Car Dealerships Slowly Look to Hire from Outside the Industry

Hireology estimated there have been 28,485 open positions in auto retail at the finish of December, a determine that grew to 39,790 by the finish of January.

Public dealership teams made a few of the largest reductions in employment early in the pandemic, with many saying hundreds of the cuts can be everlasting.

Asbury Automotive Group, which furloughed 2,300 staff in early April, is changing individuals who go away, “but we’re not at a point where we’re hiring back people,” CEO David Hult stated final week.

“We’re always opportunistic when it comes to technicians, but even there, it depends upon the brand and the location,” Hult stated. “I think we’ll have a much greater need from that when COVID calms down.”

LaFontaine Automotive Group, a 22-store group primarily based in Highland, Mich., is in hiring mode and has efficiently recruited from the hospitality industry. CEO Ryan LaFontaine usually will go away his enterprise card with individuals who present glorious customer support when he picks up carryout meals. One current hire in the group’s enterprise improvement heart is a former restaurant supervisor.

People who’ve labored as servers, bartenders, and managers sometimes do properly after going by LaFontaine’s coaching, group spokesman Max Muncey stated.

Dahl’s Ladwig stated her group resumed hiring final summer season and goals to add gross sales and repair jobs in its BDC, plus gross sales reps and repair technicians. In January, Dahl employed 9 individuals, together with two with hospitality backgrounds, for gross sales and physique store estimator jobs. Some current hires labored at a resort and a grocery retailer.

Dahl has ramped up promoting its tradition in its recruiting efforts. The group’s hours — shops shut at 6 p.m. a number of days every week — can attraction to hospitality and retail employees accustomed to working nights and weekends, Ladwig stated. The customer support expertise these employees have to adapt properly to auto retailing.

“We can teach someone to write service or how to work in the BDC,” she stated.

“You can’t really teach someone how to care, like, really care about a guest and that experience.”

Source: Dealerships look to hire from outside the industry … slowly