Creating synergy between departments in an auto dealership can feel like a Herculean task. Each department must be able to stand on its own yet collaborate seamlessly with the other department. This is especially true of the body shop, and that’s why this hire can be critical for your success.

Finding a manager for your body shop is relatively easy, but you shouldn’t accept anybody just to have somebody in the position. Having a great body shop manager will push your auto dealership to the next level.

What should you look for – and how can you ensure retention?

Attributes of a great body shop manager include:

You expect that your next body shop manager has a passion for working with cars, but that’s only the first attribute you should look for when hiring your next manager.

Other attributes include:

  • People-oriented. Like all customer-facing positions, managers in a body shop attend to customers’ needs. They initiate customer-centered conversations, alternately listening to concerns and explaining solutions. Body shop managers also work well with vendors
  • Dressing the part.Customers may not say anything, but you can see the looks on their faces. Showing up in a threadbare shirt and grease-smeared trousers won’t inspire customers with confidence; it causes deep concern. Clean and neat overcomes the doubt inspired by an untidy look.
  • Good communicator. The manager you hire must be able to explain – in detail – how damaged vehicles will be repaired. They also have to motivate their team and make vendors understand the urgency of delivering parts on time. These conversations with three vastly different audiences can occur in the same half-hour.
  • The body shop manager takes responsibility for everything coming in and going out of the shop, including the minutes that fly by because they’re waiting for equipment or a technician has to redo the quarter-panel installation. Managerial candidates with experience best understand the delays that can happen, and they schedule around them.
  • Multi-tasker.Managing a body shop can seem like the primary duty consists of keeping multiple plates spinning. Your manager simultaneously will boost sales, oversee production and work with customers.

Retaining the leader of your body shop

Once you’ve found the candidate you’re looking for and made a strong offer, begin the retention process immediately.

Recruiters hear many reasons for attrition in the auto dealership industry, and they know that these tips can help you retain top talent:

  • Recognize outstanding performance when it happens
  • Make the new manager feel part of the team
  • Allow them to participate in the decision-making process regarding personnel
  • Recommend additional training
  • Set fair work hours that allow for work-life balance
  • Show support by allowing for – and encouraging — family time

Hiring top talent in the auto dealership industry and retaining it will make your organization stand out above the others.

So when you’re ready to have the recruitment team at Autopeople in your corner, give us a call at 1-800-659-9501, visit our website at or email us to discuss what Autopeople can do for you.