Recruiting in the Modern Age of Automotive

On this week’s episode of Kain & Co., David Kain of Kain Automotive talks about the words you use in your recruiting ads and which information potential salespeople are looking for when job searching.



David Kain: Hello, I’m David Kain here on Kain and company on the CBT Automotive Network. I appreciate you spending time with me today. I wanted to talk about recruiting and the fact that that’s one of the most common questions that I receive when I go into a dealership or when we talk to dealerships throughout the cycle that we train them on.

David Kain: So let’s get right to it. Recruiting in a modern age of automotive is something that we need to really weigh and measure. If you go to the help wanted ads online, perhaps with Indeed or Monster, any of the places where you would see the recruitment of car sales people, so much of it is the same tired language that we’ve seen over and over again. And as a result, unless you really are aware of what selling cars is all about, it makes it difficult for you to have any enthusiasm if you’re a fresh college graduate or perhaps you’ve come out of a role at a a store where you were in a retail environment and you wanted to try something different.

David Kain: Automotive sales is an excellent opportunity as we all know, because we’ve been in the industry for awhile, if not like me, I’ve been in it almost 40 years. So it’s something that I know is a good industry, but the way we present it as a potential opportunity, I think is some of the reason why we don’t get the kind of candidates that we’re looking for.

David Kain: So let’s talk about the language and what we really do in a modern retailing environment. We rarely truly just sell cars. When I started selling cars in 1982 it really was the case where the customer came to the dealership and we walked around the lot and we presented the vehicle. We went through the educational process that now takes place online and eventually the customer would make a couple trips in, we’d sell them a car. Sometimes we got lucky and they bought on that first visit but we all know that the average customer spends between 15 and 20 hours shopping online. So what we really do is we facilitate their decision making process.

David Kain: In fact, if you were to write what we really do, we are digital communicators and digital communications would be a good title for a job opportunity if I were coming out of school or if I were doing something in the retail environment and I might want to consider doing something different. So we could call it customer relations or customer service and sometimes those titles lend to the fact that maybe I’m just going to work in a call center or something. But in fact, when we do digital communications, or we do social selling, or we do a digital marketing, those are things that cause people who are interested in applying for a new type of job something more interesting.

David Kain: So let’s speak to the truth of what these jobs really are. So digital communications, if you work in a BDC or you communicate with customers who are shopping online, we email, we text, we do live telephone calls, we assist the customer while they’re on their digital journey. If we send them a link to the vehicle on the website, we will walk them through the specifications, the equipment level, and we’ll perhaps offer them different alternatives. Sometimes we actually will do a video walk around and we’ll send that to the customer. So it’s kind of a multimedia approach as opposed to just selling a car. In fact, that kind of diminishes what the true role is in a modern retelling environment.

David Kain: So when I go to write an ad for someone who is considering selling cars or someone who’s not considering it, one of the things I want to do is to emphasize what the true attributes are of the job. So we’re going to counsel with the customer while they’re on their decision journey. We’re going to provide web information to the customer. We’re going to keep up with them by providing different stimulants while they’re in the decision process. So that becomes digital marketing. We’re also going to communicate via social media with the customer. So when you write your ad, and I’d be glad to give you some thoughts on this if you wanted to email me after this broadcast, give yourself every leg up to bring in a different thought process into your recruiting. Or if you just want to do it the way you’ve been doing it for years, run the ad that says commissioned automotive sales.

David Kain: Speaking of, when we describe how someone gets paid, one of the things we’ve learned in a modern environment when we’re recruiting is a lot of people aren’t really keen on the fact that they’ve got variable income for all of their income. So when you express to them that you’ve got a salary plus a bonus or something that gives them the confidence to know that if I come to work and I apply myself I’m going to make enough money to cover my rent and groceries and some of the everyday life activities, but I can also through my own growth, provide more for my family and for myself.

David Kain: So think about the words you use in your recruiting. Try different approaches. Salespeople like to know that they’re going to get autonomy. They’re going to get training, they’re going to get support. So put all of those elements into your recruiting ad, and I believe you’re going to start to see a different type of application come through. Give it a try, I think you’ll be impressed with how it works for you. I’m David Kain and I appreciate you spending some time with me today. Enjoy the rest of your week and I’ll see you next week here on Kain and Company.

Speaker 2: This has been a JBF Business Media Production.