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Hiring people is easy — but hiring the right people requires diligence and thorough vetting

Editor’s note: This is part one of a two-part series by Dave Schedin, of CompuTrek Automotive Coaching & Training, who has more than 40 years in the automotive field and has coached shops to higher profitability since 2006.

It’s reported that most hiring decisions are made within the first four minutes of an interview.

Dave Schedin

When asking employers what hiring discovery led them to determine their differences between a top performer and a low performer, most of them replied, “nothing” – preferring to leave their hiring decision to “chance” which, unfortunately, leads to that position needing be filled again not long after. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that song and dance.

Filling a position takes a little bit of time and if you plan to succeed and learn what it takes to place a round peg into a round hole so to speak, you’ll discover the win/win.

The positional results formula reveals that in an automotive repair center, by not having a top performer in any one position, it actually costs the company $137,000 in gross profit dollars annually.

Hire slow, fire fast

Your company’s greatest asset is … people. Your people’s greatest assets are … their thinking, behavioral traits and occupational interests. How they discover and implement solutions and produce results connect them to their level of commitment. When you learn what your candidate’s intangible assets are BEFORE they become your company’s assets, you can save yourself a boatload of headache and expense.

Implementing a process that assesses the candidate prior to hiring will determine if they are a natural top performer for your position.

— Dave Schedin

Most automotive repair shops are without an HR department to carry the formal load of hiring or onboarding. However, both aspects are important and necessary. Hiring simply means you got someone to work for you, but the candidate may not be fully “onboard” with the job requirements just yet. “Onboarding” is the process of getting new hires adjusted to the social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and smoothly. During this process, your new hires learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviors required to function effectively. Onboarding activities are an opportunity for employees to settle into their new role and understand how they affect the business — to really get a feel for what type of productivity and behaviors are expected from them. Onboarding is not orientation.

Hiring

Below are some points that will help you measure a candidate’s buy-in, commitment and whether they are they a good “fit” for the position. This discovery process should be completed during the application processes,  before you hire and share in your company’s policies and procedures or tell them where to park their car.

Major points to consider:

  1. Cognitive intellectual solution-oriented thinking ability (can they do the job?)
  2. Behavioral traits related to the results the position is to produce (how are they going to do their job? What behaviors might show up?)
  3. Occupational interests – their why or purpose in life (why are they passionate about this position? Find out. Ask the question. Is it a career or is it just a job to fill time?)
  4. Clearly defined results/goals, duties and responsibilities of the position (your expectations).
  5. Level of commitment expected for the position, articulated with rewards and risks (an incentive plan) for performance levels based in commitment.

Implementing a process that assesses the candidate prior to hiring will determine if they are a natural top performer for your position. Let’s take look:

  • Points one, two, and three above can immediately be crossed off your list by having your candidate complete an online assessment (see more on this below).
  • A detailed job description (JD) will cover points one, two, three and four along with your expectations noted. Have them read it. Ask questions.
  • A clearly defined incentive and benefits package based on the forecasting for your company and how this particular position is part of the overall company as a whole will need to be carefully crafted.

Online assessments

There’s a myriad of pre-hire assessments out there and most are personality-based which, unfortunately, won’t reveal behaviors that will arise in any given position. I have seen very outgoing, bubbly and very people-oriented applicants who would seem to be excellent service advisors. However, after being assessed, the assessment reveals they have a low energy level (pace), decisiveness and assertiveness that is lower than what the job requires – creating the space for bottle necks in workflow, underselling what needs to be done and the implementation of quick decisions needed for the position. The customer and the team can become frustrated with the very friendly, nice, bubbly person which makes it hard to fire them later on.

In support of coaching auto repair centers, CompuTrek has strategically created “top performer patterns” for each and every position in a repair center. This “job fit assessment” measures points one, two and three.

After the assessment is completed, laser-like interview questions are instantly created from the answers the candidate provides. You are then able to cut to the chase and shorten your hiring decisions much quicker by allowing access to questions where they might be challenged to perform as a top performer.  Completed assessments come with reports in advance, before their second deeper interview. Their answers help you determine if they are a good fit for you to move toward the next stage – the JD.

Your JD should address the thinking style, natural behaviors traits, occupational interests and expected results for the position. Before the onboard offer is made, have them review your JD. Ask them if they could fully commit to what’s in the JD. If they truly are a job-fit match, their willingness to sign is essentially a commitment to themselves because the JD is “who they are on paper.” This tool of commitment sets the tone and tee’s up the matching incentive plan (IP) that rewards results produced, in commitment. The IP should be well matched to —  and balanced with — the other teams in your shop so the company remains in harmony across the board and allows for cohesion as a team.

Slow things down! Take time to forecast and know the full impact of your incentive plans. Get clear on all aspects of what a top performer would be in the position and try not to settle. Take time to create a pipeline of applicants in your new elevated processes so when you have an urgent need to onboard, you can accelerate a very streamlined onboarding approach.

Hiring slow creates a stronger cash flow and ultimately puts more money in the bank.

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Next: How multiple perspectives empower your recruitment results

Dave Schedin can be reached at 800-385-0724, dave@computreksystems.com, and www.computreksystems.com. He offers a complimentary 30-minute discussion.

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