On this episode of Inside Automotive, Jim Fitzpatrick talks with Hireology CEO and co-founder Adam Robinson about hiring processes for dealerships as well as what dealers can use to attract talent.
Adam and Hireology were at NADA. He remarks, “People and inventory were really the things of the show. With that backdrop and all the craziness in the world, people in this business are looking forward to what looks like another banner year.”
With economic uncertainties like high gas prices, chip shortages, and the war overseas, automotive retail seems unphased. Economist have agreed that if normal vehicle volume was available, it could sell out. Adam mentions that supply side problems are better than issues with demand, and it’s been good for business.
The hiring climate is similarly positioned with fewer candidates than positions available at dealerships, and it appears that retail auto has opportunity to evolve pay structures and improve working conditions, including adopting a 40-hour work week. Like COVID and digital retailing, Adam thinks that the industry is slowly moving in the direction of changing how the human capital side works.
Adam offers an opinion: “I would argue we’re overpaying for what we need right now, particularly on the sales floor… the problem isn’t selling vehicles, it’s acquiring inventory to sell. So, in an environment where you aren’t selling anything, does it make sense to pay a quarter-million dollars to a full-commission salesperson to effectively curate an order flow?” When the bubble bursts, dealers could find themselves in a position where they need more people who need to work harder to sell themselves, the dealership, and the vehicle.
Adam mentions that more jobs than ever have been added and dealers are losing opportunities to hire, so the competition is fierce for hiring. He suggests looking for candidates in specialty retail, hospitality, restaurants, and other industries with similarly challenging environments and customers. Entry-level college grads could be an area to target too. In many cases, it’s about earning trust rather than selling and the type of employee is ripe for change.
The comparison for candidates is a workforce that boasts flexibility, from work hours to paid time off and work from home options. Every interviewee is comparing the dealership with around ten other opportunities. Adam asks, “What are you doing to stand out from the ten other opportunities this individual might have?”
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