Hiring employees today is distinctly different than in previous years. Unemployment is at remarkably low levels, and it’s often difficult to find qualified new employees. There are also expectations from prospective applicants as to flexibility, childcare, health insurance, salary, and work environment. It’s never been easier for employees to switch jobs to find greener pastures. The job market rewards job switching, and it’s not anticipated that this will change anytime soon.
To fill open roles in your company, you have two options: internal mobility or external recruitment. External candidates can bring in a fresh perspective, and at times it may be the best way forward, but hiring from within has many distinct advantages. Building a farm team within your company is a way to ensure employees have a way to move up. By going directly to external hires, you could be overlooking your own qualified talent pool.
For many dealers, the go-to is external hiring. That means employees within their dealership must leave to advance and develop. It’s a missed opportunity, since employees stay with a business when they continue to learn, develop new skills, and grow. For those who consider hiring from within, research shows that employers are not doing a good job of clearly communicating the upward mobility opportunities within organizations and how employees can apply.
Save Time, Effort in Your Hiring Journey
Internal hiring or recruitment has many advantages, including increased motivation, lower hiring costs, cultural fit, easier onboarding, and improved retainment of employees. Hiring from within your organization gives people the opportunity to move forward in their careers, progress to higher levels, and develop their skills without having to move to another company for a promotion or challenge. Knowing that you work for a company that promotes from within is also great for retention purposes and motivating employees.
Another clear benefit is the cost effectiveness of hiring from your own pool of talent. Consider the following:
- Reduced recruitment costs
- Less time spent on interviews
- Easier onboarding
Being the dealership that has a reputation for internal hires will provide a positive impact on employee morale by giving people an opportunity to advance without having to leave the company. It also compliments the value proposition for new hires, knowing that they can advance within the dealership.
There are many more advantages including:
- You can avoid situations where new hires get offers from other interviews, leading to a salary bidding war.
- A current employee will be more loyal to the dealership for giving them the opportunity, so turnover will be reduced.
- This option offers a positive ripple effect — promote one employee and you may have another that can step into their previous role.
- You build loyalty by boosting morale and encouraging development.
- An internal promotion will allow dealerships to pay a lower commission rate than a seasoned professional that is hired from outside the organization.
- Dealerships already know their current employees work ethic.
Success Starts with a Plan
Let’s focus on how to implement an effective internal recruitment plan and its execution. You need to create a solid process as a starting point, and these are steps to include:
- Select criteria for when to use internal hiring processes (outline when you would go outside the company and why).
- Where are you going to post the jobs, what internal channels can you utilize?
- Clarify the application process and accessibility to employees, will they respond directly to a job posting or should they approach the position through their manager?
- Define how will you track the hiring process.
- Once you make your selection, respectfully notify your employees who applied and did not get the role.
- What is the best way to fill the domino effect position?
- Lower-level positions are a great place to start building your farm team.
Creating the Ultimate Farm Team
You can start planning today for your tomorrows. Look for recent graduates who are looking to build their careers and put them in low-risk positions to learn from your best sales representatives. When opportunities open to move people up, take the best and move them up, knowing they have been taught to have the skills that they need to be successful. Then refill their position and keep your farm-bench at capacity so you always have a pool to draw from. It’s a great way to build a high-functioning sales team, and you are giving good, solid, employees a change to grow, all while keeping the talent in-house. It’s a great strategy for long-term recruitment and for driving company loyalty.
Be open and upfront about your plan to make people feel valued and feel good about their work. Share the goals of your organization and the expectations for the members of the team.
Neil Brennan is general manager at Vanguard Dealer Services.
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