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Find your dealership’s next superstar using social media!

By Forrest Flinn

1-15 Forrest Flinn blogMost of what we knew about finding good employees has changed, and yet some things have stayed the same. Even before Facebook, we have always used social methods to find qualified employees for our dealerships. Building the right team in a typical powersports dealership takes blood, sweat and sometimes tears. There are many ways to use social media to help your dealership’s recruitment efforts. Below are a few tips and tactics to help you implement a recruitment strategy by using the very same social media platforms that you are currently using.

Begin your social media recruitment process by being where the potential job seekers are.

The key to starting your social media recruitment strategy is to be where the people are, and they are on social media! Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn offer literally thousands of potentially qualified dealership employees to tap into. While social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn offer a lot of potential job candidates, you may also want to look at industry specific job sites like motorcycleindustryjobs.com to find dealership employees. Also using an industry-specific recruiter is another “social” network to tap into. The key here is to be where the job seekers are and make a presence on that platform.

Social media recruitment starts in your dealership.

Before you start on social media, first rely on your most important asset, your current dealership staff, to attract employees. Almost every employee can help you in your recruitment strategy in getting the word out about current or future openings in the dealership. Your dealership’s Facebook page only has a certain reach to potential job candidates. Having your employees post dealership job opportunities on their personal Facebook or LinkedIn pages extends your recruiting reach via social media exponentially.

Do onto others.

As you develop your online recruitment presence be sure to be helpful to others when possible. Through all of your social media interactions, especially with job applicants, it is very important to come across as genuine, polite and professional. Your online persona should be taken very seriously and carefully planned. I know we work in a somewhat loose and fun industry; however, it is imperative you recruit for positions in your dealership in a professional way.

Is your dealership “LinkedIn?”

LinkedIn is a social website dedicated to business networking that offers you access to thousands of people that are either working in or looking to work in the powersports industry. Make sure your dealership has a presence on LinkedIn and that your dealership’s company page is current and enticing. LinkedIn offers numerous potential candidates with access to résumé-style profiles where you can find industry-specific skills. I personally have built a network of more than 3,000 people who are currently working in some capacity within the powersports industry. You too can build a community of potential job applicants by building relationships and engaging with them on LinkedIn.

Also, by joining industry-relevant groups on LinkedIn, you can expand your reach to prospective employees and other operational resources. This site allows you to post questions and get answers from anyone participating in the group, which establishes your credibility, builds trust and gives you access to some of the best potential industry talent. You can also post jobs within these groups as well. I belong to roughly 20 industry-specific groups on LinkedIn. Remember social media is all about building relationships and engaging with others.

People are watching your dealership, and you’d better look good.

Traditional recruitment ads are a one-to-many type of communication. On the flipside, social media recruitment is a two-way street with communication lines going in both directions. You are looking for great employees to work at your dealership, and those same employees are looking to work for you, too. It is imperative to make a positive, realistic and overall good impression on prospective workers.

Keep your Facebook and LinkedIn pages up-to-date, relevant and professional. Your main goal here is to give potential employees a realistic representation of what your dealership is like. Make sure you apply the same principles to your dealership’s website.

The days of posting an ad in the local newspaper or on generic job boards and then sifting through thousands of resumes are over. Today the rules and methods to find your dealership’s next superstar are different. The key in social media recruiting today is about listening, engaging and building relationships with people who could possibly apply or perhaps know someone that may be interested.

Social media recruiting should not be the only tool in your toolbox for employee recruitment. If you find that your local paper or job boards work for you, then continue to use what works for you. The overreaching principle here is to pay close attention to which recruitment tool works for you and which delivers the best results! After all, employee selection is one of the most important decisions that you can make.

Forrest Flinn, MBA, PHR, SMS has been in the motorcycle industry for nearly 20 years and has been a true student and leader serving in various capacities. He previously worked as an implementation consultant for Lightspeed and as a general manager with P&L responsibility for a large metro multi-line dealership. Currently Forrest is the managing partner and chief visionary for a consulting firm that specializes in outsourced accounting, human resources, social media strategy, dealership operations consulting and Lightspeed/EVO training.

Contact: forrest@powersportsmc.com

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