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Stacey Phillips

Stacey Phillips photoStacey Phillips is a freelance writer for the automotive industry based in Southern California. She has 20 years of experience as an editor including writing in a number of businesses and fields.


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Tuesday, 03 December 2019 17:05

Solving the Tech Shortage: How Conditions, Culture & Compensation Can Help Body Shops Attract & Retain Employees

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Solving the Tech Shortage: How Conditions, Culture & Compensation Can Help Body Shops Attract & Retain Employees Rick White


It wasn’t long ago when businesses looking for new employees put an ad in the newspaper hoping for a response.

About a dozen or more candidates applied, and someone would be hired. Today, the scenario is much different. Rick White, president of 180biz, said if that same type of ad is circulated now—printed or online—shop owners and managers shouldn’t be surprised if there are no responses.


During a recent webinar coordinated by the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP), White shared advice on how to best attract and retain talent in the collision repair industry.


White said “chasing people” to come to work isn’t an effective strategy.


“The reality is that you want the best people working in your shop,” he said. “Instead of chasing people, you have to start to attract them.”


This requires a significant change in mindset. Typically, White said businesses search for help when an employee leaves the company. Instead, he recommends that owners and managers stop hiring and begin recruiting.


The best time to do this, according to White, is ALL the time.


“You want to be constantly recruiting so when somebody gives you notice, you’ll have somebody or ‘somebodies’ to call,” he said.


When an employee first gives notice, White discourages shops from accepting it.


“Let them go unless they are a superstar player,” he said. “If it is a technician, you are going to have six months of comebacks because they are no longer emotionally or mentally in the game. I guarantee that no matter how bad it seems, it’s going to be better than what you have to deal with on the other end.”


In his one-hour presentation, White shared a hiring strategy used by Apple, Google and Microsoft. Rather than putting out ads looking for candidates, companies such as these regularly receive resumes. He attributes this to their working conditions, culture and compensation.




When a business owner first opens a new body shop, White said he or she usually sees the potential for success. Over time, this often changes, and the focus becomes the problems or challenges occurring at the company.

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