Ask the Experts: Driving the Diversity Initiative in Your Dealership

The automotive industry has a diversity problem. This probably isn’t news to most dealer owners. Although, it might be news that things haven’t gotten better since we last checked. In fact, only 6% of dealerships are owned by minorities and only 19% of traditional, new-car dealership employees are women. These uncomfortable figures are hard to hear. But, it’s important to recognize where our industry is coming up short. For one thing, a lack of diversity can diminish your brand’s reputation leading to lost sales and a lack of qualified employee candidates. After all, more than half of millennial job seekers take your brand’s reputation into consideration before applying. Beyond that, however, a lack of diversity also turns away qualified buyers, creates a poor customer experience, and will cost your dealership. Change doesn’t always happen overnight, but there are actionable steps you can take right now to drive the diversity initiative within your business. We reached out to the experts at Hireology, We turned to the experts at Hireology, the hiring and HR experts, to learn more:

Make the Case to Management

Your upper-level management team needs to be aligned on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. So show your investors and leadership team that a diverse staff is a non-negotiable. Use data to make your points stick, like an inclusive culture results in a team that’s twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets, six times as likely to be innovative and agile, and eight times more likely to achieve better business outcomes.

Consciously Recruit

Hiring efforts can’t be inclusive without actively working to make it so, because every single individual has unconscious biases that can influence their decisions and judgements. That means you and your team should put in work to attract, hire, and retain diverse individuals. You can do this in a variety of ways, like writing nondiscriminatory and gender neutral job descriptions, ask all interviewees for a particular position the same questions, and make your hiring decisions on role requirements over “culture fit”.

Check Your Company Culture

You won’t be able to attract or retain diverse employees with a toxic culture, so evaluate your current work environment and make changes where necessary. Establishing an employee value proposition can help you determine all the reasons employees would want to work at your dealership, and doing some competitive research can show you where your gaps or shortcomings lie.

Additionally, requesting employee feedback through an employee satisfaction survey can give you incredible insight into whether or not your team feels like your dealership is an inclusive place to work.

You can even create an inclusion council to help set goals around hiring, plan company events, and provide a space for open communication. At Hireology, our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council meets once a week to collaborate on company events, discuss real-time worldly issues, and all-in-all create a safe and welcoming workplace.

Promote From Within

When it comes to hiring for upper-level positions, you should always first look to your internal staff. Not only does it help with recruitment to show applicants that they have real growth opportunities, it also builds internal morale and motivates your employees to do their best work. Highlight possible career paths on your career site, and share testimonials from employees that have had successful career opportunities within your company to spread awareness to your candidates and employees alike.

Be “In the Know”

The events of the past year have had dramatic and lasting effects on many individuals. From the devastating impact of the pandemic, to the social injustices that continue to occur, your team is dealing with a lot. As a leader, it’s important that you recognize these events and offer your team time to process and heal. Whether that’s done on a company-wide level, or as a message cascaded down from managers, it’s important that your employees feel that they are valued and cared for, especially during tough times.


Discover more valuable tips on building a better work environment from the 9 Keys for Hiring & Retaining Staff.



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