What is Job Shadowing? “Job shadowing” refers to a structured opportunity provided to a student to observe an employee performing his or her duties in the workplace. It’s designed to provide a snapshot of that career for the observing student. It enables a student to learn more about the day-to-day challenges and opportunities for personal satisfaction to better assess personal interest in an various automotive related career. A student may find they are not interested in servicing vehicles, but are attracted to the parts operation, service management, or some other position in the company.
Accordingly, your business should offer shadowing experiences on a broad basis to provide exposure to a large pool of potential employees and customers. Recognize that this process has significant public relations value in addition to its value as a means of attracting future employees for all kinds of positions—not just service technicians.
The school will manage much of the shadowing process, typically providing provide the schedule and the candidates. The school will recognize that, at this time, job shadowing in your business is focused primarily on the service or autobody technician position. The school will want to provide shadowing experiences at your location for most if not all automotive students.
Important tips for job shadowing:
• There should be a dedicated job shadow “host” at work site who is knowledgeable in the various facets of the business and devotes the time and energy needed to provide a positive shadowing experience for the student.
• Have the student experience multiple disciplines in the business.
• Have a name tag for the student to wear during their experience and to take with them.
• Make sure the people in the various disciplines know that that the student is coming and how much time they have.
• The host can drop a student with someone and go back and get them.
• Make sure the person being shadowed represents the business and the industry in a positive light.
Suggested potential positions/departments for the student to shadow (some may not apply in your business)
• Service manager(s)
• Technician- shop foreman
• Express service
• Parts department
• Service Advisor
• Body Shop
• Cash office
• Warranty department
• Accounting department
• Sales manager
• Sales professional
• F&I Manager
• Delivery specialist
After the job shadowing experience, students should send a thank you note to the business and present a summary to their class of what they learned and experienced. The employer may wish to send a note to the student, thanking them for their interest in our industry and asking them about their experience – we all have room for improvement.
Time commitment: 4 to 8 hours per student
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