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  • Writer's pictureDealerPILOT HR

Hiring Highlights

One of the most frequent challenges expressed by leaders is recruitment.

There is no lack of candidates, but the lack of qualified candidates that will fit into your dealership's culture may be something else altogether. So how do you go about weeding through the resumes to find that great new team member?

Interviewing more people isn't the answer, interviewing smarter is. Reducing our biases, having solid and pointed questions and conducting the process well will help ensure that you are evaluating the candidates objectively.

Here are some tips to help hiring mangers interview better:

1) Be sure that the hiring manager is someone who truly understands the role. This includes prep work like making sure the position description is accurate and up to date, discussing the role with the current incumbent and knowing the skills and personality required. Having knowledge of how the role impacts business outcomes will also contribute to measuring if a candidate is a solid "fit".

2) Use an evaluation matrix or competency chart. Creating a list of competencies, including soft skills such as professionalism, communication skills, problem solving levels and flexibility can help you gauge if a candidate is strong in the areas you truly need. Talk to other members of the department, assess previous employees who were successful/unsuccessful in the role to understand why certain competencies are important or not.

3) Learn about the candidate. While being prepared for the interview is a necessity, making assumptions about a candidate before you speak with them is not a good idea. Pay attention to what makes each candidate unique and prepare well by reading their resume carefully. Ask in depth questions about previous accomplishments, goals, talents and short comings. Do the answers reflect your work culture?

4) Evaluate Objectively. Free-wheeling discussions are not the most revealing or informed way to make solid business decisions. Although knowing if a candidates personality will fit, there is an absence of real data and it contributes to making biased selections. The "halo affect" of thinking "oh! They are just like me" or "They seem to much like so-and-so who didn't last" doesn't measure the actual things that are needed in a role. Some cautions to help avoid this include: avoiding hiring from just your alma mater, not having consistent and prepared questions ( behavioral descriptive questions are open ended but linked to the criteria so they make a great tool) , having a preference of a background of one employer or school. Using a hiring panel ( and never have only one person make a hiring decision) can also reduce bias and provide a counter point to opinions and perceptions. Remember that having unfair hiring practices can have legal ramifications so be as objective as possible.

5) Stay engaged and open. Once you are on your 5th interview of the day, it can be hard to actively listen to someone answer the same question you have been asking since 8:00 am. However how you conduct an interview sets the stage for how a candidate will respond to you. There’s no point in conducting one at all if you’re mentally already on the way home. As well, although timelines are looming snap decisions and quick judgement are often poor decisions and misjudgments. The upside is that the more information you have about a person, the less likely you are to rely on first impressions. Be open to what a candidate has to say,and also be open to their questions. Keep in mind that in today's economy, they are assessing you too! Keep time at the end of the interview to answer questions openly, if hired they will know the truth anyway so you might as well lay the foundation for a good fit and a solid relationship.

In addition to the actual interview, there are many ways to improve hiring outcomes such as the use of an ATS, Personality Assessments and Prehire Activities. If you would like to know more about these and other tools that can improve your hiring outcomes, contact us at

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