Best PracticesDealership Operations & Processes

3 Elements of a Successful Dealership Applicant Sourcing Strategy

Dealers have many options to fill job openings, but continuously face challenges finding quality candidates for in-demand roles such as service technicians and sales managers. And with fewer than 1% of job seekers considering a dealership for their next career move, it’s critical to have the right strategy in place to attract strong applicants – including those outside the retail automotive industry.

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Are you doing everything you can to attract quality candidates and turn your dealership staff into a source of competitive advantage? Below is an overview of three key elements your dealerships should make sure to include in your sourcing strategy.

Diversify Your Sourcing Channels

Instead of relying on only one applicant source – such as a costly job board posting – each time you have a job opening, your dealership should seek out quality candidates through a variety of applicant channels – including your career site, job boards, social networks and more. But while managing countless applicant sourcing channels might sound time consuming for your HR team, the entire process can be simplified using an automated sourcing tool.

Similar to the advertising model for online consumer ads, an automated sourcing tool can manage the recruitment budget for your dealership and leverage a network of hundreds of sources to only invest in those expected to drive quality candidates. On the other hand, when you don’t have a process in place to focus your budget only on sourcing channels that deliver results, your HR team might end up spending time and resources on poor applicants. Another benefit of a diverse sourcing strategy is you’ll decrease total time to hire, as you’ll reach more quality candidates across sources candidate sources. This means you’ll fill open roles quicker, ultimately increasing productivity at your dealership.

Create A Strong Career Site

With the availability of one-click job boards, many job seekers apply to as many roles as possible, without determining whether each role is the right fit. But the most engaged candidates take the job search a step further and spend time researching roles and companies to gauge their fit. And most candidates turn to company career sites to continue their research once they come across a job opening. In fact, across Hireology customers, 30% of quality candidates apply via career sites, the highest percentage across all sources.

If your dealership doesn’t link to your career site in each job posting – or doesn’t have a career site at all – you might end up driving away top candidates who will instead apply to other dealerships, or companies outside the industry with strong career sites. Your career site gives you the opportunity to tell your dealership employment brand story – and a strong story can help you stand out from other employers in today’s competitive job market.

Beyond including a list of open roles, your career site should include details on the workplace culture, career progression, and overall benefits to help job seekers see the opportunity your team offers. Also make sure to continuously share engaging content, so career site visitors can glance into a day in the life at your dealership. For example, you can highlight pictures or videos of your team, company outings, unique spaces in your business and community events, among other content.

Once you have a great career site, make it easy for job seekers to find. This includes linking to the career site on your dealership homepage and ensuring your career site is both search engine- and mobile-optimized.

See Insight into Your Sourcing Budget ROI

HR managers and team members wear many hats, which can leave little time for hiring and cause your dealership to lose track of your total spend on job boards and other recruitment efforts. If this is the case, chances are you don’t have a process in place to measure ROI, determine which channels are resulting in the most quality candidates and adjust job board spending accordingly.

To understand your candidate ROI, divide the total costs of each channel by the number of quality applicants delivered – meaning applicants who were qualified enough to make it to the candidate stage. This will give you a cost per candidate, which is more helpful than the cost per applicant for comparing different job boards and other networks that might have different pricing models. Going beyond pricing, if you’re noticing certain job boards or channels do not result in quality candidates – or eventual hires – this is a clear sign you should reallocate your budget to other, more successful sources. And if you enlist the help of an automated sourcing tool, recruitment budget ROI will be measured for you and your budget will only be spent on sources that drive quality candidates.

Hireology customers who have embraced the power of automated sourcing have seen double the amount quality applicants compared to traditional job boards.

By implementing a strong applicant sourcing strategy, your dealership can save money, see an increase in quality applicants and decrease your overall time to hire. Ultimately, this will lead to improved productivity and profitability at your dealership.

Scott is the Vice President of Product at Hireology, driving the product roadmap for upcoming Hireology features. He's responsible for discovering, de...