In his latest blog post, Cliff Banks brings up an issue that is rarely discussed in dealer world: the difficulty of hiring college graduates due to negative industry perceptions.
To be clear, the importance of attracting top talent is mentioned all the time by dealer principals and managers. What goes unsaid is 1) any recognition that the automotive retail industry is held in low esteem and 2) that college graduates are reluctant to take dealership jobs.
Dealer managers might acknowledge #1, but will rarely admit it affects their dealership’s hiring ability because they are “uniquely respected in the community.” This reaction is especially true among managers at premium franchises. They have a point. Nonetheless, bad actors in automotive retail – even bad actors representing different, lower-end franchises or independent shops – do have a reputational impact on every organization in the industry.
Dealer managers can’t really acknowledge #2, or the importance of #2, because it would amount to an indictment of their current staff.
Nice job by Cliff for pointing this out and risking some backlash in the dealer community.