What to do when a key employee leaves your business

Nov. 7, 2017
Statistics show that most employers are reactive when it comes to hiring. This leaves no room for growth in the company, and usually happens at the most inopportune times

It never fails. You finally start making money and then one of your key performers tells you they’re leaving. All of a sudden you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. If you think you are ready to hire, download our “Am I Ready to Hire Checklist” at www.ationlinetraining.com/2017-11 for a limited time.

You must place an ad and start the interviewing process all over again! Once you start interviewing you get upset because no one is qualified or nobody has answered your ad? Meanwhile the business starts to slip, and you stop making money — thus affecting your business and personal life. There must be a way to keep this from happening again and again? Let’s listen to Coach Bobby Poist explain the mistakes shop owners are making:

Am I Ready to Hire? Checklist
If you want to stay ahead of the curve, download the "Am I Ready to Hire?" Checklist at www.ationlinetraining.com/2017-11

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to interview when someone is leaving. Statistics show that most employers are reactive when it comes to hiring. This leaves no room for growth in the company, and usually happens at the most inopportune times. Most successful business owners follow the “always be hiring” mantra. This approach will help you cut the B and C players that take the space A players should have.

Build a stable of potential superstars

Offer a referral bonus, and ask everyone who they know with talent. This will help you build a strong stable of potential employees. Signing bonuses are huge in big business and sports. Yet I hear nothing about referral bonuses from my members. Most have never heard of a referral bonus, or how to use them. The best approach is to offer a dollar amount to  everyone. Put stipulations on the bonus so you can track it when people come to you for an interview. You never know where you’ll find the next superstar for your business. Do yourself a favor and interview everyone. We all need interviewing experience. The practice will help you master your process. Discovering the difference between a great interview and a bad interview is important. I often hear how people aren’t qualified for the job before the owner meets them. It’s better to form an opinion after you meet someone as opposed to before. The candidate could fit your needs in the future.

We all know the automotive industry has a shortage of technicians. Don’t wait to respond to resumes or potential contacts. These guys and gals are in high demand. A-players are in higher demand than ever. Each day decreases your chances of getting a response. Being proactive will increase your chances of success. There is some truth to the statement “Early bird gets the worm.”

Do your homework and create an outline of the role for each position in your company. Job descriptions and checklists will help to categorize each role. You must recognize if someone will be a good fit for your team. People can be great at what they do, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be great for you. Having a clear vision and metrics will make a difference!

Create an interview process that works, so you have consistency. Doing so will help you to measure your candidates. Do at least three interviews. Doing so gives you plenty of ammunition to judge your potential hires.

Do a phone interview first. Ask qualifying questions about their eligibility within your company. Use qualifiers to ensure the interview won’t be a waste of time. A valid driver’s license and moving violations. Years of experience and tools are all indicators that you can move forward. Grading them based on qualifiers will help you make an educated decision.

The first interview should be informal, yet you must own it. Don’t try to sell your company to them. You should be gathering information, not giving it. Explain to the candidate how their interview will go. Give them specific guidelines so they know what to expect. Outline that you will ask a series of questions and give them time to answer. Once the interview is over they will have time to ask questions. Keep the interview on task and you’ll be successful.

Find out about your candidate. What are their goals, hobbies, and aspirations? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How do they work with their peers? Ask probing questions about their past jobs. Use specific questions such as “What will this employer say about you when I call?”; “Tell me more”; and “I’d like to hear more about that,” which will help to dig deeper. Being curious, talking less, and listening more are paramount to a successful interview.

Pay attention to their posture and eye contact. Look for enthusiasm and interest. An interested candidate will square up with you, and look you in the eye. A candidate that is not interested will face away from you and stare at the floor. What they do with their hands is important and can be a telling sign of the candidate’s interest. Pay attention to these cues during the interview to avoid issues in the future!

Introduce them to your team after the first interview. Most employees surveyed admit they weren’t aware of a new employee until the day they started. Introductions to the team will help determine if the person will be a good fit. How many times have you hired a great candidate only to hear how bad they were once you started inquiring? Take the proper steps to ensure your team is aware of how important it is for you to get their input. Try introducing them and then get away for a few minutes. This will open the door for them to chat a bit.

Don’t hire on the first interview. You will need to process the information and talk with your team. Once you have graded the individual and measured the feedback you can set up a second interview.

The second interview is as important as the first interview

The candidate will have met you and your team. Getting them in for a second interview verifies their interest. The candidate will be comfortable. They will most likely show you their true self during this meeting.

Create a list of questions from the first interview and from team discussions. You want to know why the interviewee will be a good fit for your company, so probe and ask! Involve a third party such as your manager or your spouse. I don’t know about you, but my wife is an excellent judge of character. She saved me from myself a few times in this arena. Keep that in mind, because outside input can be a much-needed help.

Once you’ve completed the interview process, have them perform some type of personality profile. These tests are not a prerequisite for the job, yet they will help you from a leadership perspective. Let’s face it; some people can tell you they’re great at everything. The key is knowing if they just told you what you want to hear. Your success counts on it!

At this point you should have plenty of data. If you have many candidates the data will help you to determine who is the best fit. Now you can offer the job and feel more secure that you’re making the best decision. Send “thank you” responses to those that didn’t qualify. Keep their resumes on file and keep the door open for future possibilities. You may have a spot for them in the future.

There’s no reason why an employee leaving should affect your life and business. Taking the “always be hiring” approach will keep you in control of your destiny. You’ll be much more successful when you’re surrounded by A players!

Most shop owners admit they hate interviewing, and state that it is one of their biggest weaknesses. Admitting this to yourself could help you overcome this issue. Learn how to create a stable of A player resumes and a great interview process. If you want to always have the best on your team, download our “Am I Ready to Hire Checklist” by going to www.ationlinetraining.com/2017-11 for a limited time.

About the Author

Chris (Chubby) Frederick

Chris “Chubby” Frederick is the CEO and founder of the Automotive Training Institute. ATI’s 130 full-time associates train and coach more than 1,500 shop owners every week across North America to drive profits and dreams home to their families. Our full-time coaches have helped our members earn over 1 billion dollars in a return on their coaching investment since ATI was founded.

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