Best Practices

How To Hire Qualified Sales and Service Professionals


How you recruit and hire your dealership Sales, Internet and BDC professionals, sets the performance “tone” for your entire dealership. A few months ago I wrote “Change Please – Who We Hire and How We Hire“. In that article I introduced to you the concept of an effective Employee Life Cycle System (ELCS) – something very few dealers have in place to consistently refer to when recruiting, hiring and managing their employees. An ELCS is a systematic objective process that once implemented will help you to:

  1. Attract better qualified job applicants
  2. Decrease your recruiting time
  3. Conduct more effective interviews
  4. Effectively motivate, develop and manage your dealer employees (in less than 2 hours per year per employee!)
  5. Decrease the cost of your recruiting
  6. Decrease your turnover and the high costs associated with it…….

My four part series will provide you a comprehensive Employee Life Cycle System you can implement in your store immediately. In this first article I will address Recruiting – how to attract qualified sales and customer service professionals to YOUR jobs!

Lets get started!

Recruiting for your Dealership

Consistently recruiting top talent does not depend solely on luck. It takes planning. To “plan” a more effective recruiting campaign there are four key areas that need to be followed to dramatically improve your likelihood of attracting a higher caliber job applicant. These areas are:

1- Job description – (knowing what you are looking for)
2- Employment ad – (short, concise and effective)
3- Recruiting venues- (fish where the fish are)

Creating a Job Description

Create an accurate thorough job description for the position at your dealership which you are hiring – you can’t “find” what you don’t know you are looking for!

If your store does not have job descriptions for every position within it then now is the time to start. Creating a job description sets clear cut expectations for the employee and an important tool when managing your employees.

A job description should include:

  • Job responsibilities
  • Required education
  • Required experience
  • Skill requirements
  • Ability requirements

Be sure to include the job title, as well as whom this person reports to and the date in which the description was created. Engage other managers who might have valuable input for this job description so everyone is singing off the same hymn book.

Dealer Employment Ads

Once a job description has been complete, you are now ready to write an effective employment ad. Creating an effective and compelling employment ad using your job requirements will make employment ad writing easier than ever!

An effective format for a dealership Sales, Internet and or BDC professionals should include:

  • Job Title
  • Job Tasks and Requirements
  • Company Information- i.e. Tenure, CSI/SSI scores, repeat and referral business and community involvement
  • Application Steps in your hiring process – make sure to clearly direct the applicant to how they should apply i.e. website, email, fax cover letter and resume. Refrain from having the applicant “stop” with open “application periods”, this is a less than professional approach.

Oh and whatever you do, do not state compensation numbers in job ads! Premature, very tacky and old school!

Quick SAMPLE AD Start

Internet Sales Representative

ABC Dealership in NW Indiana is currently accepting applications for the position of Internet Sales Professional. The professional we are in search of will possess impeccable time management skills, second to none relationship building ability and an attention to detail only a proven track record can validate. Excellent computer, phone and communication skills an absolute must.

ABC Dealership is proud and protective of our award winning customer satisfaction levels, our robust sales and will be adding another professional to our team to maintain these standards while continuing to grow our dealerships business.

We are second to none, and are in search of the sales representative who is second to none as well. If you have experienced success in these areas, please apply!

Please apply via our website click on “career opportunities”


Please apply by faxing your resume and a cover letter to: 555-555-5555 Attention Mr.Smith (No phone calls please)

Quick SAMPLE AD Start

Recruiting Venues

Think outside of the box – stop going to the same watering hole expecting to attract different fish!

Refrain from newspapers. Use online job search venues, shop and compare cost and exposure.

Implement an employee referral program. Employee referral programs are less expensive and more successful than conventional employment searches, long term.

Hold a job fair – dealerships not only get great results for their current job opening(s) but are also well on their way of creating an ongoing applicant pool for future hiring needs. Use local colleges and their job search student resources.

Always be recruiting! When you are out and about and you run into that “super customer service friendly clerk” at your local super retailer – give him or her your card and ask them to apply!

Make sure you set the stage at the time of recruiting for a long and mutually beneficial “employee life cycle”. You can easily attract a better qualified applicant to your employment campaign – the question is after their first meeting with you or your point person at the store will they care if they ever hear from you again? Did you give the applicant a favorable impression?

Accurate, clear and honest representation of your dealership and the job is the key during the recruiting process in order to set the right expectation for the job applicant. If the correct expectation(s) are not set you will be setting yourself up for the disappointment that comes when you think you hired a winner and false expectations creates a “whiner”.

There are two things you can do in order to prevent unrealistic expectations during the initial faze of recruiting. First make sure that the store and/or the position is not over sold. Big promises of high earnings early in the game which are unrealistic become a major blow to a new hire once they are on board. Sending false messages about the culture of a store (i.e. training, support, managements involvement when there really isn’t any) runs neck and neck with false earning expectations. These mistakes are sure fire paths to turnover.

In my opinion we have never had a better applicant pool available for our dealership jobs than we do today. We just need to roll up our sleeves and put our game plans in place to attract them to our stores, then select them effectively.

In the next article Screening and Interviewing I will outline step by step how to screen and interview each and every candidate in ½ the time you are used to with a 100% increase in efficiency.

  • K
    Kris Thomas
  • March 11, 2010
Great artice Wendi!. Can't wait for the next one. Way to stay positive!