Get Off The Fence and Hire That Mechanic … or Don’t

Lady sitting on the fence

It happens all the time, you interview a candidate and you just aren’t sure if they are the right person. Maybe they interviewed great but on paper they are not exactly what you are looking for. Alternatively they might be amazing on paper but interviewed very poorly. Below are some tips to get you off the fence and some things to avoid.

DO

1) References

Don’t take the candidates word for it, do some references and find out what others have to say about them. Go beyond the standard reference questions and go right out and ask what is bugging you. I once interviewed a recruiter who I thought on paper was perfect, the answers that he gave in the interview was spot on but he just seemed a little too reserved for recruiting. I asked his reference and they let me know that he was the same with them but after about a month he got comfortable, came out of his shell and was great. I gave him a shot and that was exactly the case, he ended up being one of our best recruiters.

2) Ride Along

Offer them a 1 day working interview or Ride Along. Pay them for their time (they are going to be taking a vacation day for this) and team them up with someone you trust. Get a full day of work out of them to find out who they really are. Unlike an interview where they have their guard up, hopefully this will allow them to relax a bit and you will get to see who they really are. At the end of it you should have a better idea if they are a fit for your company and they will have a very clear idea if your company is somewhere they want to work. Remember they are interviewing 

3)Technician Interview

Have one of your other techs meet with them. They are going to be spending 

most of their time on the shop floor with the other techs and it is important they can get along with them. Have one of your techs meet them and see what they say. You would be surprised some of the insights that you miss that a tech will pick up on right away. Ideally this will be a more informal, 1 on 1 meeting, maybe just grabbing a coffee of a shop tour. If a manager or HR rep is present it will likely result in a much less open and honest conversation.

Side note, make sure the tech you choose is versed in the basics of HR so they don’t start asking questions that they shouldn’t. I have seen this backfire when an untrained interviewer came back afterward saying “they seemed great, 37 years old, married with 1 kid, I think they will fit in.”

4)Technical Test

If you are unsure about their technical knowledge have them do a technical test, either written or hands on or present them with a scenario to see how they do.

Don’t 

1)Wait

Too often I hear from  client that they think a tech is good but they want to compare them to someone else, they don’t want to just take the first guy that comes in. This is a huge mistake, often there is no one else, sometimes not for weeks and by the time you get that comparison candidate the original guy has taken a job elsewhere and is no longer available. Make a decision one way or another and move forward, waiting accomplishes nothing.

If you need to compare the candidate to another then compare them to other techs you have in the shop, if they compare favourably then you probably have a winner.

2)Personality Assessment

I recommend avoiding personality assessments or professional profiles. I lump them in as being as useful as Tarot Cards, Palm Reading and Writing Analysis. They are overly generic profiles that don’t tell you anything and can cost quite a bit. Personality profile companies have great salespeople that can convince you that these tests will help you pick the perfect candidate but in my experience they have been no better at predicting success than a gut test.


Use Your Gut

Often if something seems wrong it probably is, avoid it. It is more important to keep the wrong people off the bus. If they seem good then go with it, if they seem off then move on (this goes against almost every recruiters goal of just hire the guy so I can get my commission) it is important to walk away from candidates that are not right. You are better off leaving the role vacant then hiring the wrong person.


If you are having a hard time finding the right mechanic give us a call at 1-833-762-5787 or visit us at www.rockstarmechanics.comto learn more about how we can help you find the perfect mechanic for your shop. 

DO

1) References

Don’t take the candidates word for it, do some references and find out what others have to say about them. Go beyond the standard reference questions and go right out and ask what is bugging you. I once interviewed a recruiter who I thought on paper was perfect, the answers that he gave in the interview was spot on but he just seemed a little too reserved for recruiting. I asked his reference and they let me know that he was the same with them but after about a month he got comfortable, came out of his shell and was great. I gave him a shot and that was exactly the case, he ended up being one of our best recruiters.

2) Ride Along

Offer them a 1 day working interview or Ride Along. Pay them for their time (they are going to be taking a vacation day for this) and team them up with someone you trust. Get a full day of work out of them to find out who they really are. Unlike an interview where they have their guard up, hopefully this will allow them to relax a bit and you will get to see who they really are. At the end of it you should have a better idea if they are a fit for your company and they will have a very clear idea if your company is somewhere they want to work. Remember they are interviewing 

3)Technician Interview

Have one of your other techs meet with them. They are going to be spending 

most of their time on the shop floor with the other techs and it is important they can get along with them. Have one of your techs meet them and see what they say. You would be surprised some of the insights that you miss that a tech will pick up on right away. Ideally this will be a more informal, 1 on 1 meeting, maybe just grabbing a coffee of a shop tour. If a manager or HR rep is present it will likely result in a much less open and honest conversation.

Side note, make sure the tech you choose is versed in the basics of HR so they don’t start asking questions that they shouldn’t. I have seen this backfire when an untrained interviewer came back afterward saying “they seemed great, 37 years old, married with 1 kid, I think they will fit in.”

4)Technical Test

If you are unsure about their technical knowledge have them do a technical test, either written or hands on or present them with a scenario to see how they do.

Don’t 

1)Wait

Too often I hear from  client that they think a tech is good but they want to compare them to someone else, they don’t want to just take the first guy that comes in. This is a huge mistake, often there is no one else, sometimes not for weeks and by the time you get that comparison candidate the original guy has taken a job elsewhere and is no longer available. Make a decision one way or another and move forward, waiting accomplishes nothing.

If you need to compare the candidate to another then compare them to other techs you have in the shop, if they compare favourably then you probably have a winner.

2)Personality Assessment

I recommend avoiding personality assessments or professional profiles. I lump them in as being as useful as Tarot Cards, Palm Reading and Writing Analysis. They are overly generic profiles that don’t tell you anything and can cost quite a bit. Personality profile companies have great salespeople that can convince you that these tests will help you pick the perfect candidate but in my experience they have been no better at predicting success than a gut test.


Use Your Gut

Often if something seems wrong it probably is, avoid it. It is more important to keep the wrong people off the bus. If they seem good then go with it, if they seem off then move on (this goes against almost every recruiters goal of just hire the guy so I can get my commission) it is important to walk away from candidates that are not right. You are better off leaving the role vacant then hiring the wrong person.


If you are having a hard time finding the right mechanic give us a call at 1-833-762-5787 or visit us at www.rockstarmechanics.comto learn more about how we can help you find the perfect mechanic for your shop. 

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