Using Your Dealership Brand to Attract New Talent
The construction and trucking industries are both growing, expected to need thousands of more workers over the next 5-10 years. We can all applaud that – growth is certainly more than welcome. Unfortunately, the reality is that it is darn hard to find new workers these days. And the problem isn’t restricted to construction and trucking. Almost every industry is suffering from an acute labor shortage.
So let’s talk about your dealership’s branding. Because your brand works like a magnet. It has the power to attract new employees, but it also has the power to repel them.
Potential candidates are sitting comfortably in the driver’s seat
When candidates are plentiful, employers can be picky. It’s up to each prospect to prove to you why they should be your next new hire. They have to have the right stuff. And they have to stand out from their competition within the candidate pool.
Ah, but now the tables are turned. Jobs may be plentiful, with additional future openings predicted, but candidates are in short supply. So now they are the ones who can be choosy – and they’re doing just that. Why should they go to work for you, when they have so many choices? You have to prove to them that your dealership has the right stuff as a prospective employer. And you have to stand out from your competitors to land that new hire.
It takes more than ad placement
Hiring is no longer a passive undertaking, it’s all about marketing – active recruitment. You have to get out there and sell your dealership as a desirable workplace, not just a place with a job opening.
It is exactly the same as marketing your dealership in other ways. Customers don’t want to purchase sub-par products or services, nor do they want lousy or indifferent customer service. OEMs and other vendors don’t want to do business with sub-par dealerships. Employees don’t want to work for a less-than-stellar organization, either.
In fact, a study conducted by Corporate Responsibility Magazine and Allegis Group Services revealed that 69% of candidates wouldn’t accept an offer from a company with a poor reputation, no matter how badly they needed the job.
Your brand is your reputation
It tells prospective customers – and prospective employees – who you are as a company. And if more than two-thirds of candidates are more concerned about your brand than your job offer, your dealership brand better be doing its level best to impress them. So let’s talk about how you can buff up that brand and then put it to work marketing your dealership as a great place to work, where there are great people to work with.
- Get the conversation going.
What is it about your company that makes it so great?
- Company values and culture
- Competitive pay and benefits
- Flexible scheduling
- Inclusive, engaging team environment
- Training and promotion opportunities
- Management not only listens to employee issues and suggestions but actively solicits input
You get the idea. Whatever the specific factors, they come together to make your dealership unique – to differentiate you from other potential employers.
- Spread the word.
Word gets around naturally, but you can put that fact to work to build your dealership brand. Just as you post ratings and reviews from happy customers, encourage employees to share why they like working for you, especially on social media. (A word of caution, however — if someone is undermining you in any way, it’s probably time for them to move on. The labor market may be tight, but retaining negative influencers can only hurt your brand, not to mention morale and your bottom line.)
Shoot some short video testimonials of employees sharing their stories – or simply going about their work. What better way to illustrate what it’s like to be part of your team! Post the videos on social media and your website, and link to them in recruitment postings.
Overtly promote what makes your dealership special as part of your recruiting process. Talk about your values and culture, not just the starting salary. Your goal is to give that prospect as many reasons to choose you as you can. Make sure your website has a tab or button that says “careers” or “join our team” so hiring information is easy to find. Make sure your online application is visually branded, easy to fill out and submit. These “little” details get each prospect’s experience with you off to a great start – letting them know you’ll be a great employer as well.
- Ask brand-relevant questions.
When it comes time to interview finalists, focus on asking “good fit” questions. You want to know how they might handle various work-related situations, but you need to determine if they will fit comfortably with your values and culture, too. Their resume tells you facts, the interview should help you uncover intangibles that indicate who they are as a person.
Remember, too, that the interview is your final opportunity to sell this person on your dealership as their next place to work.