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Folks Of Interest SHOP OWNERS, How do you get workers?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Rocket's Hot Rod Garage, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. Kiwi Tinbender
    Joined: Feb 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,155

    Kiwi Tinbender
    Member

    Jar Head--I would hire you in a second based purely on the maturity,thought and intelligence you displayed in your post on this subject. Your Employer is lucky to have you, and I have the feeling he knows it all too well......Rocket...I am not sure what advice to give you. I would like to know if you find someone though, and how things work out. Call me curious if you want, but I am always interested in how someone else butters their bread...
     
  2. Well said indeed. Want a Job?
     
  3. uncle buck
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 1,651

    uncle buck
    Member

    It seems only the retired read a newspaper around here so I don't give much hope in that. I think the Facebook post would be a great idea and I don't even do Facebook but have seen results that really surprised me by people using it. I would also contact Wyotech about graduate job placement. I have seen some great people come out of there. Maybe even Lazze or Ron Covell would be a good idea. I can tell you this much, finding a good parts guy isn't any easier though.
     
  4. Jar-head
    Joined: Dec 30, 2014
    Posts: 7

    Jar-head
    Member
    from Maryland

    Rocket,

    I appreciate the offer!! Thank you very much...you have a bud here in good old Maryland. I owe everything I have to my Dad, Mom and mentors...as I was just bright enough to pay attention. I hang out with a bunch of retired wrenches, one guy is a former NASCAR bubba. They forgot more than I know!!! I learn something new everyday. Happy New Year.

    Sean
     
  5. Jar-head
    Joined: Dec 30, 2014
    Posts: 7

    Jar-head
    Member
    from Maryland

    Thank you sir,

    I am on the other side of the country!! But that said, I really want to see every shop succeed. Reason being is that this community has the ability and skills to perform the seemingly impossible and that is always in demand. How many can say they built it (referring to cars and shows)? Attention to detail encompasses every aspect of the craft; this includes the marketing. There are a lot of "car shows" as we all know now...I am sure there are plenty of shops that don't have a "TV show" that would blow the reality guys away. "Parts swapping and craftsmanship" are mutually exclusive in my opinion. I treat my work as if I was doing it for myself. It may be "anal retentive" but it hasn't let me down thus far.

    Happy New Year,

    Sean
     
  6. marshall
    Joined: Mar 19, 2001
    Posts: 754

    marshall
    Member
    from tacoma/wa.

    Ive been looking also , good luck
     
  7. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,453

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I wish I could afford to still be in this business.
     
  8. DRD57
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,986

    DRD57
    Member

    My sentiments, EXACTLY!
     
  9. luckystiff
    Joined: Mar 20, 2002
    Posts: 1,465

    luckystiff
    Member

    the shop i used to work for is constantly looking for someone. they can't get anyone for one of the main reasons mentioned........ they have the one of the higher($65hr) shop rates of anyone in a 2-3hr radius and want to pay techs $12-15hr. the guy that is pretty much the bread and butter fought and after a coupla years i think may have topped $20hr. i was the parts guy and made even less. husband/wife deal and every employee thats ever left did so because of issues with the wife. sales were slow and they tried to say it was my fault but they had killed 3 BIG sales of mine that week over a 1-2% below "goal" situation. it's been a year and i still have some of their customers calling me asking if i can help them or can suggest someone who can. my background was management/customer service and they said thats what they wanted but really just wanted someone else to do the same old same old. 90% of the parts in their showroom they brought with them when they moved from Michigan 7 years ago and most of that had sat on their shelves there for that many years.

    i worked outta the house for most of 2014. including some of their former customers who came to me when i left because "i actually listened to what they wanted" and they felt good about their project after talking to me...
     
  10. Kiwi Tinbender
    Joined: Feb 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,155

    Kiwi Tinbender
    Member

    Hey Marshall....It`s too long of a commute, but Thanks for the Offer.....:eek::confused::D:D
     
  11. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,453

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    One thing that I have noticed as a common condition in may rod and custom shops is this: it seems that the owners have picked out a shop rate, an income level, and a desired work schedule, and are back-filling the business model to fit that.

    This model is backwards.

    This is how you find owners who do not work on the shop floor, or rarely do, charge $110-125/hr, and pay their workers $12-15/hr.

    Where I live, that is a fast-food worker wage, not an adult career wage.

    Places I have worked are doing exactly this.

    What they really should be doing is taking a sobering look at ALL expenses of operation, and figuring what hourly rate it would take to cover that, plus expansion, and emergencies, and then (and only then) seeing if the business would be viable, in that locale.


    Most would not be.

    In May, minimum wage where I live will be $12.25. Yes this is higher that in most places, as are the costs, but think about it. Think about asking someone to be a welder and metal fabricator, with decades of experience, to take minimum wage to work. Now think about offering that person, who is that, AND has an engineering degree, that same wage.

    Criminal.
     
    Special Ed and slammed like this.
  12. jvo
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 228

    jvo
    Member

    I have always found that the best places to work do not have to advertise for employees. They usually have a steady stream of people beating on their door wanting in. If you treat your people well, word gets around.
     
  13. 55willys
    Joined: Dec 7, 2012
    Posts: 1,661

    55willys
    Member

    That is how it is at the shop where I work. We have had up to 5 employs at one time but we are down to 2 myself and the painter. The boss plans on retiring in about 5 years and seems to be comfortable with just the 2 of us.

    Work is always having to wait to come in but it seems like when we get another person in there it doesn't work out and they end up leaving.

    I got the job because I went to a big car show in the Tacoma Dome and contacted every shop owner with a display there and told them what I could do. Got a call about 6 months later from my current boss who needed a car wired. I wired that car on a part time basis (3days a week, the bother 3days I worked in a motorcycle shop) and then he saw my skills and fabrication abilities and wanted to hire me on full time That was 10 years ago.

    The pay has not kept up with the cost of living and didn't go up when the shop rates went up but the guy is good to work for and I don't want to get a job for just better pay and hate it. As I can see this job will end in about 5 years I have started my own Business manufacturing hot rod parts and hope to be doing well enough that it will just be a transition when the time comes.

    Jim Ford
     
  14. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,155

    Truckedup
    Member

    I don't know what a good wage is for an experience car mechanic working in a small shop... But I do know from hiring skilled construction tradesmen that offering more money doesn't necessarily get you better applicants for the job.. But a good worker is worth the the highest wages you can pay....
     
  15. waynos
    Joined: Jan 22, 2009
    Posts: 45

    waynos
    Member

    i think most people see the shows on tv and think its all glory,fun and games but we work our asses off for a lesser wage because we love it.i quit a way higher paying job to live the dream ,but,i sometimes have a shit day and think maybe ive made the wrong decision ,usually punch myself in the face and remember i'm finally doin what i love....money cant buy that.
    so....i cannot believe you cant find someone to work for you,alot of rodders dream of this but i guess there is none near you ?if ya find a young bloke that is keen enough with no commitments he would move close to you if he really wanted the job.word of mouth is the best i think,keep askin,and good luck!
     
  16. marshall
    Joined: Mar 19, 2001
    Posts: 754

    marshall
    Member
    from tacoma/wa.

    Kiwi, I was hoping to come to work for you.
     
  17. daleeric
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 71

    daleeric
    Member
    from Omak

    I have seen your work and it is excellent. This has probably caused increased demand for your services. You may find that you could subcontract more aspects of projects out, focusing on what you do best. There are people with great skill levels in the lower valley, try tapping into them. Look outside the box, people working in related fields of agriculture etc. Good luck
     
  18. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 6,030

    Dreddybear
    Member

    I'm surprised if you haven't found anyone by now. I know there are a lot of guys who would move for an opportunity to work in this industry. It is true though that one has to make a living. I have such a love and passion for these that I would drop everything and do it again if I could support my family doing so.
     
  19. Not to start an argument but cost of living is something that you can look up and not have to argue ideals about. It is the same with wages, one can look up the mean wage for any given vocation in any given area. Of course any of the above is a moot point, when a shop owner is just looking for idea about finding help isn't it.

    These days there are so many outlets to find employees that it is mind boggling, the web, vendors, VoTech schools, the news paper ( yes even young guys read them), the state employment council and on and on.

    I personally would beat the bushes locally unless I was expecting to pay a relocation fee. That of course is based on my own personal feelings about it. If for instance someone offered me a job in San Diego I would not even consider it without a decent relocation fee. But there again we get off on the wage deal don't we.
     
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  20. metlmunchr
    Joined: Jan 16, 2010
    Posts: 773

    metlmunchr
    Member

    The OP doesn't seem willing to say what the pay range is, and that only makes me assume its too low to attract the person he says he's looking for.

    I've been hiring trades people since before the OP was born, and even though the area where I live isn't known as one of the high pay areas of the country, I'd expect to pay at least $30/hr plus health insurance, paid holidays, and vacation for a person who can do all the following at a professional level

    -tig welding from sheetmetal thru structural thicknesses
    -complete automotive wiring
    -hand formed patch panels
    -rust repair and bodywork
    -tube bending for brake lines, fuel lines, etc
    -suspension work
    -detailed assembly work
    -no training required

    Hiring at that level, I'd expect 9 out of every 10 applicants wouldn't be even remotely qualified, and would feel lucky to find one out of fifty that was both qualified and looking for a job. Interviewing and hiring is a pain in the butt, but that's just part of the game when you're hiring something other than burger flippers where anyone with a heartbeat will do.

    A lot of employers seem to have the idea that they can find highly skilled help willing to work for half what they're worth if they just look hard enough. Not saying that's what the OP is doing, just that its a common thing among a lot of folks today. Personally, I never had any luck finding people who were highly skilled yet dumb enough to have no idea of the value of their skills..
     
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  21. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,453

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I suspect he's attempting to under-pay, as well.
     
  22. It's not that I'm not willing to talk pay with someone who's interested in the job & I'm not asking for the most qualified person around either. The listed qualities are a range of what I'm hoping for, a starting point. Finding someone who can do all that in my area is almost impossible. I think each shop in there respective area is different. Obviously where gimpyshotrods is the pay is as high as it gets and I understand that. Our shop charges $50 an hr. so I'd be crazy to try and pay someone $40 plus bennies. All I know is what I pay my guys currently & what I made at the shops I've worked at before. I'm obviously not an expert on hiring people, that why I asked and to be honest I've never had the chance to hire anyone that meets the qualifications listed or what kind of pay they deserve. That's part of our growth & learning as a new shop. I appreciate the help and info. That's what I like about this place. Fortunately I've been talking to a few people that saw this thread that sound promising.


    Jim Ford[/QUOTE]
     
  23. One thing I learned in running crews/jobs over the years is that no matter what you hope for, the people you'll have working for you aren't all equally skilled. The real trick is putting the right person into the right job so they can succeed, not setting them up to fail. Good managers know this, but it doesn't seem to be a common thing. Now, the fewer people you have to draw on, the harder it is to have all needed skills present. Maybe who you need to be looking for is the person whose skills address the shop's weak points, not reinforce the strong points. Do that, and you can always train for the rest. And training is something that needs to be done. That's the big problem today; everyone wants somebody who doesn't need training and has experience, so you have a very small pool of experienced workers and a large pool of newbies. And no matter how much schooling someone has, that really doesn't prepare them for the 'real world'.

    The other thing I've seen is a person goes into business, hires a small crew, and thinks they can now just be 'management'. As a small business owner, you should be working harder than your employees; after all, they're just there getting wages, you're the one who's future is at stake. I've worked for numerous small shops over the years that failed because the owner didn't have a large enough labor base profit to support him not actually working with the tools. If the wage is low, your better workers will leave for greener pastures sooner or later. At the successful small shops I worked for, they paid their 'core' employees a premium to ensure they stayed.

    I will add that at $50 per hour, your shop charge is a bargain. That no doubt helps attract customers, but if you can't get skilled help it's self-defeating.
     
    gimpyshotrods and BarryA like this.
  24. Thanks, we do currently out source a few things: Paint, body work, upholstery, engine builds & most tuning.

     
  25. 55willys
    Joined: Dec 7, 2012
    Posts: 1,661

    55willys
    Member

    I looked at your list and that is exactly what I do at work. Now I feel a bit under paid but oh well just bide my time till my business takes off and the boss wants to retire. Jim Ford
     
  26. 55willys
    Joined: Dec 7, 2012
    Posts: 1,661

    55willys
    Member

    Had a kid from Alaska come into the shop last week looking for a job. He has some schooling and can tig weld. He also has the passion and work ethic that most youth today are lacking. He said he would come back when the boss was there. If he does I will get his info and pass it on to you. He is wanting to relocate from Alaska because the hot rod scene up there is too small. Jim Ford
     
  27. That'd be excellent! Thanks.
     
  28. trollst
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 2,064

    trollst
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Read every post here.....$50 an hour isn't enough. How do you pay your guys, yourself and keep the lights on, never mind upgrading tools at $50? Not meant as criticism, but too many shops fail or fail to get the right guys because their rates are too low, seems you don't have the margin built in to pay a good wage. You're in business to make profit and succeed, make sure you're still in business next year.
    In my case, I no longer operate a shop, I work out of my own shop now, no employees, but when I was going hard, I trained every one of my guys, it is a difficult thing, but they started pushing a broom and went from there. I'm old now, still good friends with old employees, but that's what worked for me. Good luck in 2015.
     
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  29. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,503

    manyolcars

    heres a way
     

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  30. I like it.

     

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