There are two main considerations prospects usually evaluate before making a purchase decision.
1. A company's brand awareness and credibility
2. Whether the company is trustworthy and likeable
These principles can also work for other business efforts, such as scheduling a technology assessment or demo in the hopes of an eventual sale. But let's focus on how they can be applied to another important area: recruiting. Increasing profitable market share through effective prospecting will always be a focus of the imaging channel, as we need to have the right team members hired, trained and in place to sell and service technology infrastructure. So how can we make it through the Great Resignation, which has impacted our channel's dealerships in every department? Well, just like gravity, everything that comes up must come down. Soon the Great Resignation will become the Great Hiring Age, and we must figure out how to recruit and retain the best employees. This next generation of new hires is looking for-and demanding-different pay structures, more flexibility, purpose and benefits. In order to compete, dealerships must now "sell" their companies to potential new hires with the same fervor they sell their solutions. Brand Awareness and Credibility Evaluating your dealership and its culture as a brand and being able to communicate that to potential new hires is a key to successful engagement. Your brand will be evaluated by your potential hires (as well as potential customers) as they review your website and company LinkedIn profile. Be sure to review the online acknowledgments of professional networks your dealership is involved with as well as your social media presence, including your employees' LinkedIn profiles. Potential new hires will view your organization's website and social media to get a feel for your company and how you treat employees and customers. This is a change from when websites focused simply on product features and benefits as well as solutions. However, it's now a place where customers and potential employees form a first impression of your company. So be sure to enhance your sites with video and pictures of charitable works, client testimonials and employee's engagement with each other. Because employers must work hard to "sell" their employee value proposition, it might be wise to create a "join our team" tab on your website. This can be used to share information such as job openings with full descriptions, how to apply and what it's like to work at your dealership. It can also include videos highlighting your most tenured employees-showing longevity builds credibility that you can offer a long, fulfilling career. Hiring candidates will also look at how your dealership rewards success, not only financially but also through enhanced experiences including wellness, learning opportunities, charitable contributions on behalf of employees, etc. You can hire a company that designs these employee experiences, or simply Google "Employee Appreciation Experiences" to find inspiration for designing your own. Trust and Likeability Just as sales executives need to work on their elevator pitch, recruitment professionals in the imaging channel must revise their recruitment pitches to communicate the brand and culture within a 30-60 second timeframe. One idea is to hold an internal contest centered on creating the best recruitment pitch and then use the entries to craft one for your dealership. This also builds positive culture because your employees will see that their ideas matter and have impact. An example of this is used by Impact Networking, a prestigious technology dealership I had the pleasure of working with. They hold internal events such as Company Shark Tank, which allows employees to provide leadership ideas and innovation requests that are evaluated for their potential success. Employees understand that their opinions and ideas are valued and will be implemented, which I'm sure impacts attrition, allowing Impact Networking to keep the employees they fight so hard to find employ and foster towards more success. All the videos that are created and utilized on your website (keep them short, two minutes or less) can also be shared with your hiring candidates on LinkedIn. The exciting thing about posting on LinkedIn is that you don't have to be connected to the candidate to get to the top of their feed-just tag them in your post. This task can be assigned to your HR professionals and marketing team, but ultimately each department head should be responsible for ensuring their right team is hired. The more information candidates are exposed to, the more trust they'll have that your dealership is a place where they can fit and thrive. Employing a quota for departments can also help your efforts by changing recruitment from reactionary to proactive. If a manager is only trying to fill a position when someone leaves, they are sometimes forced to leave the position open or pick a candidate who may not be ideal. It's always better to have several candidates. Let's take the sales department as an example. Just as a sales manager can statistically quantify how many prospecting touches are needed to close a deal, a sales manager can also measure how many recruitment touches are needed to find a new hire. When you create a repeatable process that's data-driven, you can repeat success. Building a measurable, steps-driven recruitment quota also allows senior management to hold sales managers accountable for their progress on a weekly or monthly basis, just as sales managers do with their sales teams. Adding marketing efforts, such as posting to and texting candidates two or three times prior to the standard steps below, will establish trust in you and your dealership. Here is an example of steps you can follow to keep your hiring pipeline full: Management may also want to change their president's club requirements to include a goal in which each sales executive must bring a candidate to be interviewed for an open position. This ensures finding many candidates your sales executives already like and trust. And if they're hired, it creates additional "roots" for your sales. The new moto must be ABR-always be recruiting! Inspecting weekly how each department head has candidates in each phase from phone interviews to interaction with other members of the team is a very important part of building trust and likeability. Hopefully, it will also foster work friendships for the new employees, which will increase the chances of them staying in the position long enough to experience real success. Managers may also want to refine their personal recruitment pitch. A hiring candidate looks for a management team they can trust and work alongside on a daily basis; incompatibility with management has been identified as one of the leading causes of employee attrition. Consider the following questions about yourself when building your sales recruitment pitch. 1. What do you enjoy about technology sales? 2. What's your management style? 3. What benefits may be important? (remote work, accountability, training, etc.) 4. What are two things you love about your dealership? Love is a strong word, but managers must deliver passion and purpose in under a minute, and everyone should have several things they love about the work. Authentically communicating that passion to candidates will demonstrate who you are as a sales manager, providing an initial indication to the candidate if you're a personality fit. Purchase In prospecting for clients, you can monetize each touch and count on that statical measurement to create a plan to exceed quota every month. When looking at job candidates, you can do the same. They're buying into the dealership and providing their skills to create success for your company, so their decision to come to work for you is an important one for them. But have you evaluated what it costs your dealership in training and onboarding a new employee? Or the cost of having that position open and overburdening other members of that department until new employees can take on that workload? It could positively impact your current employees to institute some "thank yous" for their extra work, such as an employee-of-the-month parking spot, which cost nothing but provide prestige and recognition. Identifying the real cost of filling these positions may also help you readdress compensation. Offering increased commissions after hitting sales quota thresholds could be an easy way to attract top talent away from your competitors. Raising commissions instead of salaries increases your chances of hiring sales executives who are motivated by financial success. In other departments, success benchmarks can also be rewarded, and you may decide to increase salaries after nine months once they've had a chance to establish themselves and accomplish department responsibilities. Just as you do your research before deciding to make a big purchase, candidates are researching your dealership to decide if they want to spend their time working with you. Creating the right recruitment pitch and empowering each department to contribute to the recruitment process will bring your dealership into 2023 with the right team members so you can succeed in your customer excellence, employee satisfaction and profitability goals. ABR!