Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
So if automotive aftermarket companies are using the same old tactics to recruit talent but things aren’t working out as planned, then it’s time to change your strategy.
Linda Brenner is the managing director and founder of Talent Growth Advisors and has worked with various companies in various industries, including the automotive aftermarket. She lamented the fact that, amidst a talent shortage, companies haven’t changed how they find talent.
“If you’re still trying to recruit the way you did four years ago, five years ago, 10 years ago, it’s probably not going to work,” she said at NAPA Expo 2022 in front of a room full of shop owners. “You got to change it up if you want to change the cycle of ‘jobs are open too long, crappy candidates, people [not showing] up.’ There’s just not enough talent for everybody who’s hiring.”
Linda Brenner speaks at NAPA Expo 2022
Most companies “torture” their candidates by putting them through needless tests, too many job interviews and delayed responses, Brenner told shop owners in her presentation, Winning in the “New Normal” Talent Marketplace.
For instance, she encouraged hiring managers to speed up the interview process. Some applications online can take 40 minutes to get through.
So make the application process fast, “especially for drivers and technicians and other jobs that you know there’s a shortage of talent,” Brenner encouraged.
One idea she had was to just have candidates put their email addresses in an online form and you contact them. This may sound risky because you’re getting no details about their abilities. But a shop owner will know quickly after speaking to the person if they’re actually an experienced technician, for example.
“If there’s a formal application they have to fill out later, which undoubtedly they do, we can do that later,” Brenner said.
She also encouraged setting part-time hours. Instead of having schedules all over the place, give employees a set of a schedule as possible. And if there need to be variations, set the schedule a couple of weeks in advance so parents can work on arranging childcare or those who work multiple jobs can make arrangements with their other employer.
“In most cases, we see a lot of jobs [that say] it’s a 24/7 availability, part-time, weekend work requirements. Like, really?” Brenner said incredulously. “The people that are the best talent — meaning they’re qualified, they’re dependable, they’re predictable, they have a good track record for work, they have good skills — they have other options. They do not need to be available 24/7 at your whim with no predictability.”