Lessons from CarMax’s National Recruitment Ad

CarMax, the largest used-car retailer in the U.S., recently started airing a recruitment advertisement on national television. The ad highlights what it takes to work at CarMax and ends with the tagline “Helping people is what our people are all about.”

At a time of record-low unemployment, CarMax understands the importance of going the extra mile to attract top talent. While not every business has the resources to air a recruitment ad on national television, a lot can be learned from this recent campaign by CarMax. Below are a few takeaways you can apply at your dealership.

It’s Time to Approach Recruitment Marketing Like Consumer Marketing

The average cost for a 30-second ad spot on national television is more than $100,000 and the fact that CarMax is willing to allocate a significant amount of its advertising budget toward an employment ad says a lot about the brand’s recruitment marketing efforts.
While some dealers – and other business leaders across industries – might think spending on recruitment ads will take away from customer acquisition efforts, recruitment ads can help your dealership attract both employees and customers. On the customer side, if a prospective car buyer sees a CarMax recruitment ad and recognizes that the brand values its employees, they will be more excited to do business with CarMax employees.
Create Your Own Recruitment Ads
A national ad is a much larger scale than is realistic for most local dealers, but there are many alternative ways you can approach recruitment like consumer marketing. You can take out employment ads on local television, in local newspapers, on billboards, online or anywhere else you typically buy ad space. Similar to the CarMax ads, when prospective customers see you invest in hiring great employees, they’ll expect a top-notch customer experience and be more likely to buy from your brand.

Keep Candidates Engaged
To attract top talent in such a competitive job market, your dealership should also consider treating the applicant experience similar to the customer experience. For example, the average dealer waits 10 days to review and respond to a job applicant. If your dealership did the same when it comes to customer leads, you’d likely lose business to competitors – and the same goes for responding to job applicants. By reducing the time to review applicants and keeping candidates engaged throughout the hiring process, your team will have a better chance of securing quality candidates and you’ll decrease time to hire.

Employment Brand is More Important Than Ever Before

The CarMax recruitment ad has a tagline that is compelling 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.” The entertaining ad makes CarMax stand out from other employers, most of which don’t have employment ads at all.  
Given the low unemployment rate, job seekers can be more selective than ever before when it comes to researching, applying for and accepting new jobs. And today’s top talent is looking for much more than simply an exchange of time for money. Instead, 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 recent ad appealing to a key job seeker – and consumer – value, helping people.  
The CarMax ads are a clear example of how important every company’s employment brand is in today’s competitive job market. Beyond the television ad, which makes the retailer look like an exciting, fun place to work, CarMax further builds upon its employment brand with a strong career site. Rather than simply listing jobs, openings across departments are positioned as careers, helping job seekers see opportunities for growth. The career site also highlights accolades, such as the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, core values, career development opportunities, the brand’s commitment to diversity, and an overview of benefits.
CarMax is a top competitor to dealerships when it comes to attracting quality candidates for sales, service and other departments. By approaching your recruitment marketing similar to consumer marketing and making a strong employment brand a priority, your dealership can stay competitive with CarMax – and other dealers, as well as companies outside the automotive industry – and get job seekers excited about joining your team. And ultimately, hiring the best team will help your dealership increase productivity and profitability, as your overall customer experience is tied directly to your people.
For more information on what dealership candidates are looking for in today’s applicant-driven economy, read our resource, “How to Win the Applicant Economy”.



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