Elevate 2020 wrapped last week, and though the all-virtual event had a different format than in year’s past, each session brought the same degree of impactful takeaways to the retail auto industry.
Jason Stein, Publisher at Automotive News, moderated three weeks of meaningful discussions between Hireology’s CEO and Founder, Adam Robinson and various industry professionals like  Peter Fong, Chief Revenue Officer at Orbee Auto, Inder Dosanjh, President of California Automotive Retailing Group Inc., and Michelle Harrow, the Head of Recruiting for Twitter. 
Here are some of the takeaways from Elevate 2020, and if you’re interested in rewatching any of the events, you can access them on-demand here

Understanding Your Applicants Matters 

What type of candidate are you attracting to your dealership? Do you know what your candidates are looking for from your hiring process? Does it take weeks for you to respond to applicants? These are all important questions that you should have nailed down, but it’s not always easy to do so. 
Hireology surveyed a pool of recently hired candidates to help dealerships better understand the applicant sentiment. You can find their responses and our report on the applicant experience here

Digitally-Focused Dealerships Will Continue to Thrive

The pandemic has sped up dealerships’ transition to a digital-focused approach. According to Tyler Anderson, the Director of Business Development for Dealertrack DMS, the dealerships that were digitally oriented were better equipped to handle the pandemic and remain a contender in the market, while those that weren’t had to make some drastic changes to their business structure on the fly. 
The future of automotive retail is digital, and there are some great technologies that make the entire purchasing process as easy on the customer and employee as possible. Whether it’s switching to a mobile-friendly communication system for your vendors and applicants, making software purchases that integrate to streamline the buying process, or making online purchasing available to your customers, digitally-focused dealerships will see success in the years to come.

The Strength of Your Team Determines Your Dealership’s Success

When the pandemic hit, dealerships around the nation responded quickly. Many implemented various cost-saving methods, including an inevitable reduction in headcount, and it became very clear that having the best team mattered tremendously. While variable market conditions emphasized it, this has always been the case. Prioritizing your people will result in profit, and training your team to do more cross-functional jobs rather than the typically segmented roles that occur in most dealerships will better position your employees to serve your customers. 
Having the right person in every position allows your dealership to run more efficiently now and forever, so attracting and hiring the best employees should be your focus.

Looking Ahead to 2021

While there’s still a lot of uncertainty in the industry, these tips will help your dealership prepare for what’s ahead. Thinking strategically about your team, investing in digital, and knowing what your applicants expect throughout the hiring process will put you on a surefire path to success. You can view any of the on-demand Elevate sessions here, and we hope to see you at Elevate 2021 in person!