JAGUAR LAND ROVER AUSTIN RECOGNIZED FOR VETERANS RECRUITMENT
05 June 2020
Damon Spears, General Manager, Jaguar Land Rover Austin, explains how the program has become a key element in filling tech positions at his Texas dealership.
Why has Jaguar Land Rover Austin been such a great advocate of the Veterans program?
We’ve been an advocate for the program for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s the right thing to do, to support men and women who have served our country. Secondly, there’s history here. We’re part of the Snell Motor Companies group and our founder, Mr. Don Snell, was a proud Veteran of World War II and always an enthusiastic supporter of our military. Thirdly, Fort Hood is just an hour and a half away, and those guys are buying vehicles from us, and bringing them in for service. We have a real connection there.
How many Veterans are on your staff right now?
We have six Veterans out of a total of 17 technicians. We hired our first around 18 months ago when the Jaguar Land Rover Project CALIBRE Veterans Program kicked off. Every one of them has a great attitude, they’re extremely motivated, disciplined, and enthusiastic to put in the hours.
What kind of training have the technicians received?
They’ve all gone through the fast-track process at Jaguar Land Rover’s training facility in Atlanta, which quickly gets them to the level of contributing technician. They then come back to our service department and work under the wing of our Master Technician to further develop their skills. Like all our technicians who have joined us, it’s a step-by-step process to reach the level of knowledge and experience we’re looking for.
All six Veterans you hired are still with you. What’s the secret of retaining them?
The secret of being a good service manager - and naturally I believe our service manager Chris Matthews is the best - is getting out there in the workshop, getting to know the guys, getting to know their personalities, asking about their families. It’s about making them feel a part of a great team and sharing with them our expectations for delivering great customer service. That’s what we focus on with all our staff, and I think that’s why they stay with us.
Do you have plans to hire more Veterans?
As you know, both the Jaguar and Land Rover brands are on fire with great new products, like the Jaguar F-PACE and new Range Rover Velar. The Austin market right now is booming. While we have all the technicians we need at the moment, that is likely to change. Our business will continue to grow and so will our need for additional technicians. We will definitely look to the Veteran hiring program to help us in the future.
Jaguar Land Rover North America recently expanded its Veterans hiring program with CALIBRE Systems, Inc. across its retailer netwek in Canada. Any Veterans interested in applying online to join the Jaguar Land Rover Project CALIBRE program can visit www.jlrvets.com.