Automotive Recruiting Tips for Attracting Young Talent

Percentage of the Work ForceOne of the retail automotive industry’s greatest challenges is attracting and retaining sales talent, particularly among the Generation X and Millennial populations of the employment pool.  Most career seeking talent under the age of 50 years, often overlook the automotive industry when considering employment.  Their distaste for the automotive retail industry is typically fueled by negative thoughts about long work hours and confusing, commission-only based pay plans.

When Generation X and Millennials make up 65% of the work force, dealerships who make a paradigm shift in their employment focus have a tremendous opportunity to attract talent.  Like it or not, change is inevitable for survival. Change and how it is handled is often a determining factor to success. Hiring, training and motivating still comes down to leadership and how much responsibility leaders will take for driving success.  To be competitive in the employment game, consider adopting these recruiting practices:

Transparent Recruiting Process: Transparency is critical and it starts with the job posting.  Job postings should be clear and not misleading.  For example, a sales position should not be posted as marketing or a customer service role.  Dealerships should consider posting information regarding employment directly on dealership websites, as well as online job boards, to include:

  • details on job responsibilities and expectations
  • compensation and benefit plans
  • training opportunities provided
  • opportunities for career growth and development

Focus on Quality of Life: Addressing the desire to have a work/life balance will impact overall sales performance and reduce turnover. Creating flexible schedules that mimic corporate America with 40-hour weeks and at least monthly weekends off is suggested.  Most dealerships will pack their sales floor with staff out of fear there will not be enough coverage.  Couple that with long hours and idle time, and you have created a double edge sword for these generations who live in a world of instant gratification and furiously fast multilevel tasking.  The result is a complacent and unmotivated sales staff, who lack tolerance and will quit.  Dealerships can avoid this trap by watching floor traffic, making note of peak hours and non-peak hours and modifying the schedule accordingly.

Income Stability: These generations prefer the security of a salary or hourly wage over risking making more money on a commission based pay structure.  They are the cumulative result of “feel good” education and “everyone is a winner” sports programs, and therefore lack the thick skin for aggressive selling or perceived financial risk.  Creating realistic training salaries and pay plans that combine salary with commission is alluring to this pool of salespeople.  You can find a sample pay plan at “How Much Should You Pay Your Salespeople?”.

Provide Toolkit Training: Both generations lack an individual competitive streak and are greatly motivated to be part of a team.  When constructing a training program, consider team building as part of the structure instead of competition between individuals.  During training, demonstrate why something is important, instead of just giving a direct order.  Show them how each step of the process builds on the previous step.  Help them to visualize how what they do affects other departments and the big picture.  Create a network of support inside the training module.  Growing up in a world of machines, these generations are also highly technology driven and savvy.  Take advantage of this asset by including the use of current technologies and expand their sales role to include social media and digital marketing opportunities.

If you are looking for youthful salespeople, The Manus Group can find them in your market.  Visit our services page on this website or call us at 888.735.8311.


The Manus Group Stephanie YoungAbout the Author

Stephanie Young is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for The Manus Group, where she is an active blogger, social media contributor and spokesperson for one of the nation’s leading automotive recruiting and training firms. In here spare time, Stephanie mentors and encourages  young woman to pursue their interests in STEM field careers and is the driving force in her “Share the Love…Be a Volunteer” program.

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Copyright © 2017, Stephanie Young All rights reserved.

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