Auto Shop Coaching Blog

The Easy Way to Hire Your Replacement

“You can’t have the right culture if you employ the wrong people.”Coach Twiggs

“Harry” is a hiring manager for a Fortune 500 company. One fateful morning, he’s driving into the crowded company parking lot to begin his day of scheduled interviews.

After several minutes of circling, he finally locates a space and pulls in. He doesn’t notice “Bruce,” sitting in a brown Buick, waiting for the same spot!

“Hey, Jerk!” Bruce yells. “Don’t you see me sitting here? Are you blind?” Harry’s running late, so he doesn’t take the time to reply.

This angers Bruce! He responds with the following words while waiving a certain finger in the air: “Oh, I get it, you’re blind and deaf! Maybe you can understand sign language!”

Harry arrives at his desk, shaken from the encounter but set for his scheduled interview! As he sits down, “Sarah,” his secretary, chimes in on the intercom: “Good morning, Harry, your 8:30 am appointment is here!” “Thanks, Sarah, please send him in.”

As the candidate walks into his office, Harry starts to smile. He glances down at the resume on his desk, and says, “Good morning Bruce, I’m really looking forward to our interview today!”

Harry’s hiring decision just got easier! Keep reading so you can discover the easy way to hire your replacement. But first, you must become aware of the fundamental problem.

Ideas to grow your businessNon-ATI Members: Discover more valuable tips and strategies to make great hires, increase sales, and grow your business in ATI’s shop owner events. Register now at

The Fundamental Problem

ATI Fundamental #23 reminds us that ATI is Family! It’s simple to substitute your shop name with ATI and claim this fundamental as your own.

It’s simple to say, “(Your shop) Automotive is family!” You figure that all you need to do is state this about your location and it will result in you and your team sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows.

It’s simple to say, but not easy to embrace.

Embracing this fundamental requires having the right culture at your shop, and you can’t have the right culture if you employ the wrong people!

I know what you’re thinking, “Cut me some slack Twiggs, I’m trying to hire the right people! I use an interview script to ask all the right questions, but I still make bad hires!”

The problem is that everything is “sunshine and rainbows” during the interview! Your prospect will say and do all the right things to create the most favorable picture of themselves while in your office.

Also, if the applicant has the same personality traits as you, it can lead you to believe that your “gut” is telling you to hire her.

For example, if you are an analytical “owl” personality, you may feel a connection with a service manager candidate who’s also an owl.

However, it’s been proven that this personality type is NOT an ideal fit for the role! Just depending on what you experience during the interview, is hiring the hard way. Keep reading to uncover the easy way to hire!

The Easy Way to Hire

The easy way to hire is to evaluate the candidate in an informal setting.

Before you decide to hire, consider taking the following steps:

  • Have your “Bruce” spend time at the shop to observe a “day in the life.” This gives you and your employees the opportunity to evaluate him outside of the formal interview setting.
  • Take him to lunch and include your spouse/significant other in the meeting. Consider having the waiter intentionally mix up his order to see how he handles adversity.
  • Follow him on social media. Seeing his daily posts will provide insight into his character, values, and how he communicates.
  • Get a reference from the former co-worker reference. Your prospect will provide you with co-worker references whom they know will say good things about them. Ask the co-worker reference for the contact info of other people in the organization who are familiar with your prospect’s performance.


So, there you have it. If you just base the decision on what you observe during the interview, you’re hiring the hard way! It would be like bringing Bruce on without having the company parking lot perspective!

Evaluating the candidate in an informal setting is the easy way to hire!

Here’s a final tip right from The Twiggs School of Staffing: If your prospect yells at you and makes an obscene gesture before the interview, just say no!

Non-ATI Members: For more tips on how to increase sales and run a productive, profitable shop, check out our shop owner events at

Print Friendly
Related Articles:
Eric, the Accountability Coach, is an Executive Coach at ATI and has coached since 2009. Eric came to ATI having managed over 60 different automotive repair facilities and having supervised over 500 employees at a given time. He loves seeing members progress beyond what they thought was possible and improve their shop to the point where they can leave for weeks at a time and come back to a business that's better than when they left.