The Ultimate Job Post
SHOP STATS: Auto Repair Technology Location: Cleveland, Ohio Operator: Gerry and Laura Frank Average Monthly Car Count: 200 Staff Size: 5 Number of Lifts: 6 ARO: $418 Annual Revenue: $1 million
Did you ever wonder why your parents were, and maybe still are, interested in the friend you chose growing up? They wanted to make sure you were hanging out with the right crowd. Like they say—you are who your friends are. The friends you choose are a true reflection of who you are, and your business is no different. You want to pick the right team.
Gerry Frank remembers someone telling him that it takes a lifetime to earn someone’s trust, and that it can be destroyed within seconds. The owner of Auto Repair Technology and co-founder of Repair Shop Coach says most owners follow the exact opposite principles: they’re quick to hire and slow to fire, which can be a recipe for disaster.
“We’re often in a big hurry to hire the first person we come across,” Frank says.
Besides making sure applicants have the skills to get the job done, Frank says the biggest questions to ask yourself when hiring should revolve around your culture to qualify them as the right fit. Can you imagine someone who’s an introvert and doesn’t know how to talk to people working as a flight attendant for Southwest? Probably not. That type of employee wouldn’t fit the company’s culture and overall values. The same lesson should go for your business.
The first step to weeding out the duds starts with the description in your job post. It’s more than just a job description, it’s a key to attracting high-quality candidates.
“Well-written job description can go a long way when attracting or repelling a prospective candidate,” Frank says.
Here are some tips on how to create the ideal job description that will bring in top talent to your shop.
The more, the merrier.
Frank has been in the business for 35 years, making him no stranger to posting job ads. In the old days when he needed to hire, he says he would simply post an ad in the newspaper, where each word in the description cost 10 cents. Today, there are other avenues for posting jobs with no word limit involved.
Frank says he sees longer and longer job ads nowadays, going from just a paragraph to pages, and he stands by it. His motto? The more detail, the better. This can also be a great way to attract some candidates and repel others. Frank says this type of ad would absolutely repel an unproductive tech, for example, who doesn't want to take the time to read it in the first place.
And the great thing about an online job post is that you can change it up when needed. Simply run the ad for a week and make adjustments depending on the interest it gets.
Grab their attention.
“When I think of a job ad, I think of it as a marketing piece,” Frank says. “You want to grab their attention.”
Frank says, like applicants, operators should be searching for jobs, too. Create an account with as many of the job boards as you can, posing as a technician or a service advisor. You’ll get several emails per week of companies hiring. No, you won’t apply, but it will give you a better idea of what other companies are doing in their ads. Frank says to go through the posts and pay attention to what words, phrases, or aspects of the post would catch your eye if you were applying. When Frank looks at other posts, he prints them out, highlights the aspects he likes, and files them in a drawer for when he’s hiring a new position. You can even sort these job posts in your email for easy access.
“Imitation is the best compliment,” he says.
Spell it out.
Try to spell out as many specifics as possible. In other words, put exactly what you are looking for in as much detail as you can. If you want a technician with diesel training, add it. If you want a service advisor with digital vehicle inspection experience specifically with the Bolt On platform, write exactly that.
Frank says when it comes to performance expectations, make sure to even mention the simplest things that are important to you, like what time to show up, so there are no surprises.
Search Engine Optimization. Ever heard of it? Otherwise known as SEO, it dictates what users are searching for the most and prioritizes websites that fit that description. The more of these various keywords used, the higher up your post will be on the list.
Frank says to search for what applicants are searching for, but also be specific at the same time. For example, if you’re specifically looking to hire a master tech, you may want to spell that out: Master Technician. If it doesn’t matter what level technician they are, you’d want to put down Automotive Technician. And if you’re looking for an entry-level tech, like a lot of shops are, you may want to find a way for your post to stand out from the rest, something like, “Automotive Service Technician - Entry Level (Will Train to Master Tech Status).” It’s specific, holds the necessary keywords, and would be eye catching to a young tech looking for an opportunity to move up.
Curate application process to position.
Make each job ad fit the position you’re hiring for. An ad for a technician and a service advisor should not have the exact same structure to it. Play up the job post and application process to bring out the qualities you’re looking for.
Frank provides a great example of this. One of the most critical positions in his company is a customer service representative (CSR); he says it’s important to his business because more and more women are coming in servicing their vehicles, and these CSRs are trained for that. In his eyes, a little bullet with the words ‘customer service experience’ under skills isn’t going to do the trick. In fact, applicants don’t upload a resume at all. Instead, he has them call in and leave a pre-recorded voicemail message; it’s basically like an audio version of a cover letter.
“A customer service rep position is all about building relationships, and I want to hear that in their voice,” Frank says.
Yes, it catches them off guard a bit, but good candidates will be able to talk about their experience and literally showcase it as they speak. This will instantly narrow down candidates. If they send in their resume, then you know they don’t know how to follow directions; if they struggle articulating words and say ‘like’ more times than you can count on both hands, you know their experience is lacking a bit. Many times, Frank has been in interviews and knows within two minutes if they are right for the position or not, and this step helps Frank know early on if they’ve got what it takes.