Auto Service World
News   December 8, 2021   by Adam Malik

Treat recruitment like sales: Expert

If you want to see success in recruitment, treat it as if you trying to make a sale, one leader recently advocated.

That means persuading and convincing people to come work in the automotive aftermarket, rather than hoping they’ll find your company, said Matt Weiss, president and chief operating officer at eShipping Distribution Services, during a recent webinar.

His company used to be like most others – round up candidates and screen them.

“The difference now is we’re treating it like sales,” Weiss said during the webinar Creative Labour Solutions for the Warehouse & DCs, part of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association Supply Chain Webinar series.

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“We’re going out into the market and we’re persuading. We’re trying to steer people from going to Amazon and to come to us. If you don’t look at it like sports or sales or anything else competitive, then I think you’re going to lose.”

Furthermore, his company is placing more emphasis on retaining talent. “I think focusing on recruiting talent, versus screening labour, is a shift that we had to make,” Weiss said.

Kristine Coogan, managing director at business advisory firm KPMG and is part of its automotive strategy team, pointed out that the best strategy a company can come up with is how to retain the people they have.

“One of the things that I always remind folks of is that the cheapest labour you can get is the labour you already have,” she said on the panel. “You want to focus on retaining people, in addition to recruiting people. Because if you are sourcing talent, but you’re trying to fill a leaky bucket, you’re going to be struggling to fill it regardless. So addressing the retention aspect, in tandem with addressing the supply is a really good strategy for most organizations.”

“So addressing the retention aspect, in tandem with addressing the supply is a really good strategy for most organizations.”

Brett Miller, a lawyer and the employment practice liability insurance practice leader at Butzel Long, noted that he was seeing retention bonuses and higher wages as ways to attract talent. Non-compete clauses could also come into play to encourage people to stay with your company.

Nevertheless, “it’s still just a really tough market right now,” he said.

Still, even if you’re turning over every rock to find help, don’t forget the old human resources mantra to hire slow and fire fast.

“What we often see in cases where the labour market and talent pool is what it is now. People will hire really fast — you’re growing, you’re trying to bring in anybody [you] can — and six months later, they find out that they’ve maybe hired a few rotten apples, and it can really spoil some of the culture [of the comapny]. It can impact the retention of other people,” Miller said.

Make sure you get the right kind of talent that fits your organization. “Even if you need bodies in the door, there should be some kind of analysis of that,” Miller advised “And if it’s not working out, it’s always better, again, fire fast. Because once that person suddenly starts to making HR claims and complaints about unfair treatment, you really end up in a tough spot from a legal standpoint.”

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