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Key Takeaways From NADA 2021

NADA 2021 wrapped up last week, and while it was quite a different experience than years past, it was jam-packed with insightful conversations and thoughtful presentations on what to expect this year from the retail automotive industry. 

While we’re still in the midst of the pandemic, we’re looking ahead and are intent on keeping your dealership surging forward. Our team put together presentations that reflect our energy and dedication to you and your dealership. 

From our CEO-led workshop, various TED Talks, and our virtual booth, here are some of the most important takeaways from the Hireology team at NADA 2021.

Candidate engagement is essential to your dealership’s success

Mike McSherry, Hireology’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, spoke about all things candidate engagement during his TED Talk. He shared why candidate engagement matters to your dealership — it helps you build a strong company culture, increases productivity, fosters greater loyalty, and increases customer satisfaction. 

He then laid out the necessities to a winning candidate engagement formula: access to talent, hiring process efficiency, and how you’re driving performance velocity. “These are the levers that you have in your control today that you can pull to help you create a human capital advantage that’s going to set your dealership up for success in the near term and the long term,” said Mike.

How are you going to pull these levers this year to ensure your candidates stay engaged and stick around?

Implement a people-first strategy

Putting your people first matters significantly to all facets of your business. Your employees have direct access to your customers, and therefore can dramatically impact your bottom line. Having happy and successful employees creates a welcoming environment for customers, and gives you the ability to attract top talent.  

Essential pieces of a people-first strategy include active communication, the right tools for success, and effective and adaptive training. Especially as we continue to operate reactively to the effects of COVID-19, it’s important to make sure you’re providing your employees with the best experience possible through these fundamentals, but don’t let this strategy slip once the pandemic is over. As Adam Robinson, Hireology’s CEO and cofounder, outlined in his workshop, “Happy employees are your best asset in managing your recruitment marketing.”

“Happy employees are your best asset in managing your recruitment marketing.”

Adam Robinson, Hireology’s CEO and cofounder

A positive hiring experience drives more hires

Job seekers in today’s market are highly intentional and focused on the right fit, so you need to provide a positive hiring experience to make sure you’re holding their interest. One third of recently hired applicants surveyed by Hireology applied to only one or two jobs, which means applicants are decisive in who they want to work for. So ensuring your candidates have a positive hiring experience means you’ll almost certainly increase the amount of accepted job offers at your dealership. 

And according to our Automotive Applicant Experience research, over 65% of applicants said they decided to take their current job because of the positive hiring experience they had at their dealership. Giving your candidates a seamless and communicative experience will land you top talent and help you fill essential roles faster. 

“If we’re carrying less staff and each role is more impactful to your bottom line, you cannot afford to not make a good impression with top talent, and nurture them throughout the hiring process,” said Adam. “We can’t simply wait to get to them when we have time.” 

Swift execution of your hiring process is what candidates are looking for, which brings us to our next key takeaway…

“If we’re carrying less staff and each role is more impactful to your bottom line, you cannot afford to not make a good impression with top talent, and nurture them throughout the hiring process,”

Adam Robinson, Hireology’s CEO and cofounder

Dealers lose top talent to a lack of process

Last year, Hireology coined the term “lost applicant”, defined as an individual who applied to a dealership, but was not contacted regarding their application within 21 days. Adam shared the analogy of taking 21 days to respond to an internet lead interested in purchasing a vehicle, and boldly concluded that zero cars would be sold on that timeline. The majority of hires are able to find a job within two weeks, so waiting three weeks before even reaching out to an applicant will most certainly lose you qualified candidates. 

In 2019, 2 million retail automotive applicants were considered lost, and unfortunately, that number has only gotten worse. Now, over a third of applicants are considered lost, and that’s likely due to a lack of process at many dealerships. “Your dealership systems should be working for you, not the other way around,” said Adam. Ensuring that your hiring process is streamlined and effective can mean the difference between securing talent and missing out on quality applicants to your competitors. 

Onboarding can make or break your employee experience

69% of employees are more likely to stay at a dealership for three or more years with a positive onboarding experience. Your onboarding experience is the most important period in the employee lifecycle, and can drastically improve productivity and efficiency within your dealership. Focus on creating a standardized onboarding process and your team will stick around — and be better, more productive employees.

Be exceedingly human

Adam referenced a quote by Patrick Lencioni detailing the importance of being “exceedingly human” during this tumultuous time. The pandemic has caused a great deal of uncertainty in the personal and professional lives of millions of people, so when it comes to your staff, listen, empathise, and all-in-all, be a human being. Not only will this help you build trust with your team, but it will also show that they are your first priority.  

These are only a few of the trends and topics covered at this year’s NADA Show, and only a portion of what Hireology can do for your dealership. To see a full scope of what partnering with Hireology can mean for your dealership, you can schedule a demo here.  

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