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Two of the hottest topics in the auto industry this year are online reputation and recruiting. Hiring the wrong recruiting company can ruin your dealership’s reputation and cost you BIG!

There are several different ways to go about recruiting talent for your dealership, but the most effective way, aside from strong grass- roots efforts, is to outsource it to an expert recruiting company. That being said — buyer beware.

When dealers start shopping around, they quickly learn they have options, but just like a customer looking to buy a car but unfamiliar with the ways of or industry, if you don’t do your research you could end up in a bad situation. Just as there are good dealers and bad dealers, there are good recruiting companies and bad recruiting companies. Most play by the rules, but others play Russian Roulette with your dealership’s dollars and reputation.

THE FACTS
Let’s start with companies who charge applicants. If you tell applicants in the advertisement that you are going to charge them an exorbitant fee that has no guarantee of a refund, or even a job for that matter, the applicants won’t show up for the interview. If you DON'T disclose the fee in the ad, you’re committing deceptive advertising practices which may ultimately be proven fraudulent with punitive
repercussions aimed directly at the dealership.

Because most recruiting companies who charge applicants use the dealer’s logo, this gives them freedom to make mistakes on your dime. Ask any sales manager who has used this type of company and they’ll have a horror story or two.

Also, the recruiter only gets paid if applicants attend the training, so they will put anyone in the class who shows up for an interview if they have the money. The trainer discourages high- quality applicants, just in case the applicant interferes with the class on the third day when the fee is brought up again; It’s possible they could create a “walk out” by exposing the lack of guarantees and orchestrated trickery.


The dealer’s real troubles, however, begin after they make their hiring decision. The dealer may let the recruiting company know that they only want to hire four, but the trainer/recruiter may have 15 or 20 in the class all week long right through until Friday. After the dealership hires the applicants they want, the others are left with a sense of rejection and told they won’t get their money back, but can call an 800 number for “job placement.” Most of the “job placement” people are simply minimum-wage workers who have no job placement experience. They are simply told to call the dealerships in the area and see if they can get the applicants some interviews.


In many cases, the trainer/recruiters are not properly trained themselves and don’t understand legal interview questions. There are many new interview do’s and don’ts. Improperly trained recruiters can create additional risks for you because, in this day and age, the applicants know more about what someone can and cannot ask you than they ever have before. Rejected applicants will often point their wrath directly at the dealership in the form of BBB complaints, “Rip Off ” reports, attorney general investigations, EEOC complaints and any other form of reputation bashing the justifiably angry job seeker can get their hands on.

a better way
There is a better way to recruit the best talent in the industry: through companies who don’t hide in the shadows looking to make a quick buck off a desperate job seeker. Before you hire a recruiting company, there are 13 things you should know. Answers to these simple questions should protect your dealership from harm.

1. Is the recruiting company willing to sign a supplemental agreement releasing the dealership from all potential liabilities in the event of an unforeseen issue?
2. Does the company have any programs where they charge applicants? If so, walk away
3. When they advertise, are they telling the applicants there are no hiring or training fees?
4. Are they properly licensed and insured? If not, walk away.
5. Do they have a state and or national reference list?
6. Do they offer any replacement guarantees on the candidates you hire from them?
7. Do they offer objective guarantees that the service you pay for will be delivered fully?
8. In their ads, do they mention they are a third-party company retained by the dealership, with proper links to their Website and a phone number to their office?
9. Do they allow the dealership management to interview the candidates before the candidates are trained by the recruiter? If no, walk away.
10. Do they staff for all positions in your dealership?
11. Are there any factory programs available, or are they highlighted by any OEM which may include special pricing for your dealership franchise?
12. Have they ever gotten a dealership sued, or been sued themselves for advertising practices, or preying on jobless candidates?
13. Is there any bad press on the company online that has not been properly addressed by the recruiting company’s executive management?

For a free supplemental agreement releasing the dealership from any and all liability issues when using a recruiting company, which you can use with any recruiting company you choose to use, you can e-mail me at the address below with “Free Supplemental Agreement Request” in the subject line. In addition, you will be provided with a list of free “Interview Do’s and Don’ts” to keep your managers from getting you sued. Good selling!

Copyright 2014 All Right Reserved Authored by Kevin Bradberry

Kevin Bradberry is president and CEO of TK Worldwide, Inc. He can be contacted at 888-350-3310 or emailed at kbradberry@tkworldwide.com

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