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Pacific Northwest's Automotive
Employment Specialists since 1986!


Car People Blog


Processes at Car People Agency

People are motivated to come to us for a multitude of reasons. Quite often it’s just having a bad day or getting chewed out by their boss. If that’s the case, we ask them to take a little time before jumping into the job market. Redo their resume and give their current job a lot of serious consideration.

Give it a day or two then evaluate their current job and ask themselves these questions:
               1. Do you still enjoy your job?
               2. Do you like the people you work with, your boss and the business itself?
               3. Are you growing at a comfortable rate?
               4. Do you feel that you are valued; appreciated?
               5. Are you being challenged? Is there room to move up?
               6. Do you need to update your skills? If so, is that supported?
               7. Are you reasonably comfortable with your rate of pay and benefits?
               8. Are you happy?

If the Yeses outnumber the NOs thats one thing, but if there are too many NOs then consider asking for a sit down with your employer and see if there is a way of working it out. If that fails then we’re back to where we started and maybe it’s time we talk. 

Year of the Employee

2014 the “Year of the Employee”

Paulett Eberhart, CEO of CDI Corp., a multinational engineering, information, technology and staffing company, wrote an article in the latest issue of Staffing Industry Review. In it she warns employers to “Hedge Your Bets” as the post-recession job market swings towards the employee. They are demanding higher pay, greater flexibility, more technology and better opportunities. In a less talented market those with the skills you need are holding all the cards.

One key to finding talent, she points out, is the use of specialty recruiters. (Like Car People Agency) They have a network of talent for hard to fill positions. As a result specialty recruiting companies are raising rates as their connections gain value. (Our rates have not changed in over 10 years)  It may be a good time to reassess your offerings as an employer and be proactive in addressing this issue. Just a thought.

Economic Growth in the NW

Bellevue / King County on a Growth Track

Economic indicators continue to be great for the Northwest.

Puget Sound Economic Forecaster ( ) expects 280,000 new office jobs to be created in the Puget Sound region over the next several years, roughly 200,000 of them in King County. While this news doesn’t necessarily affect eastern Washington or surrounding states, it is yet another strong positive indicator that confidence in our strong local economy has reached a level that is releasing pent up spending on some very big projects. The Broderick Group ( ) that produces an annual Office Market Review, is projecting over 2.288 million feet of new office space with vacancy rates dropping from a high of 16.4% to as low as 8.3% during the same period.

Eye Openers

Some Economic Facts are Eye Openers

  • "U.S. oil production grew more in 2012 than in any year in the history of the domestic industry, which began in 1859," writes Tom Fowler of The Wall Street Journal.
  • Start with a dollar. Double it every day. In 48 days you'll own every financial asset that exists on the planet — about $200 trillion.
  • In 1980, there were 15,099 Americans aged 100 years or more. By 1990, there were 36,486, and by 2012 there were 88,510, according to the Census Bureau.
  • Two news headlines published on the same day last September summed up the U.S. economy perfectly: "U.S. Median Income Lowest Since 1995, " and "Ferrari sales surge to record highs."
  • The International Energy Agency predicts that the U.S. will become the world's largest oil-producer by 2020, overtaking Saudi Arabia.
  • Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund run by James Simons, has allegedly produced average returns of 80% a year since 1988 (before fees), according to Bloomberg. That would turn $1,000 into $2.4 billion in 25 years.
  • Since U.S. markets bottomed in March 2009, more than $8 trillion of lost wealth has been recouped.
  • Credit card debt as a percentage of GDP is now at the lowest level in two decades.
  • According to New York Times writer Binyamin Appelbaum: "Average months between US recessions since 1854: 42. Months since last recession: 42."
  • Of the 3.1 million students who graduated high school in 2010, 78.2% received their diplomas on time, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That was the highest percentage since 1974.
  • Federal nondefense discretionary spending — all spending minus defense and entitlements — is on track to hit its lowest level as a share of GDP in more than 50 years, according to data from the Congressional Budget Office.
  • The unemployment rate for those with a bachelor's degree is just 3.7% — less than half the nationwide average.


There is growth in every region of the country
and it’s cutting across a swath of industries.
                     Kiplinger March 2014

US Manufacturing: up 3.5% or better
Autos: With sales likely to top 16 million assembly lines will hum
Aviation: Sitting on a backlog of orders
Chemicals: from paint thinner to plastic resins expanding on cheaper petroleum
Pharmaceuticals: Continue to chug ahead
Biotech: Double digit growth again in 2014
Medical equipment: Steady gains in the US and bright prospects for increased export sales
Semiconductors: Next-gen chips going strong
Heavy Equipment: Rising global demand for building, energy exploration and drilling equipment

The expansion is partly just the pendulum swing after recession cutbacks. But also reflects some big shifts in the business environment. The relative cost of producing on U.S. soil vs. overseas is declining.

Retirement Statistics

Are you ready to retire any time soon.
Better start planning.

Retirement Statistics

Source: U.S. Census Bureau:   Research Date: 1.1.2014
Average retirement age 62
Average length of retirement       18 years
Average savings of a 50 year old $43,797
Total cost for a couple over 65 to pay for medical treatment over a 20 year span $215,000
Percentage of Americans over 65 who rely completely on Social Security 35%
Percentage of Americans who don’t save anything for retirement 36%
Total Number of Americans who turn 65 per day $6,000
Percentage of population that is 65 years of age or older 13%
Source: / Fidelity Investments study 2014
Average total savings at retirement (Including Tax sheltered plans) $219,000
Median total savings at retirement (Including Tax sheltered plans) $101,000
Percentage of retirees with less than $25,000 15%
Percentage of retirees with over $25,000 but less than $240,000 20%
Average Net income needed for baby boomers to retire $4,700
Average Net income of baby boomers from savings and Social Security $2,700
Percentage of boomers who have or will fall short 44%

What can I say????

  Enough said!

Unemployment: Going Down!

Unemployment: Going Down

December 2013 ended with lower unemployment
throughout the Pacific Northwest.

United States      6.7%

Washington        6.6%
Oregon               7.0%
Idaho                 6.1%
Montana             5.2%
California            8.5%

This graph shows a slower recovery, but a recovery just the same.
Much like prior recoveries over the past 40 years. Funny how on a
graph it's just a blip, but in living through that blip it's not funny at all.

Well, we're past that blip now and things are looking a lot better. Time
for several years of prosperity and fun.

                                                        US Unemployment Rate 1973 to present.


Locally unemployment in some Washington State counties gets down as low as 5%.

The West Coast Leads the Way

The West Coast Leads the Way

Kiplinger anticipates 2.6% growth in 2014 with the West Coast leading the way. Prime industries are aerospace and high-tech coupled with increased consumer spending for planes, trains and especially automobiles plus increased travel. The NW is poised for a great year!

5 Bosses You Don't Want

 Five Bosses You Don't Want (Or Want to Be)

                         By Jack and Suzy Welch               12-9-2013


What is lousy leadership? Here are a few of the most common ways leaders can get it wrong and too often do.


The first and perhaps most frustrating way that some people blow leadership is by being know-it-alls. They can tell you how the world works, what corporate is thinking, how it will backfire if you try this or that, and why you can't change the product one iota. They even know what kind of car you should be driving. Sometimes these blowhards get their swagger from a few positive experiences. But usually they're just victims of their own bad personalities. And you and your company are victims, too. Because know-it-alls aren't just insufferable, they're dangerous. They don't listen, and that "deafness" makes it very hard for new ideas to get heard, debated, expanded, or improved. No single person, no matter how smart, can take a business to its apex. For that, you need every voice heard. And know-it-all leadership creates a deadly silence.


If know-it-alls are too in-your-face, a second kind of lousy leader is too remote. These emotionally distant bosses are more comfortable behind closed doors than mucking it out with the team. Sure, they attend meetings and other requisite functions, but they'd rather be staring at their computers. If possible, all the messy, sweaty people stuff would be delegated to HR managers on another floor. Like know-it-alls, this breed of leader is dangerous, but for a different reason. They don't engage, which means they can't inspire. That's a big problem. Leaders, after all, need followers to get anything done. And followers need passion for their fuel.


A third category of lousy leadership is comprised of bosses who are just plain jerks—nasty, bullying, insensitive, or all three. As one reader wrote us recently: "My boss is abusive, by which I mean disrespectful, finger-pointing, and sometimes even paranoid." Such leaders are usually protected from above because they deliver the numbers. But with their destructive personalities, they rarely win their people's trust. That's no way to run a business, which is why these types of leaders typically self-destruct. It's never as quickly as you'd hope, but unless they own the place, it does happen eventually.


The next type of lousy leadership is at the other end of the spectrum: It's too nice. These bosses have no edge, no capacity to make hard decisions. They say yes to the last person in their office, then spend hours trying to clean up the confusion they've created. Such bosses usually defend themselves by saying they're trying to build consensus. What they really are is scared. Their real agenda is self-preservation—good old CYA.


Which leads us to a final version of lousy leadership which is not unrelated: bosses who do not have the guts to differentiate. The facts are, not all investment opportunities are created equal. But some leaders can't face that reality, and so they sprinkle their resources like cheese on a pizza, a little bit everywhere. As a result, promising growth opportunities too often don't get the outsized infusions of cash and people they need. If they did, someone might get offended during the resource allocation process. Someone, as in the manager of a weak business or the sponsor of a dubious investment proposal.


But leaders who don't differentiate usually do the most damage when it comes to people. Unwilling to deliver candid, rigorous performance reviews, they give every employee the same kind of bland, mushy, "nice job" sign-off. And when rewards are doled out, they give star performers not much more than the laggards. Now, you can call this "egalitarian" approach kind or fair—and these lousy leaders usually do—but it's really just weakness. And when it comes to building a thriving enterprise where people have an opportunity to grow and succeed, weakness just doesn't cut it.


Surely we could go on, but we'll end here with a caveat. We hardly expect lousy leaders to read this column and see themselves. Part of being a lousy leader, no matter what the category, is lack of self-awareness. But if you see your boss here, take heart. When it's finally your turn to lead, you'll know what not to do.


Jack Welch is Executive Chairman at the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University and the former CEO of GE.


We Need Techs!

Technician Shortage –

    Job Security in Any Market –

       We Need Techs!

North America may soon see a severe shortage of auto mechanics, as demand grows but the number of new technicians entering the workforce wanes.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the demand for auto mechanics is expected to grow 17% between 2010 and 2020, but industry experts worry the supply of good, highly trained technicians won't keep up. The shortage is showing up now.

Some auto repair educators blame the looming shortage on a general lack of interest in automobiles among young people; others point out that even if kids are interested, it's harder for them to get started at a young age now, since most high school boards are cutting their shop class budgets. Locally, in the NW, we are seeing several high schools in a district that consolidate their automotive repair program in one location due to cost and lower enrollment. When approaching a Bellevue, WA area high school regarding a booth at their upcoming “Career Day”, a rep from UTI was informed that it would not be appropriate--“Our students are interested in going to college and post college careers”. WOW.

What they don’t realize is that a job coming out of a good Tech School is practically guaranteed. In a time when college grads stand in line for a job at McDonalds, this is clearly a realistic alternative for young people with technical and mechanical skills. And, with experience, it pays well too. Dealerships and shop owners compete for good Technicians and as demand increases, so will pay. In Texas, Master Techs are getting up to $45 per hour flat rate. Locally it’s closer to $30, but growing fast.

Answers to the problem? Not many.

~~Take good care of the Techs you have. Be competitive with pay, benefits and training.
~~Give them a good facility to work in. Clean, functional. Good support.
~~Talk to them, involve them in your business. Let them know you appreciate them.
~~Grow your own. Support a student who is in a program. Hire them when they graduate.
~~Hire a student part-time. Involve them in your training.
~~Keep track of qualified Techs that apply with you when you are not looking. Keep in touch with them.
~~Visit your local schools. Get to know the teaching staff. Participate in a “Career Day” if you can.

This is a problem that is not going to go away. We need Technicians!

So, when employers really need a Tech and craigslist is just giving them the rejects – they call Car People Agency.
Dave is our Tech specialist. He has dozens of openings he is trying to fill. Just about all employers are looking for qualified Techs.

Dave’s specialty is working with working Techs that can’t answer an ad or fill out an application on a web page. He represents them. Establishes what they can do and what they are looking for. Matches them to the right opportunity that meets their needs. And that is not an easy task. It’s a free service to Techs, as employers pay for this service.

WE NEED TECHNICIANS! If you know anyone who is looking, give them our number. We will help them find what they want, where they want it, confidentially. Placements are a win-win if done right. For over 27 years, Car People has done it right and delivered for NW employers.

Dave DeMontigny,  Car People Agency 425-952-4400   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

   Current jobs:   Current jobs:

We appreciate your referrals!

Law of the Garbage Truck

Law of the Garbage Truck:

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.

My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.

So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!'

This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'  He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you ... Don't take it personally.

Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.

Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so ....

Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't.


Have a Garbage-Free day!!!!

4 Ways to Find Employees

New Employees; Where to Find Them

Economic boom days again? I don't know, I'm not an economist. However, the big issue seems to be that companies cannot find the talent they need and are not willing be flexible for fear of making a costly hiring mistake. Regulations, benefits costs, orientation and training expenses have made business owners much more cautious.

At the same time, hundreds of talented candidates are looking and probably working right now, but maybe not for your competitors or even in your industry. The highly technical positions are going to be in demand of course. Up and comers stagnant at their current jobs. Graduates coming out of college looking for a career. People who are transitioning careers. There are plenty of good candidates out there--they just may not look like the candidates you would normally pursue.


Four Considerations When Searching for Talent

1) Fishing in a different pond. I remember steelhead fishing on Tokul creek. It cured me of my steelhead addiction. The river had a fisherman every 20 feet on both sides. Some caught fish, most just caught each other and got more than a little frustrated.  Took all the fun out of the sport. But I learned that there are other streams and  ponds.  Some are over populated and under fished.  Look for a market that is still slow to recover with high unemployment. Drop a hook there. You never know.

2) Consider being more flexible. Plug and Play, totally qualified people are not monitoring craigslist ads on a daily basis. Look for very talented people who only have maybe half of the requirements you are looking for. Recent estimates predict that as much as 50 percent of the jobs that will be created in the next 10 years do not even exist today. So evaluate your search formula. Do you need specific talents for this job? For some jobs, yes. For some jobs you need smart and talented people who learn and grow with your industry and have a strong potential of filling one of those non-existent jobs you will need to fill in the future. Hire talent.

3) Cultivate your own!  Identify people in your organization now that show potential. Work with them. Give them the attention they need to know that you are looking at them for future growth potential. Coaching and mentoring is the key for retaining your best. Pay them right.  Don’t wait for them to give notice to offer a raise. You know this, but often times I hear more about the "counter-offer" strategy for retaining someone when they are poached than about the "keeping" strategy. If managed right, they may know that they can make more money somewhere else but will stay because you are acknowledging their talents, value and potential for growth with you. This will require a set of processes and a calendar of events.

4) Call Car People – It’s what we do!

The challenge of finding great talent is only going to get harder. With new jobs, changes in traditional jobs and who knows what’s around the corner, finding people who are adaptable may be more important than specific skills.  Get them while you can or watch the best be taken by your competition.

Boom Industry!!!

BOOM!!!!  ????

What happened to the Recovery?

A panel of economists at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars said this last that the future of the North American auto industry is so bright that we should all be donning shades.

It was happy talk, yes -- but backed by a big wad of data,   said Larry Vellequette in a front page editorial for Automotive News.

For 26 straight months new car sales have been on the rise. Automakers are on track to exceed the North American production record of 17.2 million units in 2016. But with exports to growing markets elsewhere in the world ready to take off, production records are expected through at least 2020.

Forget the recovery we still keep hearing about. The Auto Industry is in a BOOM!!!

Read the full article here.

Why Work for You?

Employer Branding:
What Makes Working for You Attractive?

We know, after years of experience, that the most frequent reason a person wants to leave a job is not pay. It is a factor, but rarely the motivating factor. But what attracts a person to an employer? That is a different question. What are they looking for in a new workplace.

Oddly enough, a recent survey of over 7000 respondents by Randstad US, the second largest HR service provider in the world, shows that money is the star attraction. Actually, that would have to be money and benefits with the growing impact of medical plan costs to employees.  When asked for their top criteria in selecting a new employer, their responses were:

  • 66% considered income was a top consideration
  • 43% felt that work/life balance was a top consideration
  • 40% convenient location
  • 39% financial health of the employer
  • 32% flexible work schedule

Actually, that should not be such a surprise. After the recession and the years of recovery pay has not reached the pre-recession level yet. Employees can see that the economy has picked up, especially in the automotive industry. They read about it every day. But their pay has been slower to recover. My explanation to people who ask is that an employer is entitled to a profit on their business. They have a lot of money tied up and have every right to a competitive return on that investment. After the recession, during which most lost a big chunk of their investment, they have a right to recover some of their losses. But people today are becoming impatient and feel that it’s time to get pay back to where it was. A good number of employers already have, but some not so much.

My big question: Why do their percentages total 220% ?


Washington: Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue, Everett, Spokane Valley, Federal Way, Kent, Yakima, Renton, King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, Aberdeen, Anacortes, Bellingham, Birch Bay, Blaine, Coupeville, Forks, Ilwaco, La Conner, Long Beach, Moclips, Mount Vernon, Oak Harbor, Ocean Shores, Oysterville, Port Townsend, Quinalt, Sequim, Westport, Whidbey Island

Oregon Portland, Eugene, Salem, Gresham, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Bend, Medford, Springfield, Corvallis, Astoria, Bandon, Brookings Harbor, Cannon Beack, Charleston, Coos Bay, Depoe Bay, Florence, Garibaldi, Gearhart, Gold Beach, Lincoln City, Manzanita, Nahalem, Newport, North Bend, Oceanside, Pacific City, Port Orford, Reedsport, Rockaway Beach, Seaside, Tillamook, Toledo, Waldport, Warrenton, Wheeler, Winchester Bay, Yachats

Idaho Boise, Caldwell, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Falls, Lewiston, Meridian, Moscow, Nampa, Pacatello, Twin Falls, Rexburg

Montana Billings, Bozeman, Butte-Silver Bow, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, Missoula

Alaska Anchorage, Badger, College, Fairbanks, Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka