Creating a Diverse Workforce at Your Auto Body Shop

Creating a Diverse Workforce at Your Auto Body Shop

As the owner of two CARSTAR locations dealing with the challenge of finding employees, I started looking at our community and where I could attract new talent and train them to become great technicians.

Many collision repair facilities face the challenge of finding and retaining employees in today’s competitive work environment. And with the volume of work seen at some facilities, that challenge multiplies … unless you take a different hiring tact and recruit team members from new audiences and other fields.

As the owner of two CARSTAR locations in the San Francisco area, I’ve faced this same challenge. It’s very hard to find trained collision repair technicians in this area, so I started looking at our community and where I could attract new talent and train them to become great technicians. San Francisco is home to people from many different countries, cultures and backgrounds, so it offers a great opportunity to throw a wider net in hiring employees.

Here are a few things that have worked in my business:

  • Identify people with passion and talent in your community. We’ve had success working with the church that our employees attend. Anyone with experience handling basic tools is encouraged to apply and learn the trade. This creates a tremendous pipeline of team members who then recruit others to come work for us.
  • Recruit from related businesses. We recently hired a young man with window tinting background. He was already familiar with de-trimming door panels to access window glass, so it was seamless for him to transition into a disassembly technician with the right training and mentorship.
  • Create a culture that is welcoming. It’s important to make an effort to really know your employees by talking with them on a daily basis and asking them about their lives, families and backgrounds. This can help you anticipate when they need help without them asking for it and allows you to provide the resources they need to succeed. It also creates more appreciation for different perspectives they bring to the job.
  • Instill passion for performance. We can attract a diverse workforce by creating a competitive work environment for new employees. That means we want employees to be passionate about doing good work, learning new skills and taking pride in their performance. For instance, if you take two new technicians and train them from the ground up, the one who shows more passion about the job, demonstrates a strong work ethic and puts his or her heart and soul into the job will be more likely to succeed.  
  • Set an example. It’s important for you and your team leaders to demonstrate your passion for the job as well to lead and set the example for others. When you’re training and working to retain employees, that passion and commitment to the culture comes from the existing workforce.   
  • Invest in encouraging others. It’s essential to have your team leaders buy into the idea of investing time and energy into developing new talent. This can give a sense of purpose for them beyond doing the daily grind. It can be totally life-changing for the new employees, and it provides a positive sense of accomplishment for the team leaders who are mentoring them. 
  • Offer praise and coaching. To motivate employees, particularly those starting out on the job, you obviously want to offer praise when a job is well done. Even more importantly, let them know when they’re doing poorly. If you, as an owner or manager, are afraid to speak to employees about poor performance, they will not learn how to do things the correct way, and a coaching opportunity can be missed. 

In the end, building a diverse workforce not only fulfills your staffing needs with technicians and repair professionals trained to your standards, but it also creates a rich, vibrant culture of accomplishment and performance where everyone has an opportunity to grow and succeed.

You May Also Like

Creating a Farm System of Future Employees

In baseball, a farm system is essential in creating a pipeline of successful players for the major leagues. The same goes for the collision repair industry.

In baseball, a farm system is essential in creating a pipeline of successful players for the major leagues. The same goes for the collision repair industry. If we create a strong program to generate interest in our industry among middle-school and high-school students and then mentor them through their education and training, we can ensure a healthy, skilled workforce for the future.

Protecting Your Employees from the Cold

It’s important to be aware of the risks of cold exposure and make sure your employees are protected as much as possible.

Becoming an Auto Body Technician’s Employer of Choice

Good help is hard to find, so how can you become a tech’s “shop of choice” and potentially make it easier?

Service King: On a Mission to Hire Military Veterans

Service King made it their mission to hire 500 military veterans six years ago, and are proud to say they’ve surpassed that goal.

Finding Techs: Cultivation, Training and Guidance

Finding and keeping the right people requires a comprehensive approach that starts with technical schools, includes on-the-job training, leverages a team culture and outlines a path to success.

Other Posts

When Will OEM Referrals Replace DRP Referrals?

When will insurer DRPs end and car manufacturers dictate where the car gets repaired?

Auto Insurers and Total Losses

Is it legal for an insurance company to abandon the salvage of a vehicle they deemed a total loss?

Proper Paint Prep: Cleaning and Abrading

Why do we constantly need to revisit the fundamentals of paint preparation? Because nothing is faster or more profitable than doing the job one time.

Longtime Family Collision Repair Business Joins Forces with CARSTAR

JC Auto Rebuilders of Rockford, Ill., has rebranded as CARSTAR Team JC Auto Rebuilders.