Best 3 Questions To Ask When Hiring for Your Digital Dealership

By George Nenni

One approach to effec­tive hir­ing is best framed by three ques­tions. Take a look at the tech­niques you’ll need to use in order to be suc­cess­ful with dig­i­tal can­di­dates.

1. Can he or she do the job? Focus not on per­son­al­i­ty or abil­i­ty to coach, but skill.  Start by cre­at­ing a work­sheet that spells out the skills required for all can­di­dates, as opposed to the ones you are will­ing to teach. Once you know your must-have skills, start review­ing resumes (or even bet­ter, LinkedIn pro­files). Look for past expe­ri­ences on resumes where appli­cants might have gained your required skills. Next, you will move on to the phone inter­view ask­ing them spe­cif­ic ques­tions that will gauge whether they have these skills or not. Don’t have time for phone inter­views? The truth is, you don’t have time NOT to do them.

How many times have you sat in front of a fresh in-per­son inter­view can­di­date, and real­ized in five min­utes they are not a good fit? We often want to be cour­te­ous and spend 30–45 min­utes with the can­di­date before dis­miss­ing them.

Your time would have been much bet­ter spent in a phone inter­view, last­ing only 10–15 min­utes find­ing out if they have the skills to move to the next step in the process. In the phone inter­view, you want to deter­mine how much knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence they have in dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. How com­put­er savvy are they? Can they effec­tive­ly use a dig­i­tal cam­era? What do they know about social media? Can they effec­tive­ly com­mu­ni­cate with cus­tomers in the dig­i­tal world?

2. Are they will­ing to do the job? This can take place dur­ing either the phone or per­son­al inter­view. I like to focus on past jobs the can­di­date has held. Will this be a step for­ward, or back­ward?  Why are they mak­ing a career change? Since you know you will invest sig­nif­i­cant­ly in train­ing them, how long do you expect them to stay with your deal­er­ship? Has this indi­vid­ual shown a suc­cess­ful track record of hard work, strong results, and career growth?  Does he or she like to read and stay up on cur­rent tech­nol­o­gy? How fast do employ­ees work­ing in your deal­er­ship learn? Can this indi­vid­ual learn at that rate or above, and what recent tech­nol­o­gy devel­op­ments can he or she bring to the store? How does this per­son han­dle con­flict, con­fronta­tions, or angry cus­tomers? Is this can­di­date cus­tomer ori­ent­ed?  Deter­mine not only whether or not an indi­vid­ual is the right fit for your deal­er­ship, but also, is your deal­er­ship the right fit for this per­son? Ide­al­ly, the goal is to find long-term employ­ees who can start at entry lev­el, and then grow into high­er posi­tions of author­i­ty. This is a stage where orga­ni­za­tion­al fit is para­mount.

3. Are they coach­able? For this step, you need to tru­ly get to know the can­di­date in per­son, and his or her per­son­al­i­ty. Con­sid­er get­ting out of the deal­er­ship and go to lunch or din­ner. Eval­u­ate the can­di­date in both a for­mal and infor­mal set­ting. Focus on past rela­tion­ships with man­agers.  Why did this indi­vid­ual leave the pre­vi­ous posi­tion? Was there con­flict with a pre­vi­ous man­ag­er?  Some­times this infor­ma­tion can be dif­fi­cult to dis­cern from a can­di­date. For exam­ple, he or she may instead want to place blame on some­thing else, such as the down­siz­ing of the com­pa­ny.   Use the approach taught in sales train­ing: remove the objec­tion. Ask ques­tions such as:

“So if you hadn’t been down­sized at com­pa­ny ABC, do you still think you would be work­ing there?”  If you get an answer that says, “No, I didn’t always see eye to eye with my boss”, you now have some work to do. Your goal then becomes to deter­mine if the boss was unrea­son­able, or if your can­di­date was unrea­son­able. The last thing you need at your deal­er­ship is an employ­ee who is dif­fi­cult to man­age. All of the skill in the world won’t out­weigh a resis­tance to coach­ing. You will be spend­ing a lot of time with this per­son so it becomes imper­a­tive that you have the prop­er fit.

The lessons for effec­tive recruit­ing and hir­ing are dif­fi­cult to sum­ma­rize in a few short pages. In sum­ma­ry, when bring­ing on new team mem­bers, com­mit to chang­ing the pro­file of your deal­er­ship. Add peo­ple who are skilled and knowl­edge­able in dig­i­tal tech­nol­o­gy. Cre­ate your list of must have skills, and build a sol­id process for find­ing capa­ble employ­ees who can help you con­tin­ue to be suc­cess­ful in today’s dig­i­tal age. Hap­py Hunt­ing!

George Nen­ni is the Vice Pres­i­dent of Oper­a­tions, and can be reached via the .




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