CommentaryJun 11th, 2018

The Secret to Recruiting Superior Millennial Employees


Millennial employees now make up a huge percentage of the American workforce — and that number is growing. Experts estimate that by 2025, as much as 75% of the work force will fall into this age group. Your future employees will be millennials, so you need to start attracting them to your dealership.

The problem is the car business isn’t always millennial-friendly. It can seem behind the times, with a lack of the technology and flexibility that this generation craves. What’s the answer? You can start by adopting mobile technology on your sales floor. Simply put, millennials are digital natives who’ve never experienced a world without mobile phones. Sit them at a desk with a landline, and they’ll abandon you as soon as something better comes along.

A mobile workplace makes your dealership more attractive to millennial employees because it fulfills their hunger for flexibility and convenience. It may also lead to a better customer experience. Take the example of Shults Auto Group in western New York. The group knew allowing its sales associates to go mobile would improve its recruitment strategy, but management was leery of personal phone use — and for good reason. If an employee using a personal phone left, the book of business information housed in that phone went out the door too.

There were also compliance issues. With personal phones, there was no guaranteed way to track all the calls and ensure they were logged into the CRM, or monitor if employees were using a required third-party calling app. So, when the group came across a communications platform that could record and publish all mobile calls to its CRM — without any add-on apps — it knew it was time to go mobile. The group gave every sales associate a dealership-owned iPhone to conduct dealership business anytime and anywhere, which circumvented worries about personal phones and ensured the group owned all the phone numbers.

The leadership team quickly saw the benefits to employee recruitment. “Recruiting millennials into a business that traditionally is not millennial-friendly is very tough,” explains Matt Kahm, VP of marketing for Shults Auto.

“By adding mobile, we were able to get out of that rigid, process-orientated mindset that takes all the fun out of buying and selling a car. That is helping us attract talent.”

The customer experience also improved. Now salespeople spend all their time face-to-face with customers, instead of sitting behind a desk staring at a screen. All the tasks required to purchase a vehicle or take a trade-in — including scanning a VIN or driver’s license and pushing that information to other departments — can be done on the iPhone. The traditional steps of sitting at the salesperson’s desk, waiting for finance, sitting some more, etc., are collapsed into one fluid and more efficient exchange that keeps the excitement high and the customer engaged.

Best of all, every interaction is captured and logged in the group’s CRM. As Kahm explains, “The cars we’re selling today with all the tech are super exciting and sexy, but our industry isn’t. We need to adapt to get talent and customers in the door. Mobile helps us do that.”

Mobile technology also allows salespeople to do business anywhere. As Kahm notes, “To be a successful salesperson, you have to be out in the community doing things.” Kahm gives the example of a sales associate at his kid’s ballgame on Saturday: “He meets another parent interested in a car.

Before, he’d write down the info on a sticky note that gets lost. Now, he opens up a customer record in his phone and assigns himself a task to call the customer first thing Monday morning. It’s that simple.”

Again, mobile gives millennial employees that flexibility they crave, while also being a boon for business. It’s a win-win. There’s no way around it: Your dealership will need to hire millennials in the future. Get a jump on recruitment by adopting tools this generation craves — such as mobile — to attract top talent now, before your competition.

Steven Barnett is the founder and CEO of dealerTEL, the only automotive technology provider that offers a 100% capture rate of inbound and outbound calls. To reach Steven, please email him at [email protected] or visit

Authored by

Steven Barnett

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