Hiring the right service technicians and sales employees is one of the biggest frustrations dealerships are facing this year. With employment numbers lower than before the pandemic, dealers are leveraging technology to fill the gap to sell more vehicles and get more service appointments.
Employment at U.S. franchised dealerships has yet to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels as dealerships let go of staff in early 2020. While auto dealers added 2,200 jobs in May 2023, employment at dealers was down 59,600, or 4.5% below the February 2020 level, according to Cox Automotive.
Dealers must rethink the old ways of hiring to succeed in 2023. What can you do to attract top talent and fill open positions faster while ensuring customers are cared for when your workforce is limited? Here are four tips:
1. Take advantage of the power of Google.
Google Business Profiles and Vehicle Ads are great ways to take advantage of the popularity and reach of Google. According to Google usage statistics, Google has over 246 million unique U.S. visitors, which accounts for more than 75% of the U.S. population. Take advantage of this popularity by posting open positions, employee reviews, and more on your free Google Business Profile.
Google Vehicle Ads enable dealerships to dominate consumers searching for cars online by elevating their vehicle ads to the top of any Google search. Shoppers are directed to the dealer’s site with one click, creating ample sales and service growth opportunities. Sixty percent of vehicle buyers rank Google as their No. 1 source for dealership research, according to Digital Air Strike’s 9th Annual Automotive Customer Experience Trends Study. If you’re not using this to your advantage, you’ll fall behind your competitors.
2. Use a social media recruiting strategy.
Seventy-nine percent of job seekers use social media during their search, according to Glassdoor, so posting about your open positions and company culture on your social sites will reach an audience actively looking to work. An excellent social media recruiting strategy also includes sharing posts emphasizing the benefits of working at your dealership, celebrating long-time employees, and posting about the dealer’s culture.
Many dealers are finding success in recruiting through technology. For example, Safford Brown Toyota Glen Burnie in Maryland used Digital Air Strike’s applicant tracking system software to list open positions on more than 100 career sites, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter. The dealership scheduled over 200 interviews and hired seven employees from the job posts made in 90 days. The software gives dealers more quality talent by running job postings through its algorithms to see which keywords will help get the most applicants. The mobile application service allows applicants to apply through their cell phones by linking their LinkedIn accounts.
3. Expand your search with geofencing technology.
Geofencing will help you get in front of strong candidates and get more consumers into your dealership for sales and service. Geofencing technology is a recruiting tool that allows you to target a specific audience entering or leaving a given area, including sporting events, college campuses, and competitors. Geofencing is the best way to serve creative job ads, service offers, and vehicle incentives, which consumers can see on their mobile devices on top apps like ESPN, Facebook, Instagram, and news sites.
4. Share more information on your website chat.
Use your AI website chat to give consumers available job postings, vehicle inventory, and special offers. Customers asking questions through your AI website chat will link interested candidates to your careers page for open positions and benefits. Your chat feature should also include information about your dealership’s available inventory, special offers, and a trade-in calculator. Provide as much information as possible to inquiring consumers so they don’t seek your competitors for the info.
Find out how to look better online and get more leads through a free online reputation audit. Request a free Intel Report to get a custom analysis of your dealership’s online presence from Google, Facebook, and top review sites, along with improvement tips. A better online presence will drive more sales and service to your dealership.