Latest News:

autotechnician - serving the independent workshop - logo

Human Resources 101 for workshops

Within a series of articles, Human Resources expert Julia Crawford from People Pillar provides practical advice on all things people related – here, she focusses her attention on recruitment.

Do you know how to attract the right people to your vacancies? Deciding to hire someone for the first time is a big decision and you’ve probably been thinking about the benefits, disadvantages, and costs for a while.

Can the business afford to pay someone else? Will their value pay for their costs? Can I do all the work myself? Will I be stuck if I don’t hire someone? With a little forward planning, you can handle the whole recruitment process relatively easily, keeping your recruitment costs down, whilst showing your business off to its full potential. Here are my seven steps to effective low- cost recruitment.

Step one: Identify your needs…

Is it a new position? Are you replacing someone who is leaving? Or perhaps your business is growing so you are looking for additional help. Creating a list of skills, knowledge, and experience that you want or need for your recruit to have is essential. For example, are there any skill gaps within the business that your new hire might be able to fill? Have you considered whether the workload is sufficient to justify a new full-time member of staff? Is there anyone in the business who will be looking to retire or leave the business soon?

Step two: Create a job description…

It’s essential to have a job description for every role in your business. This way, when it comes to replacing a member of the team, or even creating new positions, you already know the responsibilities, qualifications, and skills needed for all. Why not ask your current employees to write their own job descriptions? This doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It could be a bullet- pointed list of their responsibilities. This helps to make sure that no vital tasks are missed.

Each advertised job description should include the job title, responsibilities of the role, needed qualifications, skills, compensation, benefits, and the location of the role. You could also consider writing a candidate profile for each role within the business. These are designed to help you discover what kind of person you’re looking for to fill each role. It could also help you to know where to look for your next employee, as it will give you an insight into where they may look for a job, and therefore where you should consider advertising your role.

Step three: Plan your recruitment…

How are you going to attract the best candidates? Is there someone within your business who could fit the new role? Is there someone who is ready for the next step in their career? Do you have an apprentice who is nearing the end of their training, who would be looking for their first qualified role?

When it comes to advertising the job, how and where are you going to advertise it? Do your current employees know anyone who is looking for a similar role? Referrals are a great way of finding excellent candidates. You will need to decide who will be responsible for creating the job advert and field responses, or any questions, you may receive. Will this be you? To keep everything consistent it would make sense to make this just one person.

Make sure the language you use isn’t discriminatory. For example, words like young, dynamic or mature could potentially be age discriminatory. Also, there is no reason to stipulate someone must hold a driving license if they are not going to be expected to drive for the job.

Step four: Screen and shortlist…

You’ve received applications from people who want to work for you. Now it is time to filter out the good from the not-so-good.

  1. Put aside any that don’t meet your essential criteria. That’s most likely to be skills and experience. Look at where they are geographically based too. If they need to be local, and aren’t, it may be that they are looking to relocate to your area.
  2. Sort the remaining applications into two groups, those with the minimum qualifications, and those with preferred credentials. Those with ticks in both boxes become your short list.

Step five: Interviews…

Your candidates will want to impress you, but don’t forget that you also need impress them. Take the time to consider the candidate’s experience, if you want to attract and retain the best person for your business.

What will your process be? Will you chat on the phone first, then in person? Will you be asking candidates to do a practical exercise? If you do, you need to also allow for nerves, as not everyone is at their best when under these conditions. How are you going to structure your interview process and document it?

Try to be as flexible as you can with your candidates. They may be in roles that are tricky to take time away from, so insisting on a particular appointment, you may miss out on that outstanding candidate, because they cannot do the day or time you suggest.

Step six: Making an offer…

Before you make an offer to your preferred applicant, there are a few things you need to consider:

a) Never turn down other candidates before you’ve offered the job to your preferred candidate, and they’ve accepted (ideally in writing).

b) Choose a second favourite, in case your first decides to take another job. If there are no other suitable candidates, you may have to go back to the start of the process.

c) Be clear what you are offering the candidates because things said verbally can also form part of the contract.

d) Make any offers conditional i.e., that the offer is made subject to…This could be qualifications, right to work documentation (this needs to be done BEFORE they start with you), DBS checks (if applicable) and references. That way, if something crops up in the coming weeks in relation to these, you can safely withdraw the offer of employment.

Once you have made the offer and they have accepted, you now need to prepare their contract of employment and send it to them before their first day. When you have employees, you legally need to have 1) a disciplinary policy, 2) a grievance policy and 3) a data protection policy (including an Employee Privacy Notice). If you employ over five people, you also need to have a Health and Safety Policy.

Also check references. Sometimes they aren’t much help. However, you’d be surprised at just how many businesses skip this step, only to be shocked when something goes awry. Do not contact their present employer unless they have given you permission to do so.

Step seven: Excellent on-boarding…

This step is so often forgotten when it comes to the recruitment process, but it’s one of the most essential parts to get right when welcoming a new employee. You need a solid plan to help welcome a new employee into the business. What do they need to be able to start their new job easily? What will happen on their first day? Who is going to do their induction, introductions to your employees, processes, training and development? Make sure you diarise to check regularly how they are doing. This may all seem like a lot of work to do for one recruit, but once you’ve created this plan, it can be used time and time again for each new hire you make.

BUT don’t forget about your current people, when employing new ones!
One thing to ensure you don’t do, when you are looking for a new employee, is alienate the ones that you already have. At the outset, share your plans and make them feel involved. If you shortlist candidates, why not show them around your business, so they can meet the rest of the team. Then, once you have started your new employee, make sure you take them around and introduce them, and arrange for them to spend time with all the team, as part of their on-boarding induction process. It really will make things easier for everyone to gel and become a great team!

If you would like to talk further about the above, or find out more about how People Pillar can help your business with HR, please do get in touch.

01303 769700

About Autotechnician
Autotechnician is a magazine published nine times a year, delivering essential information to independent garage owners and technicians in the UK. Delivered both digitally and in print, autotechnician provides readers with technical, training, business advice, product and news, allowing our readers to keep up to date with information they need to run and work within a modern workshop.
Aftermarket Media Solutions Ltd, The Joiners Shop, Historic Dockyard Chatham, Kent ME4 4TZ
T: 01634 816 165
Company no. 09625886
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram