Worried about filling your vacancies? Liam Fitzpatrick, national partnership manager, talks about finding the right fit and how you can get the most out of your employment partner.
It’s a tough job market out there and sometimes adverts can attract hundreds of CVs. Making a shortlist from the small mountain of resumes on your desk can feel like an insurmountable task and getting to know a candidate from their work and study history can seem like a long-shot. So where do you start?
In 2018 AMA Group Solutions was looking for an employment provider to help find candidates for roles in their newly created Paint Preparer Program. AMA is Australia’s largest accident repairer business and owns and operates more than 120 accident repair shops throughout Australia and New Zealand.
The Paint Preparer Program offers candidates with a passion for the automotive industry the opportunity to make a career in it. Successful candidates are good people with a strong work ethic and motivation who are looking for long-term employment with great career opportunities. They don’t need any experience, just the desire to do their best every day (training is provided to them during the program).
After six months of good work, showing up on time each shift and learning every chance they get, candidates are offered an adult apprenticeship in spray painting or panel beating. They remain on their full adult wage during this apprenticeship, and because of the strong learning components in the Paint Preparing Program, the apprenticeships can potentially be completed within two and a half years instead of four.
Retention is everything for AMA Group, which is why they engaged us as a partner. But how do you go about finding the right fit for the job?
1/ Open and honest communication
It sounds simple, but the key is open and honest communication on both sides. Just like any good relationship, giving feedback on what works and what doesn’t is essential. AMA was really forthcoming in telling us about their business, their non-negotiables and where they are going which helped us understand what they were looking for in a candidate. And from our side, we communicated about what we could and couldn’t do. It’s important to remember that it’s very lucky if you get it right the first time! Working together, with open communication will put you on the road to success.
2/ Understand the company’s values
It’s important to get under the skin of a company and find out what matters most to them. AMA value hard work and a person’s desire to have a career in the auto industry. It was less about the right skill set and more about the person’s attitude. A lot of times, it’s about balancing that. In the Paint Preparer Program, as long as a person is willing and able and has the right attitude, they can be trained in the skills.
3/ Provide post-placement support
It can take time to adjust to a new role, especially if you are facing outside challenges or need workplace adjustments. Before successful candidates start with AMA, they meet with our health service officer so we can understand any challenges they may need support with. Then we keep in touch over the duration of their placement to make sure everyone is set up for success.
4/ If it works, go with it
When it works, it works so if you’ve done something that’s resulted in success, roll it out across your operations. The Paint Preparer Program was initially held in Melbourne but due to its success, AMA is rolling it out across other locations, including Brisbane and Sydney, and with our national footprint, we are supporting them with this. Each program comes with its own characteristics, but our prior knowledge of the challenges they faced means we can get ahead of these. We’ve made slight adjustments such as dedicating a trainer to the program and providing additional support such as counsellors and psychologists.
So far, AMA has hired more than 50 MAX customers since 2018. Thanks to our great partnership, we are placing people in jobs and keeping them there for long, successful careers in an industry they love.