Every shop wants to hire top-tier installers because most shop owners don’t understand the time and effort it takes to properly train that installer for their business. The truth is that hiring installers with experience is usually a bad idea.
A bad hire can often cost you up to 40% of that person’s salary. That’s 40% in additional revenue set on fire.
Great example—a client of mine started in his garage at home doing ceramic coatings and detailing. This business owner had one employee, and they worked closely together. He saw that employee as a friend. What he didn’t realize was that this employee was so toxic, he created a massive amount of anxiety and cost the business $50,000 in lost revenue.
After giving him multiple chances to improve, my friend terminated that employee. The business owner put his effort into someone he trained from the ground up. He has now grown that business into a brand new 3,000-square-foot shop generating more than $60,000 a month.
Make it Black and White
We’re all human—we can all be swayed by someone’s charm, body language or ego. But are those the things you’re looking for in an installer?
The right candidate will be one of two things. Someone who has never touched film, coatings or tint before or someone who has bad habits that were terminated from another shop (typically). The person with zero experience will cost you less than trying to re-train someone who has been doing things differently for so long.
Either way, you’re going to need to train someone. The key is creating a solid foundation from day one and continuing with ongoing training and education. Your installer will be properly trained on the products that you offer, proper installation techniques and customer service skills.
Passion and Dedication Trump Skill
Finally, you will want to ensure your candidate is passionate about the job. You don’t want any person who is only looking for a paycheck. It’s important to find someone who values the work they do and takes pride in it.
When you find an installer passionate about their work, it shows in the quality of the product. They pay attention to details and strive for perfection on every job.
Trust is Everything
When looking for a potential installer, you want to ensure they are trustworthy. This means doing your due diligence and making sure that any candidate has references and a good work history (even if not unrelated).
Trust is the foundation of a strong working relationship between you and your installer.
You also need to be able to trust them with confidential information about your company. I would rather have the high-trust, mid-tier performer than the low-trust, high-tier performer in my shop any day of the week.
Blogger’s Note: The broad stroke of this article is that it’s always going to be better to train people to fit your business than it is to break bad installers of bad habits. This assumes you’ve got other pillars in place to operate efficiently while you train new people.
The article in general points towards “building” the right installer and not just settling for a “tenured” one that doesn’t fit your business.