3 Tips to Hire for Growth in the Automotive Aftermarket

You’re a family business. You’ve had a handful of trusted employees who have grown with the company over the past 5-10 years. You’re enjoying the fruits of your labor and seeing success from your core offerings. You’re beginning to get offers for new business ventures, get ideas for new products, and see opportunities for expansion.

Do you have the time to pursue those ventures, products, and opportunities to increase the value of the business?

If not, it’s likely time to hire for growth.

Is this your first new hire since forming the company? Have other new hires come along organically, but now you don’t have time to wait? You’ll have to be proactive to define and hire the right roles. These roles, of course, depend on your needs for the business.

Driven Performance Advisors can help you define and hire for certain roles in the company to improve operational efficiency, free up management time, and enable your business to grow substantially into more than just an owner-dependent operation.

Here are 3 tips to hire for growth in the automotive aftermarket.

1) Define personnel gaps

2) Create job description and profiles

3) Design technical interview questions

Define personnel gaps

Where are your people wearing multiple hats and helping the company in ways way outside of their comfort zone? What areas of company operations need more attention?

Usually, the areas that need the most attention are communicating with customers and handling behind-the-scenes business operations. Customer service and sales roles are useful for building your brand through consistent, prompt communication, and providing as much information on your products as possible through your website, email, phone, and social media platforms. Instagram is likely one of your largest marketing channels.

Consider hiring a social media manager or an all-round customer service/sales operations position who can take over day-to-day communications with customers.

Business operations is the least glamorous role in your company. This role won’t make cars go fast and isn’t directly making customers happy. This role, however, is essential to facilitate company growth. All financial data, legal decisions, paperwork, and identification and execution of growth opportunities can be removed from the owner’s shoulders and given to a dedicated employee.

Driven Performance Advisors can stand in to provide short-term business operations assistance during the hiring process to help implement policy, procedure, and financial management to enable your business to grow into a new phase. You don’t need to handle it alone. We will then work through the rest of this hiring plan to install permanent new staff to handle ongoing growth responsibilities.

Create job descriptions and profiles

Your ideal candidates will have certain experiences and skills. Additionally, an important trait for the automotive aftermarket industry is an appreciation for and interest in the products or services your company provides.

First, consider the skills you’re looking for. Organization, time management, and an entrepreneurial spirit are all key for a growing family business. You need business experience and confidence in creating and implementing operational policy and procedure. You need sales experience, efficiency, and responsibility of someone to take ownership of customer relationships.

Make a list of all job responsibilities you expect your new hire to potentially take on. While it doesn’t need to be 100% exhaustive, adding in as many distinct job functions as possible will help set expectations for interviews and potential employment, as well as weed out people who are not comfortable with taking on lots of independent responsibility.

Next, define your ideal work history, interests, hobbies, and personality. I call this definition the profile. Unlike most industries, an intimate knowledge of the automotive aftermarket is a requirement of the job. Your profile will need to cover specific interests that will enable your new hire to jump in and quickly learn your specific business, while already confident in knowledge of generic aftermarket products and modification.

Does your ideal candidate need off-road experience? Street racing? Stance? Drives a S14, a ZL1, a 3500, or an E46? Whatever your business, your ideal candidate will have an appreciation for what your customers want.

Design technical interview questions

You won’t find your ideal interview questions on Google. Depending on what role you’re hiring for, your questions will need to be creative and often quite tailored to your products or services to identify and assess an interest in and appreciation for the industry and your company.

Depending on what your company does, the questions will obviously vary. In my hiring experience working with clients through Driven Performance Advisors, I’ve asked questions that range from “What is a Liberty Walk kit?” to “What is a W213?” (Newest chassis number for the Mercedes E-class) or “What does a downpipe do?”

Establish a baseline of knowledge. Not too high, but high enough that you can be confident in handing someone the phones or a paid invoice for accounting, knowing they’ll be able to handle it from day 1.

Want assistance?

Need someone to handle your hiring? Get in touch. Driven Performance Advisors is happy to support with sales, customer service, business operations, and finance on an interim basis while working through the above hiring plan. arun@drivenperformanceadvisors.com


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