Best PracticesDealership Operations & Processes

Three Ways To Find Candidates With Quality – For Hire!

Most dealerships struggle to find quality applicants for their open positions. Merely acquiring resumes to review is not enough; your goal is to find a small number of motivated and qualified job applicants with whom you can invest time.

When attempting to fill an open position within your dealership, it is important to use your time and money efficiently. The best way to do that is to leverage your existing brand, to leverage your existing employee network, and to make strategic use of all the different online job boards.


Attracting the highest quality candidates can be difficult if you don’t know where to begin. Consider the following strategies:

1. Showcase Your Company Story and Culture With a Career Site

Adding a dedicated career site on your dealership’s website gives your applicants a portal through which they can learn more about your company. Stand apart from other dealerships in the area by providing a clear description of your culture, core values and history.

Your career site will allow everyone who is interested in a job to view open positions directly on any device. Using the right type of technology for you career site will deliver SEO value and reduce the overall effort and cost required. By utilizing a contemporary page design, you’ll attract higher-quality applicants who opt in to learning more about your career opportunities. As an added benefit, linking your career site to your dealership’s website will boost traffic to your consumer site.

Even candidates who are not actively looking for a job may be intrigued by what your dealership has to offer compared to others in their area.

2. Utilize Employee Referral for Retention

Word of mouth is a powerful tool when it comes to selling cars, and the same concept applies to sourcing qualified candidates. Ask your current employees to reach out to their networks, both online and offline, and let them know about the current open opportunities in your store. If you want to take your employee referral program to the next level, offer a cash bonus for referrals who are hired and who complete six months of continuous employment. In the long run, paying referral bonuses will be much more cost effective and time efficient than any other recruitment channel

Candidates that are sourced through employee referrals have better retention rates than others so you can start the onboarding process quicker and without worry. Allowing employees to recruit people they know and trust can also help improve morales. Current employees that take the initiative to find qualified candidates within their social circle can feel valued and trusted within the dealership. The candidates that are referred will feel an increased sense of connection from the beginning since they know the employee that referred them.

3. Online Job Boards Bring You Increased Traffic

Online job boards are an important part of the recruiting equation. However, maintaining quality is difficult if you don’t utilize an automated pre-hire assessment to weed out the obvious bad fits.

When considering the use of a paid job board, it’s important to set your budget – and expectations – accordingly. The average marketing-cost-per-hire for candidates sourced via a paid job board is just under $300. This budget will yield you on average around 20 candidates for your open role; the number for technician roles will be much less than that.

Job boards are a great option to utilize if you need a higher volume of candidates in a short timeframe.

The time you invest in sourcing quality candidates, as opposed to focusing strictly on applicant volume, will lead to a reduction in your overall turnover rate and will have the added benefit of lowering your subsequent recruiting costs. Try incorporating these three options into your dealership’s hiring strategy and begin to see a better class of candidate walk through your doors.

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