I Can’t Find Good People

We hear this over and over again. Why can’t we get good applicants from our job postings?


The hiring environment favors people that are looking for employment. The June 2017 statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the following:

6.2 million job vacancies and 5.2 million hires

These numbers tell us that there were more jobs than people looking for work. Also the Bureau of Labor Statistics have tables showing what the average hourly and weekly wages are by sector. According to the July 2017 statistics:

Average for all private sector jobs was $26.36 an hour – $909 per week – $47,268 per year

Manufacturing sector – $26.70 an hour – $1092 per week – $56,784 per year

Transportation and warehousing sector – $23.88 an hour – $928 per week – $48,256 per year

Professional and business services – $31.63 per hour – $1145 per week – $59,540 per year

This is what you are competing against. You are not competing with other salvage yards. You are competing in the employment environment. If you are offering $15 an hour you will only be chosen if there is nothing else available. Once something else is available you will lose that applicant or employee. The only employment sector under $15 an hour is in the leisure and hospitality sector.

Leisure and Hospitality – $14.90 an hour – $403 per week.

This would be your fast food, summer theme parks, hotel service staff, etc. In some cases, these positions also offer benefits for non-seasonal workers.

Job Postings

I went to Indeed.com website to look for examples of postings in our industry, this is what I found:

1. Dismantling Position – $14 – $18 per hour
Applicant must be able to work regular day shifts and occasional Saturdays.

2. Auto Mechanic – $13.75 – $20 per hour
Mechanical shop experience, automotive knowledge, and able to use a computer are required.

Paid holidays, sick time and vacation. You must have all of the tools needed to perform job duties to apply.

3. Auto Dismantler/Parts Puller – $20,000 a year
Working at a salvage yard/automobile recycling facility. Pulling engines and transmissions/pulling car parts.

Experience is required.

4. Retail Auto Parts Counter Person $14 – $16 per hour.
This position listed over 20 Job duties. There were some ads that offered over $40,000 to start. These were for sales positions and many of these will shift to commission.

Who is your Applicant?

I know that you want a hardworking, self-motivated producer. The best applicants are looking for a good career move that increases their earnings, provides some benefits and is something they enjoy doing. All of these desires should be capable of being met by the positions that you have available.

Who are your applicants at $14 an hour?

• Someone currently moving off of unemployment benefits.

• Someone whose mom just kicked them out of the house.

• Someone whose wife will no longer give them beer money.

• Someone whose car broke down and needs to get it fixed.

How does a person looking for a position decide to apply for a position? I think it goes something like this:

1. It is in an area they feel competent in and a job they would enjoy doing.

2. It has to match or exceed the income and benefits they presently have. The exception to this would be that they are in a job they hate.

3. Desirability of work environment: commute, hours/days of work required.

I am good with commission based pay, but if I had a family to support I would think long and hard about jumping into a new position that didn’t give me a starting base pay for the first 3-6 months.

Good People, Like Good Salvage, Costs Money

Think of it this way. I can purchase street vehicles for a few hundred dollars. They don’t come with much sales on them, but they are cheap, they are a vehicle and they are usually available.

Vehicles with $4 to 5k worth of sales on them are hard to find, and cost ten times more than street vehicles. But, they are what you need to maintain and grow your business.


There are more good positions than there are good people. You are not just competing within one sector of the economy. You need to offer enough to get you the best chance at the best people. You have to make your employment postings more about what the applicant can get from you than what you want.

Good employees are multipliers, poor employees are money and energy drainers. Which do you want?

   Robert Counts       Chad Counts         Johnny Logel






Robert Counts, robert@countsbusinessconsulting.com; 512-693-6915

Chad Counts, crcounts@countsbusinessconsulting.com; 512-963-4626