Wanted: The Right Stuff

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Performance work needs extra savvy techs and counter help.

If you have a set of pricey performance tires and rims on your Aston Martin, you’re entitled to be a little choosy about who works on them.

“We have a few dealers who do all kinds of tires, but they specialize in high performance tires,” notes Darrin Bossence, VP of Sales at Dynamic Tire. “And with those really low profile tires, you can’t just use run of the mill tire changers. You need more advanced RoadForce balancing, and so on. For those, you need someone with a fair bit of experience.”

When you start moving into the ultra high performance segment, there’s a little more experience necessary… not just installing. “It’s basically the same premise, but you’ve got to be a little more careful,” says Bossence. “You’ve got to know what you’re doing because you can rip those beads very easily. If someone brings in their Lamborghini with $2,000 rims, they don’t want any scratches.”

Informed buyer

The ultra high performance buyer is much more informed about tires, and bound to be more specific about what brands they want. “If you’re looking for a counter person, they need to have experience in the industry and they need to be able to talk to these clients,” says Bossence. “You can advertise on LinkedIn or social media—that’s something you’re seeing quite regularly.”

But for installers, it’s more likely word of mouth. “Even though the tire industry is spread out across the country, it’s a pretty tight network,” says Bossence. In the boom times of Alberta, there was even some poaching going on. “Managers were going into the other shops in the back end and offering more money to employees. But that would never happen today.”

Still, the way to make it in the industry is to develop a good reputation. “People are going to start knocking on your door,” says Bossence.

He also notes that tire shops today are not what they were many years ago. “Now that the auto dealers are heavily into selling tires, to bring people into their facilities, they have free WiFi, TV, coffee and so on,” says Bossence. “Many of the independents and dealers have spruced up their showrooms, and offer TV and coffee too. It’s not the tire shops of old.”

Punctuality and customer service

David Daoud, Manager of Johnston and Magwood in Mississauga, says that although they have a broad range of clientele, many of their customers come in with performance Mercedes, BMW and Jaguar. “We’re a Michelin Alliance Plus dealer, so we handle the highest quality tires and vehicles,” he says.

“We look for technicians with good experience in the field, who are then trained on our equipment,” Daoud adds. “We carry the Corghi touchless tire machine and RoadForce balancer and alignment check machine.”

He advertises positions on Indeed. com, as well as using Facebook, Twitter and Kijiji. “We are always on the lookout for talent,” says Daoud. “Our bread and butter season is around the beginning of October. There are definitely walk-ins throughout the year, and we keep resumes on hand.”

He looks for punctual, customer service oriented individuals who are polite and courteous. “Definitely someone who’s been in the industry for a while, and preferably in a higher end environment.”

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