Hiring employees is a critical aspect of managing an automotive repair business. Mistakes can be very costly while prudence can bring very positive results. Skills are important and are the basis for bringing people onboard but there are many other factors to consider when making a hiring decision and they should be included in the evaluation process to the extent possible. Following are points to consider in formulating a candidate evaluation process:
- Skill Requirements – Searching for a certain skill set is the basis for hiring in any business. The skill level needed is dictated by work demand and environment. Possibly the most difficult aspect of this part of the hiring process is confirming that a candidate actually possesses the skills they claim to have. With today’s laws it’s difficult if not impossible to confirm this through references. Asking a candidate how they performed certain work is an effective way to confirm that they actually have done what they say.
- Education/Certifications – Job applicants will tout education and certifications when applying for employment. These can be valuable in terms of ability but also demonstrate that the person considers their livelihood important. It’s important for an employer to verify that these claims are accurate.
- Communication Ability – A great deal of a team’s success hinges on the ability of its members to communicate with each other. In automotive repair this applies to verbal as well as written communications. Communication requirements may vary according to position but the significance of effective communication skills cannot be overstated. Verbal communication skills can be verified during an interview while written communication ability will require some additional effort. Role playing is a technique that some interviewers use to evaluate this skill.
- Coworker/Team Traits – Interaction with coworkers can be critical in a small business. Even the most talented individual can have a negative impact on productivity and employee morale if they don’t have the ability to work well with others. Sometimes interpersonal skills aren’t the reason for difficulty in getting along with coworkers. Sometimes the problem is cultural. It’s important to evaluate a candidate in this area. Many employers incorporate actual interaction with peers into the evaluation process.
- References – Confirmation of references is important in evaluating a prospective employee. Although laws put previous employers at risk as far as discussing employee performance they will be able to confirm the starting and ending dates of employment. Confirming educational and certification achievements with the institutions that confer them is important as well.