Matching Candidates to a Location
With 14 locations in and around the Rochester, N.Y., area and two locations in Syracuse, Nu-Look Collision Center has become the go-to collision repairer in the area. It’s more than just a destination for its customers, though. With so many locations to choose from, people who apply to work for the MSO are able to find a location that fits his or her needs—from training capacity to proximity to his or her home.
Jason Deats, general manager, oversees hiring and training for Nu-Look. Deats says that since the company has grown, offering employees options on which location to work at has become a lot easier. Nu-Look now leaves its job postings open-ended as to which location the position will be assigned.
“Very rarely do we hire for a specific location,” Deats says. “We have enough stores that we can keep it geographically convenient.”
Nu-Look has created a culture that holds up from location to location, meaning any of the 260 employees would work well with the staff at any shop. Deats says that for Nu-Look, it’s been relatively easy for him to match candidates with locations because of the strength of each location and the family-like culture the MSO has created.
“Anyone that we hire should fit in in any location,” Deats says.
Deats shares how Nu-Look has been able to find the best candidates and match them with the right location.
Always be on the lookout.
Deats says that even if Nu-Look is fully staffed, it’s not uncommon for job postings—especially for certain positions, like body tech and estimator—to remain up year round.
“Even if we’re fully staffed, we’re always looking for the right candidate that we can train up,” Deats says. “We do a very good job of training.”
Deats says Nu-Look always anticipates growth. For example, detailers are a position that it is always on the lookout for, but it’s hard to find the right candidate. Because of that, Deats says they will hire a candidate that has the potential and use the time to train them up for future need. Another position that the shop does this for is writers. Currently, Nu-Look has three appraisers that are being “trained up” for this position.
Know your location’s strengths.
“Some shops are better at training than others,” Deats says. “The busiest location wouldn’t be ideal for training writers.”
When a person is hired who needs training, Deats is sure to match them with a location that has the support that he or she will need. Because of the number of shops, each area has at least one location that is used as a training shop. Because of this, new hires shouldn’t have to drive too far out of their way—even if he or she does require training.
Be mindful of the position.
Deats also advises that the common traits of the position being filled are taken into consideration when matching with a location. For example, any entry-level position, Deats is sure to put that person as close to his or her home as possible to make it convenient, since that person may not have as much passion for the job or may just be doing it part-time.
Offer candidates a choice.
One way that Nu-Look is able to attract the top talent is by offering incentives for its candidates, including a choice of where to work. Deats says that he won’t necessarily allow the new hire to pick the exact location, but he will ask which side of time he or she prefers.
“I feel like 30 minutes or under is a reasonable commute,” Deats says. “We have a very solid grasp on which stores train which positions the best—it makes my life so much easier. We have three locations on both the west and east side that can each train one of the roles effectively.”
Be flexible after the fact.
Once a staff member is placed at a location, that doesn’t mean he or she has to stay there. Deats says that most employees remain happy where they are, but if someone relocates, Nu-Look is happy to transfer that person to a new location that’s more convenient.
“Our Syracuse shop is an hour away from our other locations,” Deats says. “We needed a body guy to tech to fill in so we sent someone from Rochester. He liked it so much, he asked to stay.”
Since Nu-Look has a steady stream of talent coming in, it’s easy to be able to accommodate such requests.