Use Marketing to Recruit Body Shop Employees

Use Marketing to Recruit Body Shop Employees

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Intro

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many collision repair centers are struggling to get parts and employees. Finding and attracting technicians, estimators, painters, and assistants is a challenge you’re likely experiencing. While I can’t offer any help with the supply chain, I can walk you through some ways you can attract employees with marketing. 

Don’t Just Offer a Job - Offer a Career

Before you post anything, take a moment and think about what it is you’re trying to achieve by adding  a new employee. Maybe you have an immediate need for a certain position, but some strategic thinking now can pay dividends later.

Hiring is hard, and investing a bunch of time and effort into onboarding new team members and training them is expensive, so you want them to stick around for a while.

Rather than simply posting a job for a mechanic or body tech, paint a picture showing how your shop can provide a long-term career, with on-the-job training and opportunity for advancement. Most people factor that into their job search. 

“Am I going to be stuck at the bottom of the ladder indefinitely, or can I grow my expertise and income at this shop?”

In essence, you want to “sell” your company to job seekers. If you had dozens of quality applicants for every open position, this wouldn’t be necessary, but in today’s climate, we have to work a little harder to find good people.

Recruiting With Your Shop Website

Your website is your “home base” and you should have the ability to add all sorts of info anytime you like, including job openings.

Auto Body Careers example website
Example of an Auto Body Careers web page (Caliber)

There are lots of ways to do this, but depending on how many openings you have, you can either create a single Careers page, or you can also create separate pages for each open position.

While creating individual landing pages is more work, it can be laser-focused on that position. For example, you could create a landing page specifically for your opening for an Auto Body Technician. You can include anything you want, but here are some suggestions:

  • Job description
  • Duties / Responsibilities
  • Qualifications
  • Experience
  • Licenses / Certifications
  • Your company values
  • Benefits
  • Photos of your facilities and/or other team members
  • Video tours of your facilities

Be sure to clearly explain how to apply. This could be as simple as having them call you, or email a resume, having an application form right on the page, or directing them to another website to apply. 

Once your landing page is created, use this as the destination for any ads, social posts, or other promotions you do for the position. All of it should link back to this page.

If you have a chat widget on your website, consider having it pop open automatically after a few seconds, with a message like “We’re Hiring”.

You can also place banners or graphics on your homepage and throughout your website, to draw attention to the position(s).

Share Your Open Positions on Social Media

As I mentioned above, if you created a landing page about your job opening, you can share it on Facebook or other social media platforms. And if you don’t have a website or can’t create a page for your opening, you can post directly to Facebook. 

No matter how you share, it’s ideal if you can convince other people to share your post, in order to spread the word. Ask your employees if they’d be willing to share it, and ask your page followers to share as well.

Facebook can work well here, but so can Twitter, Instagram, Tik-Tok, YouTube, Reddit, and so on. The content will depend on what type of platform you are using. YouTube and Tik-Tok require you to create videos, Instagram is visual, and the others can be text-based.

Whichever platforms you use, add a link back to your landing page if the platform allows it.

Recruit with Facebook Job Posts and Ads

Facebook Job Post

If your social media posts aren’t getting any traction, there are some Facebook-specific tools you can use to draw attention to your job opening. 

Facebook Job Posts are a tool that’s included with every Facebook Business Page - so if you haven’t created one of those, you’ll want to do that first.

From your Business Page, you have the option of creating a job post. The page guides you through answering some questions and filling out details about the opening. You can post a photo, job title and description, salary range, benefits, and more.

You can post multiple jobs in the system, and review applications, contact applicants and schedule interviews using Facebook’s tools.

If you want to get more applicants you may want to “boost” your post, which turns it into a paid ad. If you choose this option, you set a budget, maybe $15 per day for a week, or whatever you are comfortable with. You should also select which geographic area you’d like your ad to be shown in - for example, within a 30 mile radius of your location. 

If you’ve run Facebook ads before, you’ll notice that compared to “regular” ads, job ads have far fewer targeting options, due to equal opportunity employment and anti-discrimination regulations.

Post to Job Boards

Sample auto body job post

You should also list your open positions to job posting websites. These are also a great place to check and see if your position is competitive and if your salary and benefits are in line with the industry. 

You can search for similar positions on sites such as Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and GlassDoor, and many of the listings display salary ranges, especially from the large chains, like CarStar, Gerber, and Caliber. Review other listings to see what their businesses are posting, and use the better ones as a starting point for your own listing.

Share Your Job to Your Shop’s Email List

Hopefully you are collecting email addresses from your body shop customers! If so, you’ll be able to send emails to your clients about your open positions. 

Maybe that’s a one-time email specifically about your job, but an even better option is you send out a regular email newsletter for your shop. If you do, you can easily insert a section about the opening, asking your customers to share it with anyone they know who might be a good fit.

And if you don’t have an email list, you can simply add a line to your email signature, so that each email you send has a link to your job info. For instance, under your name and contact information, add a line that says “We’re hiring, please share!” and link that text to your website or post, wherever it is.

Display Your Open Positions in Your Lobby

Auto Body Help Wanted Flyer

There’s nothing wrong with the classic “Help Wanted” sign on the door, but take it a step further and print a few flyers to display on the front desk, that customers can take with them. You can encourage them to take one before they leave.

Final Thoughts

This is not a complete list of ways to promote your open positions, but it will get you started with some ideas to help attract new applicants and employees to your collision repair shop. 

Want to hire us to market your body shop? Get in touch today.

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Jason Ferguson

About Jason Ferguson

Jason has been a graphic designer since 1994 and started building websites in 1997. Since then he's learned countless new marketing skills and loves helping companies get more customers using digital marketing techniques. Jason founded Conspicuous Digital in 2017 and focuses on helping collision repair shops with their marketing.

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