Internships make sense for professional service centers

Automotive service professionals looking to step up employee recruitment while also cutting costs would be wise to invest in an internship program.

As a recent article on Aftermarket News pointed out, internships offer a number of advantages for independent repair facilities, chief among them being the creation of a talent pool service centers can pick and choose from.

"It's high time for employers to put their actions where their interests lie and take internships more seriously," said Matthew Zinman, founder of The Internship Institute.

Focusing on talent
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the demand for automotive technicians is poised to rise nearly 17 percent by 2020. This makes it more important than ever for service centers to not only attract employees, but keep the great ones around. Internships makes this easier in several ways.

First, internships attract potential employees, as it not only gives them the chance to learn on the job, it also provides an opportunity for them to check out a possible place of employment in the future. Second, internships allow service center owners to test-drive potential employees firsthand, seeing how well they take direction, how quickly they learn and where their specialties lie. Finally, when the internship comes to an end, facility owners will hopefully have developed close relationships with the interns they want to take on, giving them a leg up over the competition when it comes to hiring. The loyalty that an intern may feel for a certain service center can make all the difference when it comes to deciding where they want to work.

Added advantages
Recruitment isn't the only benefit of internships. These programs also provide service centers with extra manpower, a resource that will cost them little, or nothing at all, depending on what kind of salary offer a facility decides on. Additionally, interns don't qualify for things such as unemployment or severance packages. Despite this, interns are traditionally hard workers since the whole point of the program is for them to possibly get a job. They'll want to make a good impression, and having low-cost labor at its disposal can greatly help a service center's bottom line, in addition to increasing productivity.