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John Yoswick

John YoswickJohn Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com).


He can be contacted at john@crashnetwork.com 

Tuesday, 05 October 2021 21:44

Survey Data Focuses on Auto Body Shop Employee Recruiting Methods

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A national survey of auto body shops earlier this year found just over half said they currently had a job opening for at least one body technician. A national survey of auto body shops earlier this year found just over half said they currently had a job opening for at least one body technician.

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Despite the growth in online recruiting sites and tools over a number of years, auto body repair shops continue to find word-of-mouth and referrals as their best source of new employees.

In a national survey this past summer, collision repairers were asked how they’d located any new technicians they’d hired in the past 12 months.

 

About one-third credited a referral from a current employee, and even more---40%---cited a word-of-mouth referral from another source. About 17% found the employee through their paint or equipment vendor. Less than 8% said they’d recently recruited a new employee from a local high school; even fewer said they’d recruited from a post-secondary school either in their area (less than 6%) or outside their market (also less than 6%).

 

Among online recruitment methods, more than one in four shops said they’d successfully used Indeed, about 18% cited Facebook and 15% used Craigslist. About 4% used LinkedIn---the same percentage using an ad in a local newspaper.

 

“We are advertising everywhere,” the manager of an independent shop in Pennsylvania said. “Our last hire is a kid in high school on co-op.”

 

“I’ve talked to everyone I meet, and only found two unskilled trainees,” a shop owner in Michigan commented.

 

This summer’s survey comes on the heels of one three months earlier that found about four in five auto body shops said they would hire a qualified candidate right away; 29% said they would hire two new employees if they could.

 

Only 21% of shops said they were fully staffed and had no job openings for any position. Six months earlier, by comparison, 37% said they were fully staffed.

 

When asked about specific job positions, half of the shops responding (51%) said they currently have a need for at least one body technician, and almost one-third (31%) had an opening for a body helper.

 

The other most in-demand job positions were...


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