By CRM Staff
Toronto, Ontario -- March 19, 2018 -- The end of the school year is quickly approaching and, with summer just around the corner, there will be no shortage of fresh-faced would-be collision repairers eagerly seeking short-term employment on the shop floor. Owners can expect a flurry of resumes that find their way onto their desks. No doubt many are already dreading the moment when a pile of papers, each one seeking to turn time spent over deep fryers or volunteer hours spent organizing balloon badminton tournaments into reasons for being hired, arrives on their desks.
Bemused at the lack of hard data regarding the industry's feeling on summer students, last week, Collision Repair magazine invited readers to tell us the truth about whether they hire students, and what it is that they have them do.
Asked if they had ever hired summer students in the past, 78.5 percent of the respondents said yes, though just 71.4 percent intended to do so for the coming summer of 2018.
For the shops that would no longer be taking on summer students, the most commonly cited reason was a bad experience with a past student. At the vast majority of shops which were taking on summer students only one would be hired, with just ten percent of shops planning to take on two and another ten percent taking on three or more.
As far as qualifications were concerned, shops are split, with slightly more facilities looking to pay premium rates for students studying collision repair at a technical college, at 54 percent, and those who preferred the more economical assistance of highschoolers, at 45 percent. Interestingly, just 36 percent of respondents said they would consider the application of a university student.
While more cost-friendly than technical students, respondents were vocal about their reasons for viewing university students as less appealing hires, which ranged from their lack of long-term interest in the industry, to a sense of entitlement and an apparent tendency for them to arrive at work with hangovers.
As for what it was that students would spend their time doing, some 66 percent of the students who will spend their summers with our respondents can look forward to washing and cleaning vehicles. For 44 percent, their time will be spent on sanding and prepping. In the shops with multiple hires, additional students will work as administrative assistance or take up short-term projects in IT and web development.
Don't forget to check out Wednesday's new survey, which will take a look at how free shop owners feel to speak their minds about the goings-on in the collision repair industry.