So here are a couple of questions to start the ball rolling on this discussion: Do you put on your seatbelt in your car because you anticipate a crash? Does your local fire department require you to have fire extinguishers because it is a given that your business is going to have a fire? Of course not, these are just a few examples of prudent and pro-active actions to head off a disaster. These pro-active moves are insurance to keep the damage to a minimum.
It is the same theory why you should always be recruiting! Being proactive against a potential disaster is good business acumen.
To prove the point, let’s talk about some scenarios that lurk in our business that we may not even think about. I call them “The Heart Attack” because they sneak up on us with no warning and can practically wipe us out:
- Our employee’s spouse makes more money than our employee- One day I was completely caught off guard when one of my technicians came into my office and said “Boss, I am sorry to tell you this but I am putting in my notice. Mama says she doesn’t want me getting dirty any more, We really don’t need the money as we used to so she wants me to work somewhere where I won’t get greasy.”
- Our employee parties a little too hard one weekend and gets slapped with a DUI or loses their license– Even the most squeaky clean employee can make a bad decision or have a stroke of bad luck. When this happens, we all know our Garage Keeper’s coverage will jack our rates sky-high on a DUI and will nix a non-licensed driver.
- Outside of work, our employee is involved in an accident or obtains an injury – With all the ads on TV & radio for “1-800 Ask Gary, Tom, Dick, or Harry” attorney referral lines, as soon as an attorney gets their clutches on your employee, you will get a whole new meaning to absenteeism.
- We usually have at least one employee who is as high-maintenance as a Lamborghini.- Some days this employee is your hero, other days you want to kill them. This employee rocks your world, but not in a good way. And we put up with this high-maintenance person because we can’t afford to do without their production.
- An employee holds you hostage – This person thinks …. no, … KNOWS they have you over a barrel like a Somali Private holds a gigantic ship. How many times do you let this person run YOUR business before you do something about it?
- An employee gets a better offer – Unless you are really tight with everyone in your shop and fit together like a bolt & lock nut, the employee can surprise you. They can look for another job and very rarely will you even know about it.
- An unknown illness strikes – I get a call a week from some owner or manager panicked because an employee has come down with a unforeseen illness that will take the employee out for months.
- The employee gives you notice because they are going to open their own business – Always looking through glasses of grandsire, as an example a Technician is thinking “wow, boss charges $70 an hour and only pays me $25? AND the boss makes 20% or more on parts, I got to get a piece of this American Dream”.
- There is less and less talent out there – This is NOT our father’s workforce. Even though unemployment is over 10%, the workforce psyche has more hair on it than ZZ Top! Most unemployed have become complacent, depressed, and suffer from a new term I read about the other day, “Work Atrophy” (meaning non-use of skills, the skills get rusty). And we all know how quickly our work environment changes. Imagine not working, reading up on, or keeping up with the latest changes in your job ….. for a year. Could YOU step right back in without hesitation and knocking some big-time rust off?
So the bottom line of this issue is to ALWAYS BE RECRUITING! It is a cheap insurance policy to protect you from all of the hazards above.
The more contacts you make with job seekers, the more chance you will have connecting with candidates who DO want to work! And remember, job seekers who are currently employed and unhappy where they are, are usually the most attractive.
In the meantime, may your business continue to GROW, and ALWAYS be recruiting! – Joe Henry
*Son of a former Mercedes and Studebaker dealer as well as an independent shop owner and fixed ops dealership manager, Joe Henry has had many successful years in the automotive, truck, tire and collision industries before founding ACT Auto/Truck/Tire Staffing in 1998. He can be reached at 1-800-489-0536 or visit www.ACTautostaffing.com
Joe Henry - Owner
ACT Auto/Truck/Tire/Collision Staffing