employee manual)
  • Providing need-to-know information

“Make them comfortable. This process should be easy for them,” says Haas.

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Parting thoughts

Your shop needs to provide an environment and culture where employees can be more effective, engaged and fulfilled. “No one should go to their job feeling like they made a bad choice,” says Haas.

Good managers manage, but great managers coach. Use these webinar insights to win the war for talent and hire the best shop candidates possible.

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