Why auto dealerships should be recruiting the next generation for sales

Posted by Travis Fitzgerald on Oct 24, 2018 8:21:13 PM

Auto Dealer Recruiting

Selling cars has never been an easy career, and as of late, it’s been increasingly difficult for dealerships to recruit and retain young talent to take on this challenging career path.  According to a recent Hireology study quoted in this August 2018 Wall Street Journal article, it has been hard to “convince workers in their 20s and 30s to work and stay in an auto retail business defined by long shifts, weekends on the selling floor, haggling and commission-based pay.” In fact, “nearly 60% of dealership hires are millennial workers, and more than half of these new hires turn over annually”.

It’s no surprise that Millennials are burdened with higher debt compared to other generations, and therefore seeking more stable pay and benefits - making commission-based work a scary option. However, Generation Z, born between the late 90’s to mid 00’s, exhibit traits that are in-line with those desired in the automotive dealership space; and herein lies the opportunity.

When digging a little further, dealerships--if positioned properly--are at an advantage. By adjusting recruitment efforts to properly align with what Generation Z is looking for in a career, there proves to be some synergy. After reading  8 Ways Generation Z Will Differ From Millennials In The Workplace, we learned that Generation Z are:

  1. Skipping college: Fearing crippling debt, “More of [Generation Z] are skipping higher education than their millennial counterparts, and moving straight into the workforce.”
  2. Competitive in nature: Generation Z like a challenge, and are motivated by reward and merit for high performance.
  3. Valuing independence and entrepreneurial spirit: They seek autonomy and have a “desire for financial success”. They’ve seen their parents weather financial hardship during the 2008 economic collapse, and want more control over their own financial future.
  4. Tech-savvy: This generation has never known a world without being connected through technology. They can provide the strategic, cross-device technology experience dealerships need to carry the business into the future.
  5. Happiest interacting with faces: Text isn’t real engagement to Generation Z. Speaking “face to face” is how they prefer to connect with other humans and the world around them.

There is so much promise on the horizon for the next generation of automotive sales. By putting extra effort into communicating these values to this passionate, motivated, and hard-working generation, dealerships can begin the evolution, and change the perception, of a career selling cars.

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