Nine out of ten applicants tell me they want to work at Kaser because they’re interested in automotive restoration. I hate to break their hearts, but I have to be upfront: powder coating has nothing to do with working on cars.
For starters, we see very few car parts at Kaser. There might be an occasional frame and maybe a few sets of wheels a year, but it’s a miniscule percentage of our business. The vast majority of what we coat could be described as “industrial metal:” panels, frames, hardware – thousands of miscellaneous components that we return to the manufacturers for assembly.
When car parts do come through the shop, they’re fully disassembled. We hang, pretreat, and powder coat them, and send them back to the customer. Hanging a control arm on a cart with a metal hook likely won’t scratch anyone’s mechanical itch.
Part of my interviewing process is giving candidate a tour of the shop. That’s often the point at which they lose interest in the role. They see a lot of things firsthand: that we aren’t coating wheels in fun neon colors like the Tik Tok powder coaters do; that we’re processing hundreds (if not thousands) of identical metal parts a day; and, perhaps most importantly, that spraying powder is one tiny piece of a much larger, more monotonous process that involves rigorous teamwork and attention to detail.
To be clear, the powder coating shop can be a very positive, fulfilling environment. If you’re a meticulous person who takes pride in contributing high-quality work to a larger group effort, you might find a lot of satisfaction at Kaser.
The goal of this blog is not to discourage car enthusiasts from applying. I actually like to hear that candidates are into auto restoration – it demonstrates a degree of handiness that can be very useful in the finishing industry. But I don’t want new hires to be unpleasantly surprised on their first day of work, so I’ll say it again: powder coating has nothing to do with working on cars.