It is one thing to have a clearly defined job description, and another to actually execute that role. Namely, what is that role, and how does it work within your dealership? How does it work with the roles that are already part of your dealer's infrastructure? Namely, before you hire someone there has to be a clear purpose to what the role is - rather than it having been created as a band-aid to ineffectively fix an ongoing issue that no position or person can necessarily fix. That said, here are two things to consider when hiring someone for a BDC Position for your dealership.
Avoid Fixating On Only Interviewing People With Dealer Experience. Working With Someone Who Wants To Learn Can Be Far More Valuable.
It can be easy to gravitate towards a candidate who has had dealer experience forgoing candidates who do not. However, before you move them to the side, be sure to give them a chance. A chance that could lead to their joining your team. Experience is valuable, sure - but only if that experience can effectively translate to your current setting. In that, each dealership is unique to its own. So just because they have experience having had that ‘title,’ it does not mean that it will work for your dealership. More so, going back to the notion that each dealer is unique to its own, the title might be the same, but I can assure you that the positions are not. Better yet, did you take the time to ask the candidates why they left the other dealership? Do they like the job and what it entails? Or have they closed themselves into a ‘box’ only doing what they know, and not what they can learn?
On the surface, sure, it might seem both senseless and superficial to entertain the above thoughts. However, its thoughts along those lines that can help you hire the right person not just for the job, but for the dealership. In my experience, I have found that it is best to hire a team of talent that is unique, a team who has skills you do not have. Skills that might seem contrary to the dealership's vision, but that can translate into executing new and evolved concepts on how to approach the ever-evolving world of ‘business development.’ That is certainly easier said than done as it might just be easier to hire the candidate who worked at a dealership. Instead of having this frame of mind, take a risk, take a chance, and do not limit your parameters of what makes a good candidate based on their previous experiences.
Just Because They Have Dealer Experience Does Not By Any Means Offer That They Are A Good Fit For Your Dealership.
There were many times that I was told to hire someone - against my better judgment - simply because they had worked for a dealer. The idea that because of their dealer experience that they would be a perfect fit. But that just isn’t the case. Not to mention, even if the potential candidate does have a lot of experience - relevant to the position or not - if they do not fit into the dealer's culture, and or share the same vision or goals as the team it can and will cause unnecessary chaos.
This is not to offer that you ought not to hire a disrupter. What this is offering, though, is that when you do they still have to collectively fit into the bigger picture. One of the best examples of this was an employee I was forced to hire because the GM liked that they had phone experience, which sounded great. However, during the interview process, it was unnerving that the candidate interrupted questions, didn’t answer them, wasn’t professional, and was self-interested. And given that this role - especially in BDC - is about offering an experience that is in alignment with the potential buyers' demands it is imperative that you can adapt your skills in the moment. Ensuring that you capture not just the customer's interest, but that you engage with them in a relevant, meaningful way.
Beyond being able to offer the potential customer a positive experience, the employee has to get along with the team in place. If you hire someone who's good, but cannot get along with a team - as they do not have the ability to listen - you are in so many ways knowingly and willingly creating a negative environment. Or in a better sense, an ‘eggshell’ effect where it hinders productivity and momentum that was once in place. I could go on about the tell tales of the actions on behalf of this employee, but the main point and purpose of this anecdote are that the employee went on to dismantle the already, delicate, morale to the point where more than fifty percent of the team quit. If you are otherwise unable to remove this breakpoint, which creates the tension and chaos, this disillusioned employee can wind up costing your dealer thousands of dollars.
Bottom Line: Hiring a candidate let alone building the right team is not easy. There is much more than what meets the eye when executing your plan. But if there is one thing to take away from this is, it would be to rid yourself of the preconceived notions that dealership experience is the end all be all. Where it might be of value to take a risk and hire the candidate that does not have the dealership experience, but is interested in learning and developing into a fluctuating role. Lastly, be decisive - if you have an employee who is disengaged, causes chaos, or is otherwise unable to fit within the team for reasons that cannot be changed, be direct and remove the chaos. In doing so, you can more effectively manage the team in place.
How do you approach the hiring process? What is one thing you have learned from hiring and building a team?