“The answer is a shop pay plan based on salary with a built-in training/mentoring component. If people are salaried, the shop owner can then better control costs and work more efficiently. If they then control other overhead and productions costs and work more efficiently, they are better able to afford training and mentoring.”
David Luehr, president and founder of Elite Body Shop Solutions, offered, “If a shop is only recruiting people with five-plus years of experience, it is convenient for the shop owner, but not necessarily the right way to do things. They might be missing out on some very talented people with less experience. Plus, those experienced people may have years of bad habits that have to be un-learned, whereas new people can be taught the right way of making repairs and learn that shop’s way of doing things. It is easier to adopt a culture from scratch rather than un-learn one and re-learn another.”
“On the question of money: Everyone has to eat, so a shop needs to set a pay schedule that is in line with the geographic area and type of work.
“One of my favorite sayings is, ‘If you want to attract more people to your business, make your business more attractive.’ The newspaper and online ads that shops use today to attract people are the same ads that were used 40 years ago: ‘Wanted: Busy Shop Needs Experienced Collision Tech – Must Have Own Tools – Inquire at…’ How we advertise makes a difference. We have to tell prospective technicians why our shop is a better place to work. The current generation is driven not by a ‘hard work’ ethic but by more intangible things. They want a career path. They want a diversified work model; they don’t want to be stuck doing the same job for an interminable amount of time.”