Month: November 2013

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Hiring the right Automotive team

Automotive TeamHiring the right team – what you should look for and how to get a good team balance’

By Ross Lebeter, Associate Consultant, John Gibson Associates.

Hiring the right team is one of the oldest challenges in retail sales. Getting the right mix of people in your team is crucial. To make it more difficult still, the ‘right’ people rarely walk through your door or apply directly for the job.
What to Look For The first thing to look for is a person with the right personality to fit with your corporate culture. Personality is key and it’s very difficult to assess personality in a formal interview scenario, where nerves can affect personality. In this instance you must trust your gut and assess their warmth and integrity. It can be said that a good, trust worthy recruiter can assist with personality identification – most candidates will be at ease and far more comfortable with a recruiter than they will be with a hiring manager in an interview situation. Embrace a good relationship with a recruiter, give them time to find the ‘right personality’ and then trust your judgement on the day.

Don’t get hooked up on skills and qualifications I have a mantra, ‘recruit for attitude, train for skills’. You can send employees on manufacturer training courses or to the group training facility in order to learn product details, process and wider industry knowledge. In one extreme, I have found that without any training at all a competent individual can learn the ins-and-outs of a department within three months. It may seem easier to recruit candidates with previous product or brand knowledge, but this will more than likely lead to just another average employee. However if you recruit someone with the right attitude and sparkling personality, you are on to a winner.

Don’t be afraid to hire a hot shot Some hiring managers are afraid of hot shots. It seems a risk to shock a steady team by bringing in a relentless, high performing employee. However, given the right personality, this individual can raise the bar and get the best out of their team mates. This type of person will also tend to bring an attitude aimed at turning problems into opportunities and will inspire a team to follow suit. These people often become indispensable and are prime internal promotion material for the future.

Expanding a Team In the current climate with business steadily improving, it can seem that the priority is to quickly bring additional people on board to manage the workload, rather than bring the ‘right’ people on board to drive the business forward. When looking to increase the size of a team, look to internal promotion opportunities first and foremost. This can be achieved quickly and you will also remove the guess work regarding personality and their ability to integrate into your team. They too will know the company inside-out, allowing a swift transition.

DO NOT RUSH! Should there be no obvious candidate for promotion, look to your recruiter to go and head-hunt exactly the type of person you require for your team. This can take time, however trust that your recruiter will locate and verify specific potential candidates who can genuinely benefit your business and compliment the team. Do not underestimate the importance of bringing the right people into your team. Quoting Apple’s Dan Jacobs, “it is better to have a hole in your team, than an asshole in your team!”

Motor Trade Sales Looking Promising for November

cheetah close upAccording to Glass’s – the UK’s leading motoring guide, the motor trade outlook is looking promising for November.

Compared to previous years, when November has traditionally been seen as a slow month, this month is showing signs of a pick-up in sales as the country emerges from the economic slow-down, and consumers feel a renewed confidence.

One of the reasons for the surge in interest in the motor trade is the availability of finance, with low interest rates available again and more applications, particularly for personal contract purchases, being reported in recent months. Consumers are also changing their car buying habits as dealers are saying there is less of a seasonality apparent in the sale of 4x4s and convertibles, and sales of smaller, more fuel efficient cars are still buoyant.

Figures for sales in November of 2012 and 2011 were well-down on pre-recession levels, but fleet sales continued to grow. Motor trade has risen steadily in the last year and a half though, and August 2013 marked the 18th month of consecutive growth for the sector, and was notable as being the highest month for car sales since 2007. Commercial car sales have continued to be strong, with September recording a 10.3% in lightweight vehicles and 29.7% in heavyweight vehicles.

Rupert Pontin, chief car editor at Glass’s, said: “It would appear that the country may be turning a corner from an economic perspective, with recent reports showing not only increased consumer confidence but factual evidence of continued PPI pay-outs and a surge in the number or mortgages being taken out. So the question remains, where is the retail market now, and what will be the best and most profitable sellers in what is likely to be a very different November to those experienced in previous years? The answer is to be sharp, quick-witted and to react to the market information available to ensure the best result.”

Glass’s use economic factors, auction prices and consumer tastes to gauge where sales are headed month-on-month.




Preparing Your CV for a Motor Trade Interview

Preparing Your CV for a Motor Trade InterviewAs with most industries, getting an interview in the motor trade is difficult enough, never mind a new job. On average, you’re competing with around 80-candidates for every vacancy, so standing out is really important. In order to do that, the first thing to do is think about preparing your CV for a motor trade interview.

You need to think of your CV as a sales brochure. It needs to make recruiters sit up and think. To compel them to interview you.  And give them expectations around you being the person to fill the role advertised.

So how do you do that? The first thing to consider is your personal profile. Does it sell you and what you can do? Does it include all the skills and attributes necessary for the role? If not, you probably won’t make the shortlist. Make sure your statements are short and punchy and factual. There’s nothing motor recruitment companies like less than flowery, meaningless statements with very little substance behind them.

When preparing your CV for a motor trade interview, you must include your relevant experience and skills throughout your career. Don’t spend too long talking about things that aren’t relevant unless you gained specialist skills, won awards or did something of note at a previous employer. Focus on your most recent positions and write a paragraph or two on your responsibilities and daily duties. Don’t skimp on the important details. The more you match your skills to the position, the more likely you are to get an interview.

It goes without saying you need to pay attention to spelling and grammar. Poorly spelled and punctuated CVs will be discarded straightaway. To stop yours being thrown in the bin, spell check it and make sure you’ve selected the UK option, not the US one. A common mistake is to misuse words like your and you’re and there and their. Use a dictionary – there are several online ones available if you don’t have one to hand – so you select the correct one.

The format of your CV is important too. Format it so the margins line-up on the edge of your page, and leave plenty of white space in your employment history so it’s easier to read. Use bullet points where applicable and keep it simple. A cluttered, fussy CV will be disregarded over those that are difficult to understand, regardless of the information contained in them.  Use a well-known platform for your CV too. Microsoft Word is ideal. Converting it to a PDF document will give it a professional edge.

Preparing your CV for a motor trade interview needn’t be difficult. You just need to take time and effort over it so it shows you off in your best light. At JGA, we can assess your CV for you, so follow these tips and send it to us, and you’ll have taken your first step on the journey to a great new motor trade career.