Top 6 Scaleable Recruitment Strategies for Dealerships

The buy-sell market in the automotive industry has been strong for the last 15 months. 

With this resilience comes an increased need to extend recruitment efforts into previously untapped markets during this ongoing labor shortage. 

Having multiple rooftops under a single brand can make hiring that much harder online. The solution is to optimize and improve on existing hiring processes so your team can quickly source talent from multiple channels no matter where your next acquisition is.

Top 6 strategies to scale quality hiring

Recent Hireology data showed that 88% of dealers said that hiring remains a challenge into 2024, which should make finding strategies to scale quality automotive hiring a priority for dealerships nationwide. Below, we’ve dug into the top six strategies and tools dealerships can use to create repeatable and effectivement recruitment processes.

Employee referral programs

Birds of a feather flock together — your best employees likely know other people with similar interests and skills who would make great additions to your team. As the number one source of quality applicants for dealerships, employee referral programs are a leading channel to add to your recruitment channel. Referred candidates are typically hired faster, stay longer, and are more engaged in their workplace than traditional applicants, making them an especially valuable hire. 

As another benefit of this recruitment strategy, as you scale your business, you also scale your recruiting reach. With each employee acquired in a buy-sell agreement comes a new network of potential candidates that you can start nurturing for future openings. Employee referral programs, or refer a friend programs as they’re commonly called, are an excellent way to begin a passive pipeline of talent that your dealership can access whenever an opening occurs.

Sponsored job posts

In recruiting, you sometimes get what you pay for — and on job boards, sponsoring your posts pays out hand over fist. While sponsored job posts are tied with employee referral programs for driving the best quality applicants to openings, they have the unique distinction of also being the best source for applicant volume. This increase in applicant volume is due to the fact that sponsored jobs are the first ones that motivated automotive job seekers see when they start their next search.

Sponsored job posts on leading job boards like Indeed are an important part of any recruiting strategy, as they convert to 4.5x more hires than a traditional post. This is very good news for dealerships expanding their brand, as you can make your openings location specific to hire people local to your newly acquired stores.

Organic job boards

Organic job boards, like Indeed or ZipRecruiter, are still leading sources of applicants for a reason: job seekers know they can reliably go to these resources and find job openings. This makes these recruitment channels a valuable tool in any hiring process, despite how crowded they can become. 

Generally, organic job boards are great for hiring entry-level skilled trade positions like automotive detailers, porters, or any role with high turnover. When using these job boards, however, dealers will need to be prepared to be flexible with their prerequisites, as you may attract applicants from other industries who lack the knowledge but have the drive to switch to a career in this sector.

Career fairs

Another tried and true method of recruitment that dealers can use is attending in-person career fairs. While there was a noticeable period of time during and immediately after the pandemic where career fairs lost their favor, this recruitment channel is a great way to build your reputation in your new community while connecting directly with local talent. 

Career fairs are typically hosted by local high schools and vocational schools, so your recruiters will be interacting directly with the talent you want to hire. These events are a great way to start building critical relationships with these institutions. Setting up a booth at a career fair is the first step to creating a mutually beneficial association with these schools; in the future, you can offer to send guest speakers to the classrooms, have students take tours of your service bays, or more.

Social media

These days, social media is everywhere — and if you’re not advertising your dealership’s open roles on your business profiles, you’re missing out on a great recruitment opportunity. You’re already familiar with how online vehicle purchasing has changed the sales cycle, but online job seeking has evolved over recent years as well. 

Your business profiles are the perfect place to showcase your employer branding through unique posts and links to your career site. You shouldn’t only share your open roles though; as with all social media, these platforms are to be used to share celebrations, give recognition to your employees, and more to paint an overall picture of what life as an employee at your dealership looks like. You basically have complete control over how you tell your dealership’s story and why you’re expanding it in a format that job seekers are likely to see as they research you before applying.

Standalone applicant tracking system

Everyone wants more for less these days, and with budgets so tight in the automotive industry, it makes sense why dealerships have been persuaded to ditch standalone applicant tracking systems (ATSes) in favor of ones provided for free or bundled with their payroll provider. The issue that comes with this is that this software is nowhere near as powerful or robust as a standalone ATS is, making it that much harder for dealers to source they talent they need.

Instead, dealerships need to invest in themselves and their own hiring with an ATS designed for multi location hiring. When you’re acquiring dealerships, it’s critical to have transparency and control into hiring across all of your rooftops so you can create a consistent process and hold your teams accountable.

Need help sourcing talent in a recent acquisition?

Have you had a recent acquisition and need an automotive hiring solution that allows you to scale your recruitment efforts? Schedule a demo today to see why Hireology is trusted by 1 in 4 dealerships nationwide to build their best teams.



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