4 Ways to Attract and Keep Millennials

Dealers are diversifying their sales and F&I teams by rethinking the way they engage their communities and making auto retail a career destination for younger workers.

June 2018, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Phillip Hellstrom

Younger workers are attracted to jobs that offer real purpose, light supervision, and measurable, accessible results. Photo by Dana Tentis via Pixabay
Younger workers are attracted to jobs that offer real purpose, light supervision, and measurable, accessible results. Photo by Dana Tentis via Pixabay

Getting the attention of millennials is difficult. This is especially true in the automotive industry, where dealers and salespeople still face a lingering stigma and customers dread the car-buying process. These negative perceptions hinder your ability to attract younger workers.

But it can be done. To improve your chances, here is a four-prong process you can implement to gain and keep the millennial worker's attention:

1. Social Attraction

Do you have a social media presence? By broadcasting your community support and involvement and speaking directly to millennials via social media, you will demonstrate that your dealership puts a premium on open dialogue and full transparency. Create a self-propelled campaign that generates local awareness. Millennials are attracted to careers with organizations that have a purpose.

2. Mission Parameters

Each and every potential career seeker wants purpose in their work, and millennials are no exception. They are less concerned about the day-to-day grind than their ultimate mission. Don’t be afraid to express your organization’s mission and purpose — on social media and in person. Make it your managers’ responsibility to reiterate your mission and adjust it to each new employee’s individual purpose.

3. Compensation Matters

For all the negative connotations the word “commission” carries, it’s a match made in heaven for millennials. Younger workers tend to resist heavy supervision but are eager to demonstrate their commitment. Commission-based pay plans make it clear that effort equals reward.

4. Real Results

Millennials grew up with a world of information at their fingertips. They are accustomed to easy, immediate access to answers. Monthly performance reports won’t cut it with this group. Dealers and managers must interact on a daily basis in a meaningful, genuine way.

After years of rebuilding and trying to counter the industry’s stigma, we still have an uphill battle to face. To attract and retain the next generation of dealership workers, we must recognize that the old ways and models do not apply in today’s world.

Phillip Hellstrom is founder of Phelcan Group LLC and a 17-year automotive retail professional with expertise in sales training and customer relations. Email him at

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