Recruiting staff for the workshop causes fewer problems if you have planned ahead


In large companies with HR departments, planning for recruiting, training and dismissing staff is called skills provision planning. But it isn’t only large companies with HR departments and HR managers that need to think about this kind of thing. It is also worthwhile for you, as the manager of a smaller business, to spend a few hours planning the future development of your staff. What is the skills provision situation like in your workshop?

Sometimes your focus is entirely on acquiring new customers, planning your future workload, ordering spare parts and paying taxes and charges. But have you thought about the fact that your staff will not always want to stay with you? This can be for reasons such as retirement, sick leave, parental leave or someone simply handing in their notice. And what would happen if you, contrary to expectation, had a long-term illness?

Are you planning and preparing for the future or just waiting until it happens?

Draw up a plan for the future.

You know how you want your business to develop or at least what you are hoping for. For this to happen, you need to have the right staff with the right training who can do the work that will enable your workshop to function effectively tomorrow, next year and in the longer-term future.

Why would anyone want to work for you?

If you are an attractive employer, you can recruit competent staff who want to work for your company. The competition for the best staff is already tough and even if you are prepared to manage with the second-best people, they are also hard to get hold of.

What is it that makes your workplace attractive?

It could be opportunities for professional development, a generous salary or a good employment contract. It may be that your company is a pleasant place to work with a positive working environment. Or that the people who work there are friendly and the manager treats his employees fairly.

Young people and people from other cultures may have values which are different from yours. This doesn’t mean that their work will not be as good. It is important that you have a basic understanding of what makes some employers more interesting than others. At the same time, you must not forget the people with more professional experience who you would like to recruit or retain. It isn’t only young people who want the opportunity to develop, enjoy their work, be paid a generous salary and have a good employment contract.

How will you go about this in concrete terms?

A skills provision plan is an overview of the current level of skills in your workshop and your needs in the long term. It may involve employing new people, dismissing existing staff or providing training.

Who are your current staff and what can they do?

To gain an overview of the skills you need, you must evaluate the skills that are available. You can begin by listing the people who currently work for you, what they can do, whether they have any unique skills, how old they are and what form of employment they have. Don’t forget to include yourself.

  • Who currently works for you?
  • What can they do and what are they particularly good at?
  • How old are they?
  • Is there someone who you want to retain but who you might have to replace?

When you have listed all the names, you can assess whether there are any skills you need which you don’t currently have.

Take a look into the future and assess the sort of skills you might require. How do you think that you could solve this problem?

There is a great deal of competition for the best mechanics and it is important to be seen as an attractive employer if you want to succeed in recruiting them.

Work experience students and apprentices

One way of finding new and talented employees can be to work with your local vocational college and take on work experience students. You must be prepared to spend some time making sure that they learn something while they are with you. You will gain a picture of what they can do, whether they find it easy to learn new things and whether they are someone you can get on with and who will be happy working for you.

Think ahead

The demand for skills will increase in future as vehicles become more complex and come with a growing number of individual functions. Control systems are increasingly being layered on top of one another and troubleshooting can be a very complicated process. And we haven’t even begun to mention hybrid and electric cars and new assembly methods, all of which require new skills. The people you recruit must have a good basic education, an interest in the job and the ability to acquire new knowledge whenever it is needed.

Once you have drawn up the list, make sure that you read it and evaluate it regularly. It may be a good idea to review your skills provision plan every quarter or every six months. If you simply leave it in a folder in your filing cabinet or on your computer, it will be just as useful as a New Year’s resolution in January.