Struggling to Find the Right Employees for Your Dealership?

Struggling to Find the Right Employees for Your Dealership?

Guest writer John Dowling has a timely blog post this week. We are always hearing about the difficulties employers face when trying to find quality employees. Read “Struggling to Find the Right Employees for Your Dealership?” to learn more.

Are Recruiting Firms a Good Investment? Well, it depends on the firm. Do they have an excellent reputation? Are they 5-star rated? Do they have a guarantee? Do they know your industry? Do they embrace technology to drive efficiency in their process? If the answers are “yes” to all the above questions, then there is a good chance the recruiting firm will positively impact your ROI. A better question is, “Do I need a recruiting firm to be successful?” We could also ask, “Why should I use a recruiting firm to staff my dealership?”

It doesn’t matter what business book you read or what successful owner you talk with; they will always indicate that what drove their success was their people: the company’s human resources. Having the right people is more important than having the right product or business plan. People drive your business’ success. The right people and culture fit is paramount to your dealership’s success. It doesn’t matter if a candidate is qualified, if they are not a good culture fit, they can harm your company.

I worked at a dealership that had explosive growth. When I started, we were about 110 employees; in less than six years, we were over 220. That’s adding over 100 employees, and that does not include recruiting for turnover. A couple of years into it, we realized we needed a full-time HR manager, and I was tasked, on top of all my other responsibilities, to recruit and hire the HR manager. I had taken some HR classes for my degree and was familiar with HR, but I had to do more research to determine precisely what qualities and skill sets are required for a successful HR manager. I posted the job on an online job board. I continued reading articles and HR blogs and reaching out to people I knew in the industry, trying to prepare myself to source, screen, and hire an HR manager.

Well, I was successful, at least at acquiring many resumes. I remember one day, I had over 60 resumes that I had to read and decide if I should set up a phone call or not. About halfway through the stack, I started having resume fatigue. Do you know when all the resumes start looking the same, and you don’t even remember the name of the person you just read? It all just becomes a blur. For the sake of time, I began looking for things to disqualify them versus asking whether they were qualified and would be a good fit for our company. I am sure I passed over some good candidates.

A good friend and successful businessman recommended a recruiting firm to find us an HR manager. After convincing the dealer’s owner that the placement fees would be an investment in our business, they sourced a great candidate within budget. We hired him, and he helped us get to the next level. The HR manager brought years of terrific value to the company, especially compared to the placement fee we had to pay the recruiting firm. It was some of the best money we ever invested in the company.

Recruiting is a full-time job; you will get sub-par results if you try to do it part-time. One of the most significant values of using a recruiting firm is freeing up capacity. Your managers only have so much mental capacity. When asking a busy sales manager, branch manager, or service manager to recruit employees, something will slip off their plate, usually customer service and profitability. It would be difficult to calculate the exact loss of potential income and customer satisfaction because the manager focuses on recruiting rather than their primary responsibility.

You may say, “We have an HR manager,” or “We have a full-time recruiting staff.” That might be true, but Jay Lucas, President of JSA, always says, “Recruiting is like a pineapple.” HR managers are juggling compliance, compensation, and employee satisfaction, similar-sized fruit. Then the company president throws in a pineapple, recruiting; it just doesn’t fit. What usually ends up happening is that the pineapple hits the ground, or the HR manager tries to juggle the pineapple, and everything else stops. Recruiting is a full-time job, and a company should always continue recruiting. Would your sales associates be recruiting or working in the shop? No, the sales associates must keep their sales activity funnels full, and I say the same for recruiting: you must keep the recruiting activity funnel full. There is not an on/off switch. Recruiting is a process.

I know some companies have a whole department of full-time recruiters. If you’re large enough, this may be a workable model. However, I would challenge you to determine your actual payroll cost, benefits, oversite, and additional office space for a service that could be outsourced and performed more efficiently. We must focus on what we’re good at.

Heavy equipment dealerships are skilled at selling and servicing equipment. However, recruiting employees for an equipment dealership is different from selling and servicing equipment. Focus on what you’re good at, managing a heavy equipment dealership. Partner with a trusted recruiting firm that specializes in recruiting top talent for the heavy equipment industry. This will be a win-win scenario that will return an excellent ROI for all parties involved.

At Jordan-Sitter Associates, we have an excellent reputation and literally hundreds of five-star reviews to prove it. We have been in the heavy equipment industry since 1978, and we are so confident that we can find top talent that we have a money-back guarantee. We have dedicated recruiters who specialize in different subsets of our industry, be it Dealer, OEM, Sales, Product Support, Operations, or Technicians. Our sophisticated technology stack allows us to source passive job seekers, ensuring we deliver you a qualified candidate who is the “right fit” for your company! To learn more about JSA, visit our website at

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