Christian Brothers Automotive: Growing a strong franchise by growing strong teams – in every store

With SmartRecruiters, store owners can source and hire excellent candidates in just a few days – a dramatic improvement.
"Store owners have a lot of day-to-day responsibilities so they love how easy it is to navigate the platform and locate all the tools they need to be successful." Matt Miller, Director of Recruiting


Automotive Repair


Based in Houston, TX

Member Since



In 1982, Mark Carr noticed a gap in the market: good, honest automotive repairs which put the customer first. With this in mind, and using the founding principle “love thy neighbor as yourself” as a guide, he set about creating what would become one of the most successful franchises in the United States, Christian Brothers Automotives.

Today, Carr has franchised his company, and its ideals, to around 165 branches in 22 states. Central to Christian Brothers’ success is its dedication to providing fair and honest advice and services to their customers, and this is something Carr also extends to his employees. Unusually, Carr only takes his portion of a franchised stores’ income once they have paid all their other expenses, including wages and health insurance. This results in stronger stores, happier staff and ultimately happier customers.

What’s more, this approach means Christian Brothers has a 100% success rate with its new franchised locations, making it into Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2016 list of best franchise opportunities.

“I really liked that SmartRecruiters was all in one. And so do franchise owners. They love the platform and how easy it is to use.”
Matt MillerDirector of Recruiting


Carr allows his franchised outlets a lot of autonomy, and this includes hiring. Instead of dictating from above, Christian Brothers has a team of recruiters who can advise local branch managers when needed. However, as Christian Brothers Director of Recruiting, Matt Miller, explains, there are potential issues with this approach – especially if your tech isn’t up to scratch:

“We thrive on finding people dedicated to excellence, but we struggled when we were using an older legacy applicant tracking system. With limited functionality, it was challenging for busy store owners to manage all of their recruiting efforts, monitor spend, and source candidates while at the same time running their day-to-day business.”

This issue of time was particularly important to Christian Brothers, as their brand depended on having face-to-face time with customers. Managers and staff couldn’t provide this level of care if they also had to hide away in backrooms sifting through applications.


In order to find a way to maximise the efficiency of their hiring efforts, Christian Brothers set up a trial in five locations with various applicant tracking systems. After the trial concluded, four of the five branches claimed SmartRecruiters was the ATS they wanted to use. Here’s why:

  • SmartRecruiters has been built with the user in mind, and features a navigable interface that can be picked up quickly, regardless of the user’s technical skills.
  • The streamlined platform allows recruiters, or in Christian Brothers’ case franchise owners acting as recruiters, to efficiently move candidates through the process. This fluid design, plus instantaneous access to communication tools, saves time that can be spent elsewhere.
  • SmartRecruiters can easily integrate a number of social networks, providing wide reach for even smaller local branches with little effort.
  • All this allowed Christian Brothers to create bespoke, branded job postings that appealed to their ideals as well as the best candidates out there.


As a result of using SmartRecruiters, Christian Brothers saw a 30% increase in candidates. This allowed them to rapidly staff new branches and make hires within days.

Christian Brothers Automotive is frequently cited in various ‘best place to work’ lists, and although SmartRecruiters can’t take all the credit for this, the ease and flexibility of the platform must surely be a contributing factor.

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