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.


She can be reached at sphillips.autobodynews@gmail.com. 

Thursday, 19 November 2020 16:41

Techs of the Future: Cracking the Code to Recruiting and Hiring Collision Repair Technicians

Written by
Dustin Peugeot, left, owner of the Matrix Trade Institute, and Kevin Wolfe, right, owner of LeadersWay. Dustin Peugeot, left, owner of the Matrix Trade Institute, and Kevin Wolfe, right, owner of LeadersWay.


Collision repair owners and managers across the country say hiring technicians and high turnover rates have become critical issues in their businesses.

Employee engagement may be the key to solving these problems, according to Dustin Peugeot, owner of the Matrix Trade Institute, and Kevin Wolfe, owner of LeadersWay.


Peugeot and Wolfe recently discussed how to “Crack the Code” to technician recruiting, and offered innovative solutions for shops to maximize the efficiency and retention of current employees. Their presentation was held as part of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) Repairer Driven News Series during SEMA360.


Wolfe cited a Gallup poll conducted in June that addressed the engagement and well-being of the workforce. According to the poll, nearly 70% of U.S. workers said they were either actively disengaged or not engaged at all at their jobs.


“In almost 20 years, we’ve done almost nothing to better the work conditions for the people who are showing up every single day,” said Wolfe. “Yet, organizations continue to move away or shy away from leadership, coaching, training and working at all levels to develop people.”


When Wolfe visits collision repair shops, owners often complain about employee retention. In response, he tells them, “You already have the talent; your job is to develop it.”


“Our time is valuable… hiring and firing take away our ability to make money,” added Peugeot. “If we can focus more on retaining and growing our employees, they will do the recruiting for us, and then we can do what we are really good at---making money in the collision industry.”


Peugeot said nearly 60% of people who complete a collision repair training program defect from the industry in 11 months.


“We have a retention problem in our industry, not a recruiting problem,” he said. “We have to find ways to make this industry more palatable and exciting for them and not just get frustrated when they act exactly the way we assume they would during the interview process.”


Wolfe said upgrading organizations and moving into a 21st-century economy...

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