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What dealerships need to do to attract tomorrow’s top talent — Don Hall | VADA

Welcome back to another edition of Inside Automotive with your host Jim Fitzpatrick, on the CBT Automotive News Network. We are pleased to be joined again by Don Hall, President and CEO of the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, who will enlighten us on the need to know of how to attract the kind of talent that will get us across the finish line. 

Time has evolved

When searching for tomorrow’s talent, the automotive industry has, regrettably, lacked progressive development. As a result, Hall advises that we should “pay attention to what is happening around us first and foremost. The fact is, many industries are paying differently, working different hours, and so forth. So, we need to embrace change.” Instead of being last on the totem pole of the benefit structure, the retirement structure, and time off, dealers need to be the first at it. Which Hall explains, “meaning offering the best of the best. In doing so, we can attract the very best.”

“When you have great motivated people working for you, then you have customers who don’t mind paying for a car because of their wonderful buying experience,” believes Hall. He also encourages dealers to create an environment where it’s not a thing of the past, but people can come in and have a life. When it revolves around any staff member in the dealership, “We need to encourage them to spend time with their partner, family, and it’s okay to take time off to do that,” says Hall. 

The new generation

Hall asserts, “It’s not that this generation is lazy; it’s just this generation is different.” But with this generation, that means dealers should encourage flexibility and positive environments. “We need to make sure we have our staff talking about how great the business is with their friends, family, people they may go to church with, with their neighbors, or wherever they go- they are talking about the greatness of being in the business.” This signifies that “We need to pay people well, take care of them when they ask for time off, the benefit structure,” asserts Hall. 

"For the managers that have been around for a while, get rid of the old days; it's time to change." 

The fact is, young people, aren’t going to work a 60-hour work week. Hall notes, “Except that fact and then create an environment where they can work less but be smarter about what they do.” In addition to his belief, he praises how there are currently great opportunities to attract, and retain people of all races, all ethnic backgrounds, of genders because it’s not an industry that discriminates. “We’ll take any and everybody that will be honest, enthusiastic, and work hard.“

In retrospect, the OEMs have been arguing for the industry to get into an agency model. “Because they say it’s a dinosaur business and evolution is not taking place,” reiterates Hall. However, for those that are inspired, this is a great opportunity to go out and change your dealership organization. To illustrate, Hall has a large organization that is run by a fourth-generation female. 

“Let me tell you something, people would walk into a burning building for her because she’ll do anything for her people. Her lifestyle and the way she conducts herself is not above her people, but with them.” 

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Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell
Jaelyn Campbell is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. She is a recent honors cum laude graduate with a BFA in Mass Media from Valdosta State University. Jaelyn is an enthusiastic creator with more than four years of experience in corporate communications, editing, broadcasting, and writing. Her articles in The Spectator, her hometown newspaper, changed how people perceive virtual reality. She connects her readers to the facts while providing them a voice to understand the challenges of being an entrepreneur in the digital world.

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