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Online Recruiting: Does It Work?

Where do we get the best employees possible so that we can have the best dealership possible? That is a question that I am sure has crossed your mind at one time or another. In fact, it’s a question I’ve addressed in this magazine before. If you’ve read any article I’ve written before, you know that the recruiting method I almost always recommend as the best is employee referrals. Imagine my surprise now that new information is showing that employee referrals may actually be only the second best method.
A national survey of businesses conducted in February of 2006 by a strategic management consulting firm, reviewing information for the year 2005, showed that the number of new hires sourced through companies’ Web sites exceeded those brought in through employee referrals. That same survey showed that new hires from the Web site were found to be a higher quality than those brought in by external recruiting companies and that the company Web site recruiting yielded a higher return-on-investment than nearly any other method. The study illustrates what recruiters everywhere are starting to realize; a company’s own Web site has become their top recruiting method.
Even though HR professionals and consulting companies are learning to take advantage of this newest recruiting trend, individual companies are lagging behind. Few understand why they need to be focusing on an employment section for their Web site. The reasons are fairly simple when lined up and they basically break down to branding and self-selection.

I’m going to assume that all of the dealerships that receive this magazine have some form of Web site already and if not they are on their way to doing so. A good Web site for your dealership is an invaluable tool for the sales and marketing of your company. It’s in this marketing that we find our first reason for needing a good employment section of the Web site: branding. Whole books have been written on branding a company, but the quick and dirty is that branding is about creating an idea of your dealership in the minds of the consumers that makes them want to buy from you. You show your inventory on the Web site, have pictures of your smiling salespeople and tell about why your dealership is the best to establish that you are the dealership of choice in your area.

Branding applies to recruiting in exactly the same way. A dealership needs to make potential employees want to work for them. This brings in the best workers because they are attracted to the “personality” of your company created through branding. This carries over to the Web site because the quickest way for a person to find out information about a company today is to go online. An employment section on your dealership’s Web site that highlights the best features of your company and gives a person a feel for what working for you will be like helps establish your “employment brand” in the minds of people. You want to make sure that when they go to your Web site, they get the idea that you are an employer of choice.

This branding process leads straight into the second reason a good employment section is useful: self-selection. By researching your company, a potential employee learns whether or not they will fit in with the culture and expectations of your dealership. If your employment brand does not match up with what they are looking for, they’re not going to apply for a job with you. These people then exclude themselves from your hiring pool, saving you time and money through a reduction in time to review and interview them. This is why companies see a high quality of employees brought in through their Web sites, the people who wouldn’t fit have already eliminated themselves as candidates.

It’s a fact of business that if people are starting to notice a changing trend, then we are already behind the times. An estimated 50 percent of all potential employees will be taking the time to look at your Web site and trying to find out more about your dealership. These people are actively seeking you out as an employer. Your job is to make sure that when they go looking your dealership is presented as the best place to work. These potential employees are more likely to be higher quality workers and stay with the company longer. This leads to less time spent on sourcing and recruiting freeing up the time of your managers to deal with other issues.

Now that you know why you need to have an online presence for your recruiting function, we need to figure out what you need to have. We will continue to look at your dealership’s online recruiting presence next issue and I’ll be giving examples of what the best sites include. I’d like those examples to come from you, the readers, and your dealerships.

If you have a section on your dealership’s Web site for employment or recruiting already, send me the link to your site. E-mail your Web site link to me at the e-mail address listed by my picture with “Dealership Employment Web site” as the subject. The dealership sites that have the best features will have their sites highlighted in a future article so that readers can view what best sites should include.

Vol 3, Issue 5



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