Firstly a little bit of a Service Dealer announcement - as you can see from the lead news story today, we are launching a version of this Weekly Update for the Irish dealer sector next week.
An exciting development for the team here, we hope that an edition specifically targeted for the independent dealer sector in the Republic will prove just as valuable a resource as this one is in the UK. There will be some crossover of industry stories obviously, which are pertinent to both UK and Irish dealers - but the Service Dealer Weekly Update Ireland will feature a selection of stories sourced locally, purely aimed at the Irish readership.
Also the new edition, which will be circulated for the first time this coming Monday afternoon (May 21st) and every Monday afternoon thereafter, will benefit from the lack of my hairy mug stuck on the top of it each week! To help us identify stories on the ground over there, Liam De Paor will be our man with his ear to the ground, collating stories of interest and contributing a topical blog each week.
You can see from the announcement story today that Liam is the man for this role with his history as an Honours Ag graduate from University College Dublin and having established his own communications consultancy back in 1998. Amongst his other qualifications he's also a member of the Guild of Agri Journalists, the Public Relations Institute, the RUAS Society and an Honorary Life Member of Harper Adams Ireland.
So Liam is a great fit for Service Dealer in Ireland with just the right qualifications for the job - but of course, when looking to fill a new role, or replace a vacated position, finding a suitable person isn't always so straight-forward.
We are running a survey today on the difficulties faced by dealers involved in the whole recruitment process. We'd really appreciate it if you could take a few moments to answer a few quick questions about how your dealership is finding it at the moment - and also to leave your comments, letting us know your thoughts on the current situation.
In the May/June issue of Service Dealer magazine we spoke to several dealers who tell us that recruitment is one of the most difficult aspects of running their small business which they are having to cope with. For example, Kevin Russell of Russell Gas & Mower Centre in Stirling says of looking for new employees, "That’s a big issue round here. It’s scary really. You can’t find new people.”
George Henderson of Henderson Grass Machinery Ltd in Haddington told us, "We’ve always had luck with apprentices but even the colleges round here are struggling to find good quality students now. When we lost some staff recently, we replaced who we needed to replace – but some restructuring did take place.”
And Pete McArthur of Strathbogie Forest & Garden Limited, based in Huntly spoke about how unrealistic wage expectations in their part of the country had contributed to the difficulties surrounding recruiting. He also felt that the industry's image could benefit from being jazzed up and that "the manufacturers must stand up and show our sector as an exciting industry to work in, with great opportunities available all over the world."
Are these opinions of the sort which your dealership can relate to? We'd love for you to let us know today what your current experiences of looking for new staff have been? Are you finding it particularly tough or is it just the same as it's ever been?
We’d like to know where you are advertising your positions you are trying to fill and if you think enough is being done to promote the industry to potential employees? Also, who should be taking responsibility for this promotion?
Finally as ever, there’s space for you to leave your comments on what it’s been like for your dealership attempting to find new people and to tell us what you think could be done to aid the process.
We’ll publish the results and a selection of your opinions in the next issue of Service Dealer magazine. Thank you in advance for your help.
TAKE THE SURVEY