Best PracticesDealership Operations & Processes

Why Your Sourcing Strategy Should Support Proactive Hiring

Many dealerships make the mistake of waiting until there’s an immediate job opening to start the hiring process. Instead, dealers should have a more proactive solution in place that includes continuous job openings and a diverse set of candidate sources. A proactive sourcing strategy offers several benefits – including optimizing job board spending and building a network of quality applicants.

Risks of Reactive Hiring

Most dealerships have a reactive hiring process – they only hire new employees when the need arises. This approach is often ineffective and poses many risks for a dealership’s overall staffing health. With a reactive strategy, dealers limit themselves to what is available on the market at the time – often causing them to scramble and make a last-minute hire from a narrow pool of applicants. In addition to a smaller pool of job candidates and increased competition for top applicants, there are many other negative side effects to reactive hiring, including:

  • Holding on to Bad Hires for Too Long – With a reactive strategy, dealerships often keep bad hires for too long to stay fully staffed. The resulting costs add up quickly, from training and salary expenses to productivity losses. Many dealers only try to replace the bad hire when the employee’s poor performance gets out of hand – often causing your dealership’s profitability and overall employee morale to take a hit.
  • Losing Overworked Employees – When there’s a role open at your dealership, the other employees have to pick up the slack. The longer this goes on, the greater the chances your overworked employees will look for other jobs – ultimately adding to the problem with even more unfilled positions.
  • Making Hires Too Quickly – The pressure to fill an open position can cause some dealers to be hasty when making a decision with new hires. Without a reliable network of quality candidates, hiring managers might choose a candidate that is either unqualified or a poor culture fit. Making a subpar hire is a short-term solution to a long-term problem that will only cause productivity and employee satisfaction to decrease.

Benefits of Proactive Hiring

In addition to mitigating the risks associated with reactive hiring, a proactive sourcing strategy brings other advantages. Using a proactive approach, dealers can optimize job board spending and create a network of qualified applicants – making the hiring process more cost-effective and efficient.

Optimized Job Board Spending

With a reactive strategy, dealers often make the mistake of buying costly, one-off job board postings to quickly fill a role when there’s an immediate opening. On the other hand, proactive hiring allows dealerships to plan for job board expenditures – allowing for a more predictable budget and transparent insights into each sourcing channel’s ROI.

By recruiting proactively, you can set a monthly or annual job board budget. This will ensure you don’t run into unpredictable job board spending that could hurt your overall profitability.

Proactive hiring with a set job board spending budget also allows for a more thorough understanding of ROI for each channel. Estimate the cost per candidate by dividing the total costs of each channel by the number of quality candidates you receive. You can quickly and easily see which channels are giving you the best candidates for the most affordable rates. This is especially helpful when comparing job boards and other networks that have different pricing models.

Network of Quality Applicants

A proactive hiring strategy also enables hiring managers to build a network of quality applicants. Continuous job postings create a pipeline of quality talent and are much more cost-effective than one-off job postings. Continuous postings are especially useful for high-turnover and high-demand roles, such as dealership auto technicians or sales staff.

Keeping jobs open on your career site and regularly posting on job boards also maximizes your chances of adding qualified passive candidates to your network. Passive candidates are applicants who aren’t actively looking for a new job but are willing to consider a great opportunity when it comes their way. Passive candidates are often highly sought-after but very difficult for hiring managers to target, since they are employed and less motivated than active job seekers. By constantly posting on career sites and job boards, you will keep your dealership in candidates’ minds and maximize the chances of them finding an opportunity they can’t pass up.

Improve Your Dealerships Hiring Strategy in the New Year

Now is the perfect time to rethink your hiring process. With the appropriate sourcing strategy in place, you can save money and hire more quality candidates throughout the year. Here are some of the ways you can optimize your sourcing strategy to support proactive hiring:

  • Leverage Multiple Channels – With multichannel sourcing, you can target quality candidates through different mediums and job sites at once. This will allow you to find quality candidates faster, review them more efficiently and ultimately speed up your hiring velocity – helping you secure top candidates.
  • Showcase Your Employment Brand – A strong employment brand will encourage more candidates to apply for jobs through your career site and job postings. Showcase your brand and culture with each method you use to reach candidates, and highlight what makes your dealership unique in your job descriptions.
  • Stay in Touch with Candidates – If you don’t have the resources to make a hire right away, you should still make an effort to keep in touch with strong candidates. Invite them to an informational interview or check in with them every few months to see how they’re doing. Showing an interest in them will help keep these candidates in your network until they are actively seeking work.

Anticipating the need for new employees and hiring proactively can significantly improve your dealership – from higher job satisfaction and employee retention to optimized recruitment spending and higher-quality hires.

To learn more about proactive hiring, download our eBook, “Why You Should Always Be Hiring.

Adam Robinson is the co-founder and CEO of Hireology – the leading integrated hiring and retention platform in retail automotive – working with ov...