Six Tips for Hiring a Great Auto Mechanic
It’s no secret the automotive industry has been under constant scrutiny for unethical practices by mechanics — from overcharging parts to upselling unnecessary repair work. For many customers, finding a trustworthy and experienced auto mechanic is a lifelong process. The same can be said for auto shop owners who are hiring them. Fortunately, we’ve compiled six simple tips to help you hire the best mechanics and auto technicians for your garage.
Require Minimum Experience
In your job posting, be specific about your expectations. If you would like a mechanic who has at least five years of experience, include that as a requirement. In the automotive industry there is a huge learning curve between someone with one year and five years experience. An auto shop earns more when there are more cars in the shop, which means that a slow novice, while cheaper than a more experienced and better-paid technician, can cost your shop more in the long run.
Test Customer Service Skills
Though your auto shop will likely have a receptionist or agent to greet visitors, your mechanic should also be able to clearly and courteously communicate directly with clients. Whether a client decides to trust their mechanic’s recommendations relies heavily on his communication skills. Have potential hires roleplay how they would talk to customers in various situations, such as recommending a replacement part. Are they convincing? Are they pushy? Do you believe their advice?
Assess Ability to Follow Directions
When it comes to fixing cars, every step in the process matters — which is why your mechanic must be able to follow directions correctly and have great attention to detail. Every auto shop has its own set of rules in place, so when interviewing potential mechanics, ask them about the types of rules and processes that were set in place in previous jobs and how they were implemented.
Pass a Credit Check
Learn from auto shop owners before you and do your due diligence before it’s too late. If your mechanic is going to be handling money, make sure they pass a credit check. Doing so sets up a strong foundation of trust between you, your mechanic, and your clients. If a candidate is resistant to having their credit checked, consider this a red flag.
Determine Best Incentives
Find out what motivates your candidates to succeed and perform their best work. Because you want to hire a long-term mechanic for your shop, you should be able to create a work environment that properly motivates and incentivizes him to stay loyal to you. Ask what helps them thrive and assess if it’s something you can realistically offer.
Discuss Ideal Commission Plan
There is no one-size-fits-all pay structure for auto shops. Depending on your business, you may offer a generous commission plan, salary, or hourly — or some kind of combination. During the interview process, you and your candidate should be upfront and comfortable about expectations regarding compensation.
Finally, make sure your candidate is a team player. Your candidate should get along with and support other technicians in the shop. Ideally, you can also evaluate their recommendations before extending an offer.