Wednesday, 16 February 2022 15:55

ABAT Hosts Webinar to Help Collision Repairers Attract and Keep Good Employees

Written by Abby Andrews


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The Auto Body Association of Texas (ABAT) on Feb. 10 hosted “How to Compete in a Tight Job Market: Fresh Ideas to Attract and Keep Good Talent.”

ABAT Executive Director Jill Tuggle said the pandemic has exacerbated the technician shortage by creating a staffing shortage in general. She said ABAT hosted the webinar to help auto body shops compete for quality staff without resorting to unsustainable tactics, like huge sign-on bonuses.


Speakers during the roughly two-hour broadcast talked about how to cost-effectively offer benefits, no matter the size of the business, refocusing technician training in alignment with trends in collision repair and helping young technicians establish a foothold in the industry that leads to a long-term career.


Sean Turner, president of Buffer Insurance, spoke about the best ways to attract and retain top talent with medical benefits.


Turner said voluntary benefits do not cost employers anything, but can enhance job postings.


“There may be people on this call who currently don’t offer any medical benefits,” he said. “This is for you.”


Turner said employers are not required to contribute to “supplemental” lines of coverage, like dental, vision and life insurance, but employees who opt in to that coverage through an employer can use it immediately, as opposed to private insurance plans that can require waiting periods of up to a year.


“It’s no cost to you but a huge value to your employees,” he said.


He said employers can also offer to increase contributions to employees’ coverage based on length of time with the company or job title, which can incentivize employees to stay, or offer multiple plans with varying deductibles---which only affect the employees’ individual contributions, not the employers'.


Turner also talked about “unorthodox” benefits, which can...

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