Key Takeaways from NADA Show 2022

That’s a wrap! NADA Show 2022 is officially over, and we had a blast.

As the only vendor on the expo floor focused entirely on hiring and HR in the automotive industry, we spoke with hundreds of dealers about current recruiting challenges as well as the future of hiring and retention in the automotive industry. We also gave countless demos of Hireology, diving deep into our built-in employee referral platform, EmployUs as well as our integration with Netchex and Dealertrack.

Hireologist, Ryan O’Donnell is set to show off EmployUs at our booth on the NADA expo floor

Additionally, our CEO Adam Robinson led two workshops on building your best team in the post-pandemic world. He covered everything from redefining the ideal auto worker, to the components of an excellent referral program, to what it really means to put people at the center of hiring. He also touched on some new Hireology data — including the fact that 81% of dealerships have been ghosted by a candidate in the last six months. Download the report now to see the full results.

If you didn’t get a chance to attend the show this year or you missed our booth, we’ve summarized our conversations with dealers throughout the four-day event into five key themes.

Automated employee referrals 

Most dealerships we spoke with have an employee referral program in place (roughly 77%, according to the Hireology research mentioned above). And most also know just how effective these programs can be when it comes to hiring better talent and filling open roles faster. The problem is getting these programs to work. Not only is it tough to get your team to participate but it can also be a lot of manual work on your end to track the candidates and manage payment dates and amounts.

That’s why many dealers have made it a priority to automate their employee referral programs. With tools like EmployUs, this is easier than ever. You can send automated referral campaigns internally, enable folks to submit referral candidates without logins or lengthy forms, and keep track of your referral candidates as well as payout amounts directly from your Hireology account. Hireology is also available in Spanish, which is particularly useful for dealerships in search of Spanish-speaking sales reps.

All-in-one hiring and payroll

In speaking with dealerships throughout the event, it’s clear that we’re no longer living in a world of disconnected tech stacks. This is particularly true in the automotive space given that your people are so closely aligned with your inventory. More and more dealers today are looking for an HR system built around both applicants and their existing employees. That way all of your data is connected, allowing you to move faster on top candidates, get new hires on board faster, and keep your existing employees happy and engaged.

This is why Hireology has made it a priority to build powerful integrations with Netchex and Dealertrack. All three of these systems communicate seamlessly, eliminating friction in your day-to-day people operations processes. You can attract top talent, onboard them quickly, and get them integrated into your payroll and other HR systems seamlessly — all from one easy-to-use platform.

The post-pandemic talent shortage

Many of the dealerships we spoke with are struggling with a shortage of more than just new cars — there’s also a shortage of good people to work in your stores. Without the right people in your seats, you’ll never sell the cars you do have on the lot. Your people are your biggest differentiator these days, and it’s critical that you invest in finding the right talent across all types of roles.

So how are dealerships standing out and attracting talent in a tough hiring market? The most successful treat their open roles like products that need to be retailed. Like you might with a product, the best dealerships build jobs to meet the needs of their audience and they promote those jobs across the right channels using targeted messaging.

For example, leading dealerships are using word-of-mouth marketing to advertise their open roles via robust employee referral programs. They’re also building out content-rich career sites that tailor to the needs of the modern job seeker. And, they’re reworking their job descriptions to better align the role to what their target audience is looking for, such as culture, benefits, flexibility, and growth opportunities. 

Enhancing the candidate experience

The bulk of today’s job seekers are Millennials and Gen Zers. This group is tech-savvy and expects smooth experiences in all facets of life. And they’re accustomed to being able to order a ride, a meal, and anything they want online within minutes. So if you haven’t made an effort to make your hiring process easy and fast, you may be losing top candidates. 

For example, younger candidates don’t want to email or call. Email is tough to do on a phone and inboxes today are increasingly crowded with marketing messages. And they’re weary of phone calls from unknown numbers. So why not text candidates instead? That way you’ll reach them directly (while your competitors’ messages sit in their cluttered inboxes) and you make it as easy as possible for them to respond quickly and keep the process moving.

The future of work in automotive

The pandemic dramatically shifted people’s ideas of work. Gone are the days of strict 8-5 in-person workdays. People want to work around their family needs rather than molding their family needs around work. And given the ease of making money in the gig economy, people want to build time for other sources of income. That’s why today’s workers aren’t necessarily just looking for the highest paying jobs; instead, they want work that allows them to live the lifestyles they prefer. 

Many dealers at NADA discussed the potential of creating hybrid work environments for sales teams given the increasing number of consumers researching and buying cars online. Or perhaps offering build-your-own work schedules or significantly increased flexibility for folks like service technicians who are required to work in-person to do their jobs.

Diversity was also a common discussion under the umbrella of the future of work. Dealerships are eager to increase the diversity of their workforces not only because it’s proven that diverse teams produce better work but because it’s the right thing to do. Additionally, according to recent research conducted by Automotive News in conjunction with Hireology, 63% of workers in the auto space indicated that diversity is important to them at work.

Hireologist Dave Luepke gives a demo of Hireology to a prospective customer

I think everyone on our team agreed that it was great to be back with dealers in-person at this year’s NADA Show. Stay tuned on our blog and via email to learn more about where we’ll be next. And if you didn’t get a chance to stop by our booth or see Hireology or EmployUs in action, sign up for a free 1:1 demo today to learn more.



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