We’re delighted to be featured as Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s (REC) Member of the Month in the current issue of Recruiter/Recruitment Matters.

In an interview for the magazine, Autotech Recruit’s MD, Gavin White, talks about Autotech Recruit and our inch-wide, mile-deep approach to recruitment:

Autotech Recruitment is full of car fans. Managing director Gavin White tells Recruitment Matters why doubling down on talent puts them in the fast lane.

Recruitment Matters: How niche are you?Gavin White: We mostly recruit technical positions, mainly MOT testers. That’s how niche we are. If you consider how any garage workshop works – they run on a full headcount, but they often have no flexibility.

Gavin White: We mostly recruit technical positions, mainly MOT testers. That’s how niche we are. If you consider how any garage workshop works – they run on a full headcount, but they often have no flexibility.

Gavin White: We mostly recruit technical positions, mainly MOT testers. That’s how niche we are. If you consider how any garage workshop works – they run on a full headcount, but they often have no flexibility. An MOT tester has a highly­specialised skillset. They’re not the sort of people you can swap around. If one of them goes on holiday, you can bet your bottom dollar a garage will have an influx of MOT work. If they don’t have a tester working, that could cost them £2k a day.

RM: And you fill that gap?

GW: Yes – there’s a lot of compliance around MOT testers. They’re rare too, so there’s a lot of value in recruiting those guys.

RM: And you fill that gap?GW: Yes – there’s a lot of compliance around MOT testers. They’re rare too, so there’s a lot of value in recruiting those guys.

GW: Yes – there’s a lot of compliancy around MOT testers. They’re rare too, so there’s a lot of value in recruiting those guys.

RM: It’s an inch-wide, mile­-deep approach?

GW: We’re all about that – that’s who we are and what our brand is about. It’s easy to start recruiting for other areas and lose your identity. We’re seen as the go-to place for finding a vehicle technician.

RM: Is that reflected in the people you hire? GW: The majority of guys who work for the business are ex­industry. We’ve taken vehicle experts and turned them into recruiters. Our National Sales Manager has worked 30 years in the car industry, and once clients hear him talk about recovery rates, lead times and other technical things, the barriers come down. They know they’re talking to someone who knows the job. Other agencies don’t have that level of expertise.

RM: Given that you recruit in such a niche area, what kind of process do you through for finding talent?

GW: We’ve got about 300 contractors working across the UK and we’ve compiled quite a stringent vetting process. We found that only having a CV was unacceptable. The only way we can ascertain the skill level of each technician is to put them through a series of exams and tests and we hold all their certification on site. When our clients learn that we work this way, they’re pleasantly surprised.

RM: What challenges are you facing?

GW: We’re keen to overcome the poor perception of recruitment agencies. That’s why we’ve chosen to work with the REC because they want to change perceptions of the industry too. We’re also challenged to attract good staff. I don’t think many in the car sector would perceive working in recruitment as a great industry to

RM: What challenges are you facing?

GW: We’re keen to overcome the poor perception of recruitment agencies. That’s why we’ve chosen to work with the REC because they want to change perceptions of the industry too. We’re also challenged to attract good staff. I don’t think many in the car sector would perceive working in recruitment as a great industry to work in. That’s why we big-up ourselves as a company, our values and what we do for staff. We’re more than salary and commission – we have regular team get-togethers, we’ve gone through a new office fit and we’re looking at introducing a profit share model.

RM: How has that been received on the shop floor?

GW: We’ve found that some of our highest billers are motivated by things other than money. Say, if they want to leave early on a Friday afternoon and they’ve hit their targets, they can do. You’ve got to be creative in motivating recruiters and their staff.

RM: What about young recruiters?

GW: We’re massively into apprenticeships and I want to see that throughout recruitment. As an industry, I think we need to do more for the benefit of all of us. Recruitment is a very tight-knit community and anything that keeps good talent in the industry has to be a good thing.

RM: What makes a good recruiter?

GW: For us, it’s not about the CV or the soft skills. It’s about their values as a person and what their ethics are. We’re not looking for cliche things like ‘drive’ and ‘ambition’. We want honest people who’re hardworking and have exceptional customer service skills. That’s what we sell – we sell a service. I’m a big believer in not letting a client down and if you say you’re going to do something, do it.

RM: Has that translated to growth? GW: Over the last seven years, we’ve grown from three staff to 25, and could grow even more. But we don’t recruit people for the sake of it – they’ve got to be right. We’ve only had one person leave of their own accord. That’s a testament to what we do here to retain staff.

You can also read this article here.