Don’t wait until it’s too late! That’s mindset you need to have when trying to stay ahead of your competition. Sometimes, competitive advantage is created with the introduction of a breakthrough product – exactly the right car at the right time, for example. This type of advantage is hard to deliver and even harder to maintain, however.
At other times, simply mastering certain business fundamentals can create competitive advantage. There are fewer things more fundamental to the success of a business than the ability to recruit and hire the right people. In the retail automotive business, a properly structured recruitment and hiring program is the most overlooked potential source of competitive advantage there is. And if you want to develop this advantage, you have to start with the absolute basics: your dealership’s career site.
Your career site is the portion of your website that acts as a landing page for potential hires. With a poorly constructed (or non-existent) career site, the odds of recruiting and hiring the best staff are stacked against you. There are three practical ways you can help your business improve its career site, as well as gain a competitive edge and attract better talent to your dealership.
Step one: Check and see if it’s time for a career site refresh.
Think of your career page as an advertisement for your dealership. There are probably many things you want to tell your audience about your business. In this case your audience are the job seekers looking for new career opportunities.
“In the retail automotive business, a properly structured recruitment and hiring program is the most overlooked potential source of competitive advantage there is.”
One of the worst things you can do for your career site is “set it and forget it.” Just having one isn’t enough. You have to keep up with the ever-changing trends in technology and social media. If your site isn’t at least equal to that of your competitors’ then you can say goodbye to the better crop of talent that’ll be applying to jobs elsewhere.
Here are six questions that can better help you assess the state of your business’s career site:
- Do you have a separate page on your website dedicated for job seekers?
- Do you regularly update and post jobs you’re hiring for?
- Do you have an easy, quick process for applicants to apply for your jobs on the page?
- Are you providing plenty of information about your company on the page, such as company background, culture, career path potential, and involvement in the community?
- Are you displaying any video, links or photos that better explain your business and workplace environment?
- Does your site have the appropriate links connected to job postings and social media sites?
These are but a few questions that can help you better measure the state of your career page. If you’re missing anything, don’t worry. These are all fixes that can be made with simple website changes. Like gaining any other competitive edge, it all starts with a little effort.
Step two: Add the site features needed to attract today’s top talent.
The next way to add a competitive advantage from an improved career site is by knowing what a well-rounded site looks like, as well as how it should read to your audience of job seekers and applying that knowledge to your site. Top-performing career sites contain consistent elements that drive results, such as:
- Page layout and content is inviting towards visitors
- The site is easy to navigate
- Uses employee quotes
- Highlights company culture and employee perks
- Design is simple, but effective
- Clearly shows and explains the different departments and teams within the company
- Highlights open positions in the center of the page
- Features an insightful interview with the store’s GM
- Includes an informative video about the business
- Provides plenty of helpful resources for job seekers
- Also provides links to all company social media pages
- Offers directions on “how to apply” for their applicants
The dealerships that attract the best talent all have something in common with their career sites: they provide valuable information—all of which is easy to comprehend and access on their website—that welcomes job seekers, convincing them to apply to their open positions. They also provide better reasons as to why applicants should choose to work for them, compared to their competitors.
Step three: Promote your site to help drive traffic and applications.
Your job postings can provide compelling local content that your market will care about. After all, you’re providing well-paying, stable jobs in your community, and that’s big news these days. To really grab the attention of high-quality job applicants, you should fully promote your open positions.
Promoting your jobs can be simple, inexpensive and effective if you use the right techniques. Job seekers will be much more likely to apply for your open positions if you highlight the right elements such as:
- On your company website, make sure your career page is visible and accessible on the home page
- Create a banner on the homepage that mentions your hiring – “Click here to see our open positions”
- Post all of your current open positions on your page and be sure to close the ones you’ve already filled
- Write periodic blog posts on your company’s job opportunities and career path and provide a link to your job postings
- Share your career page URL on social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube (create a hiring video), Google+, etc.) and let everyone know you’re currently hiring
- Email signatures – Have your employees add a link to your careers page with a note saying something like, “We’re hiring!”
- Ask to post a message with a link to your careers page on your business partners’ websites and/or networks
No matter how you choose to promote your site and job openings, ensure that you’re using the right channels that best fit for your company and its culture. If you represent your business well on your site, you’re more likely to attract the type of talent and personalities you’ll want working for your company.
Mastering the basics of recruitment and hiring begins with an investment in your organization’s career site. Better career sites attract a higher number of qualified applicants, and will enable you to hire the best available team members in your market. That’s creating sustainable competitive advantage.