A Few Must do's when hiring personnel...

1. Advertise using multiple sources
2. Immediately contact applicants
3. Screen, Schedule Interviews
4. Interview each applicant in an equal and professional manner
5. Provide training as needed

...a few others

1. Utilize an electronic applicant tracking system
2. Create ads using key and tag words that help maximize exposure
3. Using a success predictor as an aid, not a definitive
4. Set aside the time to do everything properly

There are other things that must be done. What are you doing in addition to what is listed above to help create a successful hiring effort?

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Replies to This Discussion

Everything you put down is great.  The problem is that Managers in many cases do not have the time to do this.  The second thing is that Murphy's law always enters into the equation.  Whenever you are short or trying to accomplish something, it gets busy?

The other thing is taking ownership of the applicant when you hire them.  When ownership is taken, if the applicant fails, it is the Manager's fault, not the applicants.  If the Manager makes the decisions to hire that person, he or she feels that success is possible.  Many times it is hire more than is necessary and see who ends up being left after the dust settles.

One of the best sources for applicants is in the dealerships data base.  When ever a hiring event is done, an email blast should go out to the data base with a procedure to process the applicants that answer the blast.

Managers should have something on the back of their business cards that makes it easy for a person to get a hold of them.  When they are in Best Buy, Menards, Verizon and they meet someone who would make a good salesperson, they should give them a card.

One of best hires ever was a clerk at the bank.  Solicited her for sales and she turned me down.  3 weeks later, changes came at the bank and she called me. Became a consistent #1 or #2 salesperson every month and we are still good friends to this day.

When you advertise, you get a majority of unemployed people who will tell you anything to get a job.  They are the ones that will take a minimum salary to start and hope that the car business will make them money.

We put applicants through 3 steps of motivation to prove that they want the job.  We make them spend their own time doing an evaluation test and on-line basic training on their own time without getting paid.  It really weeds out the talkers and leaves the walkers.

Jim Fisher


If we as salespeople and managers should always be prospecting for clients to sell to, we absolutely should always be prospecting for top flight salespeople to join the team.  Your advice of where to look and making it easy for someone to come back to you is excellent.  No doubt one of the worst things about the automotive retail culture is to hire good honest people and throw them to the wind.  Hope you make it scenario versus I will take you under my wing until you make it.  Good points Jim, thanks for commenting.

As an update...I am curious, what has changed since this was written?

Ernie thank you for sharing

Everyone in the dealership must be on board prior to hiring them because everyone affects them after they're hired. Culture must be established sooner than later. Also improving the background and drug screening process speeds up the process not losing a potential qualified candidate. 

Arthur what you say is true, there is always a reason an organization needs to hire; to replace individuals who have been promoted, a new position has been created or to replace employees who have left the organization.  No matter the reason, the best functioning operate under a clear set of guidelines of how a new employee will be on-boarded.  The more that is put into the process before a person is hired, the more everyone gains long-term. 

Great advice from an obvious professional.

I agree it is too much for a manager to do on top of his daily duties.All of the process needs to be worked,piece by piece.

These are some great guidelines to use for the hiring process. I would like to add one additional step that may be useful. Hiring managers MUST take the time to truly get to know their applicants over the course of an extended 2-3 day screening process in order to completely dig deep into the real "WHY." Many applicants will give you the standard interview answers that we all know and love i.e., hard worker, good with people, motivated, great attitude, etc.(all the things we want to hear) and this will not afford the interviewer the opportunity to get to know who their candidates REALLY are. Managers at the dealership are tasked everyday with their primary function and objective of selling cars, and, therefore, do not have the time nor the manpower to adequately determine the true qualifications and character of candidates, which leads to a higher turnover rate.

The hiring process is exactly that -- "a process," and dealerships are not equipped to perform this effectively which is why they should use a professional service to help get quality, long-term and productive employees while keeping it cost efficient.  

Chuck, you bring up a good point that is an advantage for a dealership to use a professional service to assist them in staffing the dealership.  I think we have all fallen in love with an applicant based upon a short interview which may or may not include a predictor of success, only to be disappointed with the employee after they were hired.

Ernie: I think one of the most important aspects of this is scheduling interviews, then allocating the time to give each applicant an equal opportunity. So many times as a sales manager you can always count on being busy with car deals when an applicant comes to the dealership. Consequently you give them about 5 minutes, make a quick evaluation and either hire them or send them home. This is a very expensive mistake managers make.

I agree, Ralph.  When I speak to dealership managers one of the first things they say is I don't have the time,  I believe them.  However, hiring the people you need to represent the dealership and sell the car is every bit as important as other tasks.  Immediately responding to an applicant who has applied, communicating with them to schedule the interview is imperative.  Then, do not make them wait when they show up for the interview.  To think people are going to wait for you is not in line with what is happening.  Most, if not all, have other options.  Selling cars isn't usually considered choice number #1.  As pressed for time that we might be, we've got to put our best foot forward during the interview and hiring process. 


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