Baby Boomers are retiring and Gen X-ers in the workforce have past their peak. According to a Pew Research study, Millennials now make up the largest segment of the labor force. It’s true across all industries, including the retail automotive sector.

But the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the number of people employed in the retail automotive industry is declining. There are more ‘Boomers retiring than there are new hires onboarding. In a climate where new car sales are near an all-time high and the service experience is so crucial, it’s a problem that must be addressed by dealerships sooner rather than later.

The Millennial Challenge

It’s been widely documented and accepted that Millennials expect a different work environment than the outgoing Baby Boomers an Gen X demographics. It becomes a challenge to provide the team-oriented, social, and tech-savvy environment that Millennials gravitate towards. However, to fully staff your dealership with the next generation of workers, there must be a shift in the way staffing is approached. Especially, there needs to be a new way of attracting the right personnel to staff the dealership.

Advertise Available Positions Effectively

A job posting in the newspaper was effective 20 years ago. The upcoming generation uses their smartphone to read news, and mainly in social media forums. When you’re trying to attract new hires from a youthful generation, meeting them where they routinely engage is fundamental.

Use paid Facebook ads to place job advertisements. With Facebook ads, you can target specific groups by their demographic, their geographic location, and their interests among other things. Whether you’re looking for a tech-savvy sales consultant or a car-loving service advisor, you can pinpoint the type of person you want to apply.

Facebook ads are rather inexpensive and can be extremely effective for job postings.  

Partner with Colleges

Community colleges are filled with students who haven’t yet decided on a career path. A Business Admin degree is popular among undecided students, for example. Visit with a student advisor at your local community college who can help you hand-pick future or recent graduates who may be interested in the automotive industry.

Engage New Hires

Once onboarded, new hires must feel like they belong; like part of the team. It’s a common trait among Millennials especially. Provide new hire training in a group setting. Include activities that engage your new hires such as role-playing. If a recent hire feels like they aren’t included or haven’t received the attention necessary to excel in their new position, it increases the odds that they won’t stay long-term.

Parity Between Staff and Customer

Fortunately, the largest demographic in the automotive customer base is also millennials. Attracting the next generation of workers greatly assists to properly understand and care for this massive demographic influx.

While you might initially want new personnel to identify with and mirror your current dealership workforce, it’s extremely important to attract staff in the same demographic as the customers. Keep parity between your staff and your customers according to age and gender.

Focus on Female Hires

While women influence upwards of 80 percent of automotive purchasing and service decisions, under one-quarter of automotive staff are women. Encourage female applicants who can identify with your female customers more readily. It’s perhaps the greatest opportunity for growth in the dealership.

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