Warning: Declaration of plugin_findreplace::addPluginSubMenu() should be compatible with mijnpress_plugin_framework::addPluginSubMenu($title, $function, $file, $capability = 10, $where = 'plugins.ph...') in /nfs/c07/h04/mnt/173052/domains/test.drivingsalesnews.com/html/wp-content/plugins/find-replace/find_replace.php on line 17

Warning: Declaration of plugin_findreplace::addPluginContent($links, $file) should be compatible with mijnpress_plugin_framework::addPluginContent($filename, $links, $file, $config_url = NULL) in /nfs/c07/h04/mnt/173052/domains/test.drivingsalesnews.com/html/wp-content/plugins/find-replace/find_replace.php on line 17
Recruiting Women In Automotive Retail: Innovative Practices From Garber Automotive Group | DrivingSales News

Recruiting Women In Automotive Retail: Innovative Practices From Garber Automotive Group

December 10, 2015 1 Comment


Part 1: Recruiting Women In Dealerships

Part 2: Recruiting Women In Dealerships

NADA reports women make up no more than 17 percent of the workforce in key positions in auto dealerships, here’s what a trendsetter is doing about it.

As national employment creeps closer to the fill-line, economists, politicians, and business owners are scrambling to understand the motivations and expectations of the new American worker. How will businesses recruit and retain the cream of the crop as competition mounts, workplace expectations are fogged by the likes of Google, and the gig economy offers attractive alternatives to traditional workplaces?

Hireology, co-founder and CEO, Adam Robinson recently emphasized the importance of an improved recruiting process in retail automotive. Robinson shared one dealer he spoke with expected just 6 out of 100 new hires to “stick” in a quarter. NADA reports the attrition rate for salespeople in retail automotive was 72 percent in 2014. Even more abysmal is the conveyor-belt for female sales staff; moving out of the dealership at a rate of 90 percent.


Deficiencies in managerial practices, training programs, and recruiting processes are certainly helping to preserve the discouraging statistics across genders. But consider this, according to the NADA Dealership Workforce Study, in 2014 women made up no more than 17 percent of the workforce in key positions within the dealership (F&I Manager and Service Advisor were the highest). Female service technicians made up only 1 percent and sales consultants fell between at 10 percent. Attrition is undoubtedly an issue. But the statistics also suggest that retail automotive is simply not a consideration for a great portion of the capable and increasingly competitive market for talent.

Bobbie Herron is the digital sales and marketing director at Garber Automotive Group. She is very enthusiastic about the importance and opportunity in more equal representation of women throughout the auto industry, especially in retail.

“Any group that we have the ability to lift and change an industry with should be our focus,” she said. Herron has spoke at numerous industry conferences and will present her insights on recruiting and retention of women at the Digital Dealer Conference this upcoming January.

Herron prefaced her recruiting strategy by citing consumer behavior and psychological studies that identify women as easier to trust. As consumers demand a more transparent sales process, building trust and rapport are central to Garber Automotive Group’s strategy. “It’s become a key indicator of if somebody is going to buy from you,” she said about perceived transparency.

She attests that with the right training, a salesperson can still control the sale amid evolving consumer expectations; but women inherently approach it less aggressively and with less of a dominance factor, making the dealership a more comfortable place for decision-making. She also said women can say things to female shoppers and achieve a higher level of identification than if a man said the same thing because generally speaking, women look at a vehicle with different needs in mind.

Their recruiting and interview process isn’t conventional by auto industry standards:

Why work for us videos

Videos display the family atmosphere, helpfulness, and opportunities for professional development. They feature current employees, creating a genuine message that communicates the culture.

Changing language in job ads

Instead of using language like “Rock star” or “Digital Ninja,” Herron uses words like “dependable,” “social” and “likable.” She said it’s the exact same role, worded in a way that is more attractive to a woman.

Interview process & job shadowing

Garber Automotive Group has an in-depth interview process including personality assessments for job fit and a clearly communicated path for growth. A candidate’s third interview actually takes place in their home. Herron says, “It’s not us interviewing them, it’s them interviewing us. We want to make sure families understand our expectations.” The group allows candidates to job shadow for up to a week, so potential employees get a real feel for the position and their surroundings.

Choose your pay plan

Employees have the choice to work on a salary or a commission-based sales plan.

Herron says women make great leaders and bring valuable insight to the male-dominated industry. In traditional dealerships she says a lot of female influence from “behind the scenes” goes unnoticed and unrewarded in the industry. “Receptionists are coming in and saying ‘we should try this’ because they’re looking at in a way that’s different from how men are looking at it,” she said. “People don’t want to work for a company when they look to the top and don’t see anyone that looks like them.”

Garber Automotive Group has made strides internally to fight the industry norms and keep their talent. They have 5 day workweeks, they partner new employees with a top performer as a mentor, they give a day-off option instead of cash bonuses, they offer generous maternity leave, and they don’t make people feel guilty for not working 70-hour weeks. Leadership takes great care to make sure employees are happy. An annual Employee Satisfaction Index allows employees to report everything from the temperature of their work space to if they missed an event that was personally important to them because of a work obligation. “People work harder when they know you care about their life,” Herron said.

Herron shared that of the 16 stores within the group, Garber Buick in Saginaw, Michigan is a shining example of their efforts paying off. With under a 20 percent storewide turnover, women make up 40 percent of sales staff. Herron said the GM at the store is exceptional; he empowers people and advances based upon qualification (competencies and past performance) and commitment. “When they have leadership meetings once a week, you can look around the table and it’s a pretty even split of men and women,” she said.

While the industry has certainly made strides for women that shouldn’t go unrecognized, there is still a lot of work to do. Pay plans, work schedules, surroundings, and growth opportunities all need to evolve in order to attract, retain, and engage diverse talent.

About the Author:

The DrivingSales News team is dedicated to breaking the relevant and the tough stories affecting car dealers. Have questions for DrivingSales News? Reach the team at news@drivingsales.com.

    Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /nfs/c07/h04/mnt/173052/domains/test.drivingsalesnews.com/html/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php on line 399

    Let’s face it, when the average young American worker or woman hears all the hype of desirable companies AND Silicon Valley companies with work environment including (and I am not making these up): ‘bring your pet to work policy”, “company provided yoga and massage”, “napping areas”, “bring your parent to work day”, (and best of all) “extend your fertility egg preservation” policy where dedicated employees can have their eggs harvested and frozen until a more finically advantaged time to bring in an offspring into the family
    With benefits and perks like these, our dealership careers to Millennials and women are “Dead Jobs Walking”. We have to change ………..

CISA ebook ICBB test software Masks KN95 Mask