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Human Resources

Don’t be so Old School!

One of the biggest challenges in our industry is attracting and retaining top talent.  We have struggled with chronically high turnover for as long as I’ve been around—and that’s been a while…this December will mark the beginning of my 22nd year in our wild and wonderful business!  Our astronomic turnover doesn’t seem to change no matter how much we yammer on about culture.  I have some opinions about that but that is another article isn’t it?  

What I felt compelled to write about after helping someone fill out an online application is this:  Dear Lord……please stop making it SO hard for people to send their initial application!!!!!  The entire process should take literally a few minutes not almost an hour for God’s sake!  

I get it…..I really do.  I used to be a stickler for having the entire application filled out right off the bat.  And I do still advocate for a full application collected in the hiring process.  I want that application that requests information that I want to know versus the resume which is information the candidate wants me to know.  I still believe that this is very important and can lead to discovering critical information about your candidate.  I’ve simply changed my mind about WHEN I want that information.  And if you just can’t see your way to changing it, PLEASE don’t put fields like date of birth on your application.  Are you asking for a ADEA (Age Discrimination) suit?  Again, another article.  

But seriously, times have changed people.  We are not living in the same world we did even 5 years ago.    My perspective has changed in the last few years and I believe that we need to keep it simple and make the process faster.   Get the long tiresome application later in the hiring process.  Please.  

Why you ask?  

Well, I’ll tell you.  It’s pretty simple really.  

Because you are going to lose candidates.  

We are operating in a very interesting employment environment.  In the beginning of October the Department of Labor posted that for the 18th month in a row there were more job openings that people to fill them.  Think about that for a minute.  For a year and a half employers have been in competition for candidates that have a LOT of options.   


Additionally, we have historically low unemployment rates AND the workforce is filling with new generations.  Did you know that in just 4 very short years that 75% of our entire workforce will be made up of Generation Z & Millennials?  To top this off our Boomer generation is finally retiring—not only leaving a physical talent gap but also a skills gap.  In our industry, many of these Boomers hold our top management position.  Do you have a succession plan for this? 


So, we have candidates with options, very different wants and needs, who are doing EVERYTHING with their phone—and won’t be spending an HOUR to fill out an application for a position they MIGHT want to take.  Chances are they are already working and if they are dissatisfied and looking for a new employer they are going to apply with the company that gets them.  And if you don’t make the process quick and easy—that’s not you.  

So, rethink your application process—who knows what amazing new talent you are missing and gifting to the competition with an archaic process.  The talent pool is smaller than the ocean of open positions plus they are vastly different in their expectations.  

So, don’t be so old school in your recruiting strategies.  Update your thinking, update your process, update your application, update your ATS (my favorite is  Make it simple, easy, and mobile friendly.  Talk to candidates—sell them on your dealership and your employee value proposition (yes, another article)—THEN once YOU know you want them, and THEY are convinced they want YOU—get them to fill out the application.  

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