Recruitment on the road and from the ground up

April 26th, 2021 | Industry News

Recruitment agencies that make use of SaaS have been reporting a huge surge in recruitment in certain areas of retail… one of which is vehicle sales. More specifically, car sales, as the trade market seems to be taking a little longer to get back on its feet, although several industry professionals are suggesting that we might see a long-term upsurge in van sales, as people move from bricks and mortar operations to mobile ones, both because they are moving away from renting commercial premises as a result of the pandemic and because many furloughed/laid off individuals are looking at starting sole-trader enterprises such as dog grooming, massage, mobile coffee shops and handyman enterprises.

Car dealerships have seen a permanent change in the nature of their operation. Web based recruitment software has shown that hiring and retention strategies are changing as dealerships respond to the substantial reduction in staffing during the pandemic. One example is that many dealerships are using recruitment management software to manage their own hiring, rather than relying on central recruitment strategies, and another is that many back office roles are now being fulfilled remotely, reducing dealership site staffing by between 10-15%. Getting more done with fewer people in house is just part of the alteration that is being seen – digital and remote sales have become much more part of the process, especially where electric car sales are concerned.

Workplace flexibility has also become an issue. A report from the USA says that employee turnover rate was 46% in 2019, which is high for an industry that offers good packages for self-motivated people… the problem being long hours, a lot of weekend work and little flexibility in terms of job-sharing. Forward looking dealerships are currently looking at how online recruitment software works to see how such systems, so effective in recruiting, can also be used in training sales staff and offering team-working approaches to job-sharing which may keep talent in the system for longer.

The lockdown also affected the building industry – but very differently. Construction was one of the sectors excluded from the ‘working from home’ restrictions, and having an essential workforce meant day-to-day work could continue. A bigger problem has been the difficulty of creating and implementing COVID-19 protocols to keep everybody safe. Workforce development, training and recruitment have been complicated. The best recruitment CRM has been able to help construction companies focus on forward movement in training and development through online and digital systems, to give continued support and to close the workforce gap that is increasingly developing as fewer young people come into the sector and older people move out of it. Virtual recruitment is tough in an industry that is largely based on word-of-mouth hiring. Training and continuing skills development have also been tricky, and larger employers have been focusing recruiting efforts on building training teams that can deliver virtual up-skilling to a workforce that can be geographically widely spread and also diverse in terms of language and technology.