ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Jim Peterson, vice president of human resources at Belle Tire Distributors Inc., discusses with Tire Business how the Allen Park-based tire dealership — with 109 stores in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana; a training facility in Allen Park; and more than 2,000 employees — handles employee retention and recruitment.
Most of the dealership's vacancies, about 4 to 5 percent of total employment, are in entry-level positions and most of the company's hiring needs are in new markets, such as in Indiana where it is opening new stores, according to Mr. Peterson.
What trends are you seeing in the job market?
There is quite a lack of skilled trade professionals out there — technicians and auto mechanics. And then when you do find one, sometimes they lack the hands-on experience you need or the certifications that are required.
Has your company had trouble filling vacancies?
Yes, it's a huge challenge for us. But we offer good, competitive pay. What we're seeing now though, quite honestly, is a high number of candidates just window shopping because we're not the only ones out there that have open positions with these roles. Everybody is kind of equally focused on retaining those auto mechanics. So sometimes we'll lose a candidate to a current employer that offers more money to stay. But we work hard on trying to attract them over to us.
In what ways?