Article

Developing An Online Recruiting Presence: Part Two

September 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Justin Spath - Also by this author

A couple months back, I talked about why you need an employment section on your dealership’s Web site. The two main reasons were to help create an employment brand for your company and to create a self-selection of candidates. To gain the most from these two things, you need to make sure what you have on your Web site advances the why agenda.

Three areas will need to be addressed in the set-up of the employment page of your dealership Web site to address the what; tone, content, and design. Of these three, I will only address the first two. Design is usually determined by the look of the rest of your site and probably will be handled by your Web site developer. You’ll want it incorporated into the overall theme you have created. Tone and content will need to be developed by you, the manager or owner.

Tone addresses the first reason for an employment section on your Web site: employment branding. Your dealership’s “brand” is the collection of feelings held by people associated with your company; customers, employees and vendors. Carrying that over to your company’s employment brand defines it as all of the feelings people have about working for and with your company. Of course, you cannot control how people feel about your employment, but what you can control is how you present your dealership so that, in this case, a job seeker’s first impression is a good one.

So, what should the tone of your employment section be? A good place to start is with the tone of your sales philosophy. Every dealership I’ve ever been in strives to be friendly, customer oriented and as informative as possible. Those are great traits to carry over to your employment section. Think of the type of employees you want to have at your dealership. Then make sure to present those same kinds of traits on your Web site. The people who exhibit the traits you want will then be drawn to the attitude you present online. Remember, recruiting is selling.

The second area of concern in your employment section, and the lengthiest discussion, is content. The content of your Web site employment correlates with the second why - self-selection. The content you provide for employment will help possible candidates determine if they are a good fit for your dealership, which includes having the necessary skills and qualifications for the job, and how qualified applicants should apply if interested.

Web site employment content can be broken down into two main categories; Required and Recommended. The required category contains those content features that every employment section should have. If these are not present it will not be functional or productive. Included here are the job listing, dealership information and contact information.

The job listing at this point does not need to contain anything more than the name of the position available and a brief description of what you as a manager want candidates to possess. Basic qualifications for the job might be included here in order to facilitate self-screening.

The second feature, dealership information, would include a little history about the company and some of its accomplishments. On some sites, this dealership information may already be contained in an “About Us” section of the Web site. If so, make sure to link the employment section to the “About Us” section so candidates find it.

The third feature in the required category, contact information, is probably the most important. Without including contact information, interested candidates will have no way of expressing their interest to you. Contact information should include at the very least a telephone number. A better method would be to provide an e-mail address as well as the name of a specific contact person. This shortens the time period needed to prepare and make contact. Using e-mail eliminates steps that might keep a candidate from applying. If a person has to call the dealership specifically during working hours, find the address to send a resume to, print out a resume, mail the resume and then wait for the turnaround time caused by mail service, they may decide that applying isn’t worth the time and effort. But e-mail allows an almost instant transfer of information, at any time of day, and prompts a more immediate response from the managers at your dealership if they are interested.

If this seems like an exaggeration to you, remember the mantra, recruiting is selling. You wouldn’t make a customer call first to see if you have cars, then mail you their information and wait for you to call back when you have an opportunity, would you? Of course you wouldn’t. You would want to make their process as simple as possible. The same idea pertains to job candidates.

Looking at an actual dealership Web site might help illustrate what is expected on a basic employment page. Roger Kordes, of Greenwood Chevrolet-HUMMER in Youngstown, Ohio, was kind enough to send me a link to their Web site to use as an example. Their site can be found at www.greenwoodchevy.com/employ.html .

This Web site is a great example of a simple, yet effective page for a dealership to use. It hits all the major points for the required content features. The job listing “Sales Candidate” is present and briefly says they’re looking for “dynamic, motivated people.” It also provides dealership information, “the area’s #1 Volume Chevy Dealership,” and contact information with a telephone number, both local and toll-free, a specific contact person and an e-mail address. Go check out their employment site to see these features.

The Recommended category includes content features, which, in addition to the required category, benefit the company the most in driving good job candidates to them. These features would include things like detailed job descriptions, testimonials and online application forms.

By providing more detail about the job, you can help candidates determine if they are qualified for the job. Those candidates that see they meet your needs and qualifications will likely apply. This obviously ties back into the process of self-selection. This will save time, both on the candidate’s side, as well as your own because you will are less likely to have to weed through applicants that don’t meet your needs.

The second recommended feature a site should have is employee testimonials. Testimonials are common items on the sales side of a Web site, and as I keep repeating like a broken record, recruiting is selling. Therefore, find those employees who’ve been with your company a long time, and ask them to say or write a short statement regarding why they enjoy working at your dealership. Posting these on your employment site will let prospective candidates get a feel for the culture and environment they might be working in some day. This is probably the recommended content feature that most directly ties to the tone of the site as well. It helps to reinforce the employment branding aspect of your Web site and dealership.

The third recommended content feature, and usually the last thing I recommend, is an “Apply Online” option. I typically recommend it last only because it takes considerably more time to implement and requires working with your Web site developer. This is a section of your Web site where a candidate can directly submit their application or resume information online. It is another method to eliminate a step in the application process. By having the application submission form online, you allow the candidate to apply without ever having to leave your Web site. As any Web marketing professional will tell you, the longer you keep a person at your site, the more interested they will be.

A good example of showcasing the recommended content features would be the employment section of the Galpin Motors Web site found at www.galpin.com/joblistings.jsp. Galpin Motors was recently recognized in the 2006 Auto Dealer Monthly Top 100 Internet Retailers (#5) so it’s obvious they know how to take advantage of a good Web site. The employment section of their site displays all three recommended content features. They give more detailed job descriptions and qualifications, provide an excellent testimonial from their director of human resources along the left side of the page and provide an online application form accessible by clicking an “Apply” button under each job listing.

By combining the recommended content features with the required ones and using an overall tone on the site that represents your dealership, you will be making the most of your Web site in terms of employment and recruiting.

By understanding the why -- branding and self-selection -- and now the what -- tone, content and design -- of an employment site, you should find yourself at a good starting place to start recruiting through your Web site. If you already have an employment section on your Web site, you have a few good suggestions to help you refine the section devoted to recruiting and employment.

Vol 3, Issue 7

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