march 18, 2016

The 3 reasons dealerships are missing out on hiring the best candidates

We are now 3 months into 2016 and the industry is in a really positive place. Sales are increasing, dealerships are a hive of activity and more importantly, the industry still remains really attractive for skilled professionals to come and join. That's all the good news… now for the not-so-good news…

With the demand for talent at an all-time high in the industry, a number of issues have come to light which suggest that the recruitment process in many dealerships is simply not up to scratch.

We have identified 3 serious areas of concern, that, if not addressed, will put the industry on the back foot when it comes to attracting senior talent.
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1. Tone
All too often, we receive feedback from our candidates that their interview felt more like an inquisition, where the main focus appeared to be on how low the candidate would be willing to go in terms of salary. As we are in the middle of a highly competitive candidates' market, where senior candidates have several options as to who they might ultimately work with, it is your responsibility as a dealer, to convince your preferred candidate that you are the business they should join.

Given that first impressions last, it is critical that your interview is handled in a way that portrays you and your business in a really professional light. If your candidate is put at ease and is dealt with in a relatively relaxed and engaging manner, you will glean far more information from them, in terms of their own career expectations and ultimately, their ability to do the job.

2. Urgency
Right now, this is the most critical issue facing the industry when it comes to recruitment. There is a view among several dealers that there is a conveyer belt of talent out there, meaning that they can take their time in sourcing their preferred candidate. The fact is, high calibre people will not last long in the open market. We have seen several examples, where a dealer has failed to move through their recruitment process quickly, resulting in the candidate taking up a position elsewhere.

Of course, it is still vital that you effectively assess your candidate and are ultimately comfortable with your decision, but with an injection of urgency and some basic preparation, you can greatly speed up your recruitment process and guard against losing your preferred candidate to a rival dealership.

3. Indecision
When we partner with a dealership, their key requirement is speed. As far as they're concerned, they need the candidate in place yesterday. Unfortunately, while this might be the stated objective, in practice, dealers are often paralysed by the fear of indecision. Among some of the excuses we hear are, "I'm too busy to do interviews", "I want to interview a couple more candidates for comparison purposes", or "I need to get sign off from the decision maker."

These comments immediately raise a red flag with us as we know we are about to enter into a long drawn-out process, where an excellent candidate can be left in the lurch wondering when an offer is going to be put to them.

It can be a challenging exercise for us to keep a candidate interested in a role, when there is little or no feedback coming from the dealership as to if or when an offer might materialise. Unfortunately, far too often, we have had to inform the dealer that these unnecessary delays have resulted in their preferred candidate joining a rival dealership. The dealer then finds itself back at square one.

If you're lucky enough to find 'the one', don't hang around. Make the decision!
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