Walser Automotive Group, a dealership group with more than 20 locations in Minnesota and Kansas, recently announced the launch of its Women’s Resources Network, the first group of its kind in retail automotive.
The network, called “Women of Walser” (WoW) has a mission to actively engage women at all levels of the company through diversity accountability, mentorship, leadership, and various networking events. WoW offers Walser employees the opportunity for women at Walser to take the lead on important initiatives while developing key leadership skills. And the resource network is inclusive of all employees – men are welcome to attend all events.
Beyond the women’s resource network, Walser is committed to building a strong, diverse team. Sherry Schultz, Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) at Walser Automotive, spoke at Hireology’s 2018 Elevate conference about the importance of, maintaining a strong employment brand and connecting with candidates on a values-based level.
In retail automotive, women only make up 19 percent of active employees at dealerships, meaning there’s a long way to go when it comes to attracting more women and making the automotive workforce more diverse overall. While a resource network is one option to actively engage women – and other employees – at your dealership, we’ve outlined several other ways to help your team attract and hire qualified, diverse candidates.
Write More Inclusive Job Descriptions
Your dealership’s job descriptions might be turning away women without you even realizing it. To continuously improve your job descriptions and attract talent across the board, it’s important to regularly assess the tone and word choice, ensuring the descriptions appeal to a diverse set of job seekers.
Some retail automotive job descriptions are targeted toward aggressive, lone wolf salespeople, using masculine adjectives to explain the job requirements. Or they might even use masculine pronouns such as, “An ideal candidate should demonstrate his customer service skills.”
Take a look at your dealership’s job descriptions. If it seems they appeal to men more than women, it’s time to switch out the masculine descriptions and adjectives. Include both masculine and feminine pronouns in your job descriptions – or simply don’t use them at all – to be more inclusive. And instead of using terms like sales rockstar, highlight job requirements such as the ability to negotiate and achieve results. Both minor changes can help you attract qualified female job seekers and help you build a more diverse talent pool.
Share a Variety of Employee Success Stories
The unemployment rate is at a historic low, meaning your dealership needs to have a strong employment brand and career site that includes employee testimonials, success stories, pictures and videos in order to attract top talent. When you collect and share employee testimonials and success stories, make sure you include a good mix of men and women, different backgrounds and career paths, employees across departments – such as sales and fixed ops – and employees from all levels throughout the company. Also make sure to do the same when it comes to posting pictures or employment brand videos showcasing life working at your dealership. And if you have employee resources dedicated to diversity – such as a women’s resource network like Walser’s – highlight these initiatives on your career site to get top talent excited about joining your team.
If you don’t have diverse career site content, not only will women be less likely to apply to your open roles, but other prospective candidates will also be turned off by the lack of diversity.Inclusive job descriptions and career site content can help your dealership appeal to a more diverse set of today’s job seekers. And the more diverse talent you can reach, the sooner you can fill open roles with quality candidates in today’s competitive market.