2 candidate traits dealers need to build solid workforce

CHICAGO - 

Many dealerships have a promotional moniker to distinguish itself in their market; for example touting the biggest selection of used vehicles.

Hireology chief executive officer and co-founder Adam Robinson recommended that stores also generate a local reputation that helps the rooftop generate quality “ups” who could be high-performing, long-term employees.

Robinson described the importance in light of how the firm collaborated with Cox Automotive on a study that showed stores have a 67-percent annual turnover rate among its sales teams, and the average cost of hiring a new dealership employee is $10,000.

“The very first step in establishing a talent-centric strategy for dealerships is a focus on their employment brand,” Robinson told AuSM during a phone conversation on Thursday. “If your consumer brand is the face of your company to your local market, your employment brand is what your local labor market thinks of you as an employer and a place to work. It’s the single most influencing factor in whether or not a dealership is going to be successful.

“Similar to a consumer brand, when your employer brand is strong, the dealer is going to get more people opting in to the process,” he continued. They’re going to get more people to take a look at the brand and decide that it’s for them versus just trolling the Internet looking for open jobs and slinging resumes all over the place with automated software, which happens these days.

“A strong employment brand is a like a filter in front of the process; almost like a magnet because it attracts the right people and repels the wrong people. That’s what you want,” Robinson added.

“Once you have those strong brand elements in place, you can take full advantage of a robust hiring process. That’s the recipe for success,” he went on to say.

Currently, Hireology is working with 2,000 dealers in the U.S. to help them assemble the best workforce possible. Robinson acknowledged dealerships “are struggling to hire and keep the right people,” as the study showed.

“The study confirmed what we’ve seen on the ground every single day,” he said.

Robinson described characteristics potential new employees should have as dealerships evaluate candidates for various store positions, stating that, “It’s not easy, but it’s also not complicated.” He began by noting great potential employees have to be customer-experience focused

“If you get intrinsic value from providing great service to others, and that can come through specific product knowledge of automobiles, it could come through a love of the product, it could come through the enjoyment of helping people, that’s really a prerequisite for a role in this environment,” Robinson said.

Robinson also mentioned that candidates also should demonstrate a desire to learn and grow during their dealership career.

“That really comes down to accountability,” he said. “People who are service oriented and … they believe destiny is in their own hands, that’s a fantastic combo.

“What we recommend to our dealers is that they’re screening for those elements for all roles in the store during the interview process. When they do, their hiring results and retention should both go up,” Robinson concluded.

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