Running a Shop Human Resources Hiring

8 Keys to Effective Recruiting

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Pick up any trade publication or attend any industry event and chances are you’ll run into the million-dollar question—where are all of the quality candidates?

The technician shortage is an issue that the industry has struggled with for years and with fewer young people pursuing trades in favor of attending four-year universities, it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

With more than 5,500 stores in the U.S., AutoZone needs to have a steady stream of talent and has found ways to recruit on both a local and a national level. Ronnie Mongioi, Human Resources Manager, Commercial for AutoZone, and Noah Skaggs, Field Recruiter and Talent Acquisition, share their tips for finding and attracting top-tier candidates that even the smallest shop can use.


Write a Clear Description

Skaggs says that it’s not necessary to write a novel, but a job description must have a few components. Clear expectations for the job role itself and personality traits are a must. AutoZone outlines all of its positions on and is sure to list the must-have qualifications, as well as the specific duties that are expected of the role.


Focus Locally

For smaller shops that aren’t able to rely on brand name or use recruiters, Mongioi says to look locally.

“I could post all day long on the big job boards out there,” says Mongioi. “That’s not where they’re [technicians] looking.”

Skaggs agrees and says that for the small shop owner, it’s all about grassroots recruiting. Mongioi advises shop owners to go out and talk to people in the area, rather than make a post on a site like Skaggs suggests visiting the local church or putting a post on a community board in town.


Be a Master at Networking

Skaggs says that for small businesses, it’s all about networking. Instead of waiting for a candidate to approach you, Mongioi and Skaggs agree that you should already have some candidates in mind. Skaggs suggests reaching out to other shop owners for recommendations.


Get Competitive

Chances are, the people that are recommended are already working at other shops, which Mongioi says is a good thing.

“In my experience, when you’re recruiting, you want people that are already employed,” Mongioi says.

After you’ve identified a potential candidate, it’s up to you to sell your shop to him or her. AutoZone does a great job of this—by offering a vast array of employee benefits. Mongoi and Skaggs agree having benefits that fit your employee needs, for example offering flexible scheduling, is something that can be very appealing to candidates.


Develop Talent Over Time

“Sometimes, the candidate that looks the best on paper isn’t always the right one for your shop,” Skaggs says. “When recruiting, look for key personality traits and passion. Over time and with the right support, that person will turn into the perfect candidate for your shop.”


Make Your Staff Aware

“Is everyone at your shop trained on what to look for?” Mongioi asks.

If a candidate comes into the shop, people at the front desk should know what to look for in a candidate so they can report back. Doing this will save time in the interviewing process. The field of candidates can be filtered if everyone on staff knows the qualities and personality traits that fit in best with the culture, using a “pre-screen” questionnaire can help with this. Also, offering an incentive for employee referrals is a helpful tool that AutoZone uses.


Look to the Future

It’s not enough to fill the positions needed right now. In order to be successful, shop owners need to be thinking about the future and create a pipeline of talent. Mongioi says one way to do this is by getting involved with the local tech school.

“That is where I would focus the majority of my time, if you get them when they’re young, you can mold them to fit the culture of your shop and create a long term asset.” Mongioi says.


Always be Recruiting

“Never take that hat off,” Skaggs says. “If I have a conversation with someone that really impresses me or I see someone as a ‘value-add,’ I’ll make a mental note of it."

That way, if a position opens up or if you find out that that person is looking to change things up, you’ll be ready.

“You can’t turn it on when you want to,” Skaggs says. “Recruiting is a lifestyle.”


AutoZone is a proud supporter of the FutureTech Success campaign. For more information visit

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