You're short a technician and an estimator, and your last painter took a job to paint government vehicles for the city because they're going to pay his medical insurance and offered him a pension.
How can a small independent shop (or even an MSO, for that matter) compete with that?
What happens when your business is booming and the cars are lining up to be repaired, and suddenly you don't have the people in place to do the work? For how long can your existing employees work overtime and weekends to catch up before they suffer from major burnout? Comebacks caused by shoddy work are often performed by overloaded and exhausted techs, and after a while it becomes a vicious cycle. Your DRPs are unhappy and after a while, they will start looking elsewhere.
Don't feel alone. It's getting increasingly more difficult to find the best people who can fit into your company culture and contribute to your organization. And once you have them on staff, what do you do to keep them onboard?
I interview body shop owners all over the country all the time, and their #1 concern is how to find good techs, painters, estimators, front office people and customer service representatives. The shortage of talented and well-trained collision professionals is a problem that isn't going to get any better, so proactive shops are now investing in marketing and recruiting efforts in a big way.
So, here are some suggestions on how to find good employees and keep them in the fold, because in the end, you're only as good as the people who work for you.
Loni Amato, the owner of Ingenious Solutions, worked in Silicon Valley for many years and helped a wide range of different companies with their staffing and recruitment. By using several of the techniques listed here, Amato was able to find top talent and keep them onboard.