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

Lady sitting on the fence

One of the most frustrating things in recruiting is when you lose a good candidate because the hiring process took too long. I always encourage all of my clients to streamline their process as much as possible. One of the biggest things you can do to speed up the process is to make quicker decisions. I will often hear something along the lines of “the Mechanic seemed really good but we don’t want to just go with the first person we meet, we want to interview a few candidates and then make our decision.” This is a terrible strategy. You need to remember that when Recruiting Mechanics you are in a candidate-driven market, if you wait you will lose them.

If you are on the fence about a candidate, there are several strategies that you can use including:

  • References
  • Ride Along
  • Technical Test
  • Technician Interview

Things You Can Do To Get You Off The Fence

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. If they were late for the interview and you worry that punctuality will be an issue, ask their reference how they did with punctuality.

One big thing that you want to find out in a reference is attitude and team work. When interviewing you are not getting the real person, you are getting someone who is presenting themselves. Some do this very well, some are quite genuine and some are putting on an act. Many find interviewing to be an incredibly nerve-racking affair and in an interview, it is easy to view their nervousness as something else like rudeness, arrogance, etc. In a reference I like to ask “How did your impression of the candidate change from when they first started to now?” basically you are asking, what are they actually like when you get to know them.

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 a mechanic 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, this will allow them to relax a bit and you will get to see who they really are. At the end of the working interview, 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 long term. Remember they are interviewing you as well, and a job has to be a fit for both parties.

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.

You will be surprised by 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 asks them straight up how old they are or if they are married.

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.

Avoid Waiting And Personality Assessments

1)Waiting

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 have worked with many companies that provide them and have always found that the results are very generic and are not a great predictor of future success.


Use Your Gut

Often if something seems wrong it probably is, avoid it. It is more important to keep the wrong people out of your shop. 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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