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Embrace Local Advertising to Hire Top Dealership Talent

By Beth Kempton

Automotive dealers are seen as some of the most well-known local advertisers throughout the country. Between local TV spots, radios promos, billboards, newspaper ads and more, dealers take many strategic steps to get their names out in the local community. Most local dealership ads focus exclusively on selling cars and while this is effective for driving revenue, dealers are missing out on the opportunity to also sell local dealership talent on their job opportunities.

Think about how your dealership currently advertises your open roles. You likely post to job boards and share open roles on your dealership website, among other steps. But in today’s competitive job market, your team needs to get creative when it comes to your recruitment marketing. Consider the following benefits of incorporating recruitment marketing into your local advertising strategy.

Follow in the Footsteps of Major Brands

In fall 2018, CarMax, the largest used-car retailer in the U.S., started airing a recruitment advertisement on national television. The ad includes a tagline that is engaging to both job seekers and prospective customers, “Helping people is what our people is all about.” The ad is also appealing, as it presents entertaining scenarios such as, “If you’d stop in a monsoon to change a car tire or save a whale that had beached itself, then CarMax is for you.” This content not only makes CarMax stand out from other ads, but for prospective job seekers, it makes CarMax stand out from other employers.

A national ad is likely above and beyond what’s realistic for most local dealers from a budget perspective, but your dealership has many options to tie your hiring efforts to your local advertising. You can readjust your advertising strategy for local television, in local newspapers, on billboards, online or anywhere else you typically buy ad space – and focus either partially or entirely on hiring. Doing so will help excite qualified local talent about joining your team. And when you have a strong team in place, you can offer top-notch customer service, driving profitability.

Build a Strong Employment Brand  

The unemployment rate is historically low, meaning today’s most of today’s job seekers are already gainfully employed. Because of this, job seekers have the flexibility to be more selective than ever before when it comes to researching, applying for and accepting new jobs. And rather than simply an exchange of time for money, quality job seekers want to work for companies that align with their values and offer them opportunities for growth. CarMax does a great job with its recruitment ad appealing to a key job seeker – and consumer – value, helping people.  

To highlight your dealership’s values, consider sharing employee stories in your local advertisements. For example, you can share a story about an employee who has risen through the ranks in his or her career with your dealership. Or you can highlight how your employees have impacted local community members with their commitment to customer service.

Beyond local advertisements, it’s important to showcase your employment brand through a compelling career site. In any local advertisements, make sure to include a link to your dealership’s career site.

Once you initially hook candidates through a local advertisement, your career site offers you the opportunity to continue selling top talent on joining your team. On your career site, include an overview of open roles, career paths across departments, employee testimonials, culture, accolades – such as local best places to work recognition – and an overview of benefits, among other criteria.

By approaching your recruitment efforts similar to consumer marketing and making a strong employment brand a priority, your dealership can stay competitive with other dealers, and employers across industries, and encourage job seekers to join your team.

Drive Business to Your Dealership

When it comes to focusing on recruitment in your local advertising efforts rather than directly focusing on selling cars, you might think spending on recruitment ads will take away from customer acquisition efforts. But ultimately, recruitment ads can help your dealership attract both employees and customers. On the customer side, if a prospective car buyer sees one of your local advertisements and recognizes that you’re committed to hiring quality employees, they will be more excited to do business with your team.

In today’s tight labor market, your dealership needs to think outside the box when it comes to attracting top talent. Beyond a strong career site and employment brand, your team should have a full understanding of what job seekers expect in today’s applicant-driven economy. For more information on attracting top talent at your dealership, read our resource, “Win the Applicant Economy: What Today’s Top Talent Demands from Dealership Roles.”

About the Author

Beth is the content strategist on Hireology’s marketing team, responsible for creating compelling blog posts, eBooks, marketing materials and other content. Her background includes five years of experience at a B2B digital marketing agency, where she crafted content for a variety of clients, including several in the HR technology space. Before beginning her career, Beth attended Loyola University Chicago, where she studied advertising and public relations.

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