Helping automotive aftermarket professionals improve; one lesson at a time.
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The Academy Panel:
Kevin Vaught is an Elite Worldwide Business Development Coach.
After starting his work in the industry at age 15, Kevin opened his own shop by the time he was 22! His shop, AutoTire Car Care Center, was an immediate success and Kevin was able to open up 4 locations over the next 15 years.
One of the reasons Kevin was a success as a shop owner was because he understood the importance of his people and his processes. He believed that he couldn’t provide great external customer service without first providing great internal customer service (to his employees) and that hiring the right people, giving them the tools, systems, and procedures that they needed, and then getting out of their way would be a huge key to his success. This business philosophy certainly paid off, as Kevin’s business has been featured in several trade publications over the years.
Kevin received ASE certification, as well as an AS degree in Business Administration while he was running his shops.
He served on several Supplier Dealer and Advisory Councils. He has 43 years of industry experience and was a highly profitable multiple location owner-operator for over 30 years. He sold his company so he could focus on another one of his passions; helping other shop owners build more profitable businesses.
Ryan Blair is owner of Blair Automotive and BMP Tuning in Dallas Texas. Blair Automotive is a 20,000 square foot, state of the art, Audi and VW service and performance facility. BMP Tuning is a leading nationwide European aftermarket parts distribution business and E-commerce platform. Ryan has 10 years of dealership experience as a Master Guild Audi Technician. Ryan won the Audi Twin Cup National Technician challenge.
Ryan has taken the amenities, employees, and equipment from the dealership and made them available in an independent environment.
Robert Sexton is the General Manager of First Tire and Automotive, a chain of four automotive repair shops located in the greater Houston region. He has worked in the aftermarket automotive industry since 1983 when he first started as an attendant in a full-service gas station. Robert has held positions as general service, service advisor, service manager, manager, and business manager during his automotive career. He has succeeded through the evolution of the automotive industry and its many challenges. As a member of the Elite Automotive consulting group, he has learned from the best in the industry how to thrive in today’s complicated retail market. Robert attended the University of Houston for Business Administration. He is married with two children attending Texas A&M University.
- Recruiting is an ongoing active responsibility. Everyday. Building your pipeline of quality and qualified candidates is an ongoing job.
- Recruiting takes goals and a plan.
- What is important to your recruit.
- Your opportunity.
- Growing their career.
- Stability, benefits.
- Your own people will tell you what they appreciate about your business including your benefits program. It is important that you tell your recruit about what your team values about your business. Morale, Culture, Training, Team. Etc.
- Host training seminars at your facility. This will bring in potential recruits to see your business.
- They will be curious because they hear a lot of good about your business.
- Never ask people if they know someone looking for a job. You must tell people you are looking for superstars.
- Segment your interviews via a grading system. (Could be A, B, C)
- Some B techs that you interviewed a few years ago may be an A tech today.
- As your recruit is grooming at another shop they are growing and grooming.
- Recruiting is the long game as you wait for the right person and right opportunity
- Your superstars take pride in what they do and want to work for a shop that has a high reputation.
- You must network with other shops in your market.
- Never bad mouth other shops.
- Work with them in your market to help each other to improve the image and quality of our work in the industry.
- Using Facebook to recruit and now Instagram helps you connect with your friends, your clients and your potential recruits.
- Ryan Blair likes people to follow his business page and his personal page.
- It helps customers and recruits to see what kind of person you are.
- You can learn about them so you have conversation starters.
- A great platform to interact with. It brings transparency to the relationship.
- You must know your WHY, because your younger recruits will want to know it. They want to know about the business and your purpose.
- You’ve got to invest time into recruiting; sometimes money (time is money). You may need to buy lunches, dinners and even a bounty program. Resources need to be allocated.
- You may need to spend some money on Facebook to recruit through an ad.
- In direct mail, include a starburst that you are looking for superstars.
- Great people in the right spot makes the difference in a high culture business that is profitable and well run.
- Recruiting for talent is no different than marketing for customers. Your payoff may pay off down the road. If you get no initial results it doesn’t mean it did not work.
- Go to technician seminars and pass out cards.
- Recruiting is a perpetual duty.
- How bad do you want to fill your pipeline?
- Speak at automotive technology colleges.
- Speak to parent’s groups about the automotive
- Look for all opportunities to grow potential relationships.
- Talk to the top 1% of the students at these institutes. Get to know them.
- Bring young people under your wing with a mentor program.
- Kevin says that at Elite Worldwide they always look for attitude, aptitude, and ethics in hiring people and building a team.
- Recruitment is a long game.
- Recruiting through dealership parts counters works. They know their best people.
- Don’t think you can’t recruit from dealerships. Some dealership people may see earning a little less but getting a better work-life balance is very important to them. Never assume it is all about the money.
- Share your business plan not only with your people but with a potential recruit. Show them how they fit in it.
- They can learn how they fit and see the culture.
- This is the transparency that recruits want to see.
- Some of your best team members can be recruited by your best team members.
- Superstars recruit superstars.
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