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  • Writer's pictureDealerPILOT HR

Tapping Into New Talent

The conversation around attracting talent has been a point of discussion for a long time. The scarcity of qualified and dedicated candidates sometimes seems overwhelming.

It is time to think outside of the box and start to look at how we can attract and retain emerging talent instead of "skilled workers".

Did you know that every province has some type of initiative to attract young people and newcomers to the workforce to trades?

Are you aware of the programs and initiatives that are being run by trade schools to connect employers?

If you are challenged by recruiting, maybe it's time for a fresh approach.

Since the need for staff toady isn't going away, have you ever considered participating in programs to help ensure that you have staff tomorrow?

To attract long term talent, we need to be making sure that current recruitment practices are attractive to young talent, new talent pools that include those traditionally would not have considered the automotive sector as a career path.

So, let's break this down into two key areas:

1) Attracting talent now for the long haul

2) Attracting talent that is emerging

Attracting Talent Now

There are numerous ways we can improve our recruitment and hiring practices. Let's keep it simple and look at a few simple places to begin to re-evaluate your processes:

  • Have someone who is part of the demographic that you are targeting review your job postings and give you honest feedback about what is attractive to them and what would possibly dissuade them from applying.

  • Revisit your internal processes. If your recruitment practices are cumbersome, paper based and still relying on an application form or walk in resume, you are missing out on the best part of the workforce. Today's job seekers are looking to organizations to demonstrate progressive use of technology, addressing the need to add value to a company and speaking to what they value. The use of an ATS, integrated employee automation and providing information quickly and easily holds appeal to job seekers.

  • Look at your surroundings. Does your workplace represent the talent pool that you are trying to attract? Do you offer high potential applicants the opportunity to see your facilities? If not, why? We spend most of our waking hours at work and knowing what our surrounds are like can be a valuable part of the decision-making process. You wouldn't expect someone to buy a house sight unseen, so why do we expect them to come to work in an unknown place where most of their time will be spent?

  • Think about the team. Are your current staff welcoming and open to new team members? Not feeling like you are part of the team can cause early resignations or mediocre performance and lack of enthusiasm.

Tapping into Emerging Talent

This is the future of our industry, and can be an exciting element of dealership growth and success.

Emerging talent includes those people who are "training up" to join trades, are looking at re-skilling to align personal passions or who want to do something different with their current skill set.

This pool of talent includes high school students, recent immigrants and those that are looking for a change. It doesn't just have to be about working in the service or sales area either. Have you ever heard a friend or acquaintance speak to wanting a new focus? Not all CPA's want to work in accounting firms and not all PR graduates want to work in Marketing. There is an opportunity to refresh interest in our industry- but you have to be willing to be creative.

Here are a few areas to consider:

  • Participate in a pre-apprenticeship program or job fair. Nothing in your area? Initiate a relationship with your local vocational school.

  • Reach out to post-secondary institutions to ensure that they are aware of your vacancies and share that information with their upcoming grads.

  • Participate in government hiring programs that may be in your area. These programs vary widely (and may have deadlines or participation windows) so find one that meets your needs. This could be anything from access to candidates or cost sharing initiatives.

  • Look to regional, ethnic, or other demographic programs. There are many specialized programs from coast-to-coast that are trying to train people that are not part of the traditional talent pool. Reaching out to these organizations may give you the connection you need to find the emerging talent that you want.

  • Assess your facilities for inclusivity. Do you have the facilities that will make these future candidates interested or feel welcome to work with you?

  • Shine a light on your dealership. Do these emerging talent pools know who you are? Celebrating Apprenticeship Week, sponsoring an apprenticeship award, speaking at a high school, offering internships or practicums, or participating in training programs can put you in the spotlight.

If you would like to know more about how we can assist dealerships in finding unique ways to attract emerging talent, or use technology to their best advantage, we would love to hear from you. Please email us at to start the conversation.

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