Tag Archive | "recruiting"

SouthwestRe Recruiting Independent Agents to Service New Territories in Expansion Effort

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – SouthwestRe announced today that it plans to aggressively expand into new territories beginning in the 2017 calendar year. The Company is now recruiting independent agents to support this effort throughout the continental United States.

“Our expansion plans have been long in the making, and we are eager and excited to put them into action,” said Eddie Eckert, President of SouthwestRe. “Although SouthwestRe has strong relationships with many agents throughout the country, there are many states where we currently lack representation. With the assistance of our new and veteran agent partners, we expect SouthwestRe’s nationwide footprint to expand dramatically in the coming year and beyond.”

As part of its comprehensive commitment to agents, SouthwestRe offers:

  • Agent-controlled commissions – agents have the power to determine their financial success
  • A suite of over 30 F&I products – automotive, powersports, RVs, and class 3-8 trucks
  • Agent and dealer reinsurance programs – for every situation, and all of our products are reinsurable
  • OLÉ – SouthwestRe’s suite of online assistant tools, integrated with many F&I menu systems
  • Personal training – both one-on-one, and through regular webinars and agent seminars
  • Two in-house claims departments – fast, friendly, fair adjudication in Dallas and Albuquerque
  • Expert Sales Support – to help agents seal the deal, either by phone or right on premises
  • Client Services – with the right answers and personal support agents need
  • Marketing Solutions – with proven, quality POS materials that engage customers and really sell

“I would like to encourage all independent agents to learn more about SouthwestRe today,” Eckert said. “We pride ourselves on being ‘The Right Choice’ for agents, with the right products, the right service, and the right results. A partnership with the right company can be very beneficial to an agent’s career, and without a doubt, SouthwestRe is that company.”

If you are an independent agent and would like to join SouthwestRe in its expansion efforts, please click here, email email hidden; JavaScript is required, or call 866-414-3867. Note: SouthwestRe works with independent agents only. This is not a solicitation for direct employment.

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Millennials: Recruiting, Training and Retaining them is Key to Dealerships’ Future

We tend to group people into generations to better understand their collective point of view. Millennials are no different. As the largest generation, out numbering Baby Boomers in size and, arguably, influence, understanding their point of view is increasingly important to cultivating successful dealership employees.

There are three distinct areas to consider to be successful at recruiting, training and retaining the millennial generation. The first area is to understand them. This is your key to developing a successful plan going forward. Second, how are you going to interact with millennials during the hiring process and into their employment? This is the execution of your plan. Third, how do you retain them? This will be your measure of success going forward with your newly hired millennials.

  1. Understand Them.

Who are millennials and why should you care? As a generation, they surpassed baby boomers as the largest generation in early May of 2016[1]. Their buying power will far surpass any previous generation.

For a better understanding of millennials, let’s compare and contrast the current generations in the workplace.

Baby boomers are currently ages 51 to 69 and number around 74.9 million[2]. They tend to put family first, value job security and have concerns about retirement. Boomers are IT adopters and prefer to communicate face-to-face or on the phone.

Gen X, which numbers around 66.1 million members[3], is sometimes referred to as the Lost Generation or “latch key kids”. With ages between 35 and 50 they are more concerned with maintaining a good work/life balance than their parents. As digital immigrants, they prefer to communicate via text and email.

Now, on to millennials. Aged 18 to 34, they number around 75.3 million[4]. Millennials are the most educated generation and typically have higher levels of debt. Additionally, they are slower to make major purchases such as automobiles and homes. Millennials are considered digital natives, having grown up with their technology. Not surprisingly, they are tech-dependent. They just expect their tech to work and are generally not savvy as to how the tech actually works. Their communication preferences are online and mobile.

  1. Recruit and Hire Them.

Now that we have an understanding of millennials, we can look at some ways to recruit them and how these might differ from the traditional recruiting methods. One thing to be aware of when recruiting, is the millennial generation is quite unfamiliar with traditional recruiting and hiring practices. Additionally, you can expect them to enter the job market many years later than previous generations and often be more highly educated.

When you are recruiting, be prepared for candidates who are entrepreneurial in nature and looking for rewarding careers that will have a broader impact, not just for their employer but society in general. As part of your interviewing process, you need to make sure they understand their role in the company’s success as well as the role of the dealership in their customers’ lives.

To assist you in your recruiting efforts, consider hosting “learn about the car business” meetups. You should also reexamine the careers section of your website and make sure you are not just listing the job requirements but also providing career benefits and a look at how the role impacts the bigger picture; how your dealership affects people’s lives for the better. You may also want to develop some educational pieces that can be shared across multiple recruiting and social media platforms.

  1. Train and Retain Them.

Now that you’ve hired someone, it’s time to review your training processes. If you are still sitting new employees down in the break room and having them watch hour after hour of VCR tapes starring sales trainers from the ‘70’s & ‘80s, you will lose millennials. Your training needs to match the times. Train like the year in which you are hiring. You need to take a look at when the last time was you updated your training processes and materials. Granted, in the basics of sales or F&I hold true. However, your training materials and the way you deliver training need to be current. You may want to consider using more one-on-one training. This is something that goes a long way with the millennial employee. It gives them a sense of belonging to a greater organization than just selling cars.

Here are a few additional points to think about when training millennials:

  • Use coaching – not telling
  • Realize that they want to feel unique
  • Incorporate lots of confidence-building tools and techniques

Last but not least, make sure your training materials are available across multiple devices such as physical job aids, tablets, computers and smartphones.

Okay, you’ve recruited them, you’ve trained them and now you need to retain them. Here are some tips for making sure millennial employees stay with you for the long run.

As noted previously, you are going to need to show millennials how their role at the dealership benefits others, such as how they are helping the entire operation succeed and what role the dealership plays in the community. Remember, you want to provide examples of positive impacts to this generation because, to them, it’s not just about the paycheck. Research has shown that many millennials will take a job that impacts the greater good rather than its higher paying counterpart.

You are going to need millennials working in your dealership. You can expect new car purchases by baby boomers to decrease. GenX purchase growth is beginning to slow. Millennials’ new car purchases are beginning to rapidly increase to the point that by 2020, 40% of purchases in your dealership will be by millennials[5].

Who better to sell a car or F&I product to a millennial than another millennial, someone they know, like and trust. Just like it has been for generations.

[1] Pew Research Center

[2] Pew Research Center

[3] Pew Research Center

[4] Pew Research Center

[5] Forbes Research

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How Your Company Can Find And Recruit The Best Job Candidates

Via The Washington Post

New technology has made it easier to connect with friends and family, co-workers and customers, even when they’re halfway around the world.

But what about connecting with job candidates?

“I hear it from so many small businesses, that hiring is just a nightmare for them,” said Brian Sutter, director of marketing for San Francisco-based Wasp Barcode Technologies, a software and technology company that works with small businesses. “But you’re starting to see some big data tools and Web services that are attacking that problem.”

Here are some of the ways employers are moving past help-wanted ads and career fairs:

Recruiting sites getting smarter

Online job boards are nothing new. Companies tell the site what they’re looking for in a candidate, job seekers input information about themselves, and the site works it magic and attempts to link up individuals with the right employers.

Only now, that magic is getting more sophisticated.

“In the big data world, there are some impressive tools coming out that skim through a bunch of different job sites, analyze way more data from resumes and recent hires, and can generate a much better, more targeted list of candidates for employers,” Sutter said. He added that hiring presents one of the toughest challenges to his small company, too.

One such service for technology companies, Sutter said, is Riviera Partners, a company based in Silicon Valley. The company has compiled a massive index of job candidates and uses curated data from across the Web and a unique scoring system to try to make the best matches between companies and job seekers.

“I think you are going to see more and more of those types of data-driven hiring services targeting small businesses,” Sutter said.

A missed opportunity

One expert says small businesses often overlook one of the most powerful (and virtually free) recruiting tools they have at their disposal — their Web site.

“It’s shocking how many small and start-up businesses have a site that has absolutely nothing about their founders and their company’s culture, or really anything at all about career opportunities,” Patricia Frame, who owns Strategies for Human Resources, a consulting firm in Alexandria, said. She estimates that more than half the companies she comes across don’t have a section like that on their Web site.

“All you need is one page somewhere that tells you why the company is wonderful and why you should want to work there,” Frame said. “It’s such a wasted opportunity.”

Internet offers a trove of information

Once you have gathered a handful of resumes for an opening, the vetting process kicks in — and that’s where some employers are finding the Internet an even more useful tool.

“Small businesses don’t usually have a separate human resources department, they can’t afford that,” she said. “So, what I see them using the Web for is not so much full-scale recruiting, but for digging a little deeper into candidates they’re already considering.”

Frame noted that recruiting firms can unearth a wealth of information about potential hires, but for employers who are strapped for cash, a quick spin on search engines and social media sites such as LinkedIn can often “turn up more than enough information to help you make a decision.”

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How to Compete Against the Big Guys for Top Talent

Via The Washington Post

The Apples, Googles and Facebooks of the world spare no expense in recruiting top talent, mostly because they have deep pockets. So, when prospective employees get a call from large corporations, they know any subsequent job offer will be lucrative and provide early résumé padding. Consequently, they gravitate toward the big players.

But that doesn’t mean smaller companies can’t compete for top talent — they just need to offer what the big companies can’t.

Here are a few tips to help you win top talent over the big guys

The key to success in the job market is identifying your competitive advantage. Perhaps you can’t offer a six-figure salary, but you can appeal to ambition.

Nobody gets to the top without an innate drive and a desire to make an impact. At a big company, these individuals will just be cogs in the machine, but at your small company, you can give employees the freedom to work on the things they’re passionate about and take on roles that allow them to make the company better in a tangible way.

At social networking company Path, for example, rather than seeking approval for changes to features, company leaders encourage employees to take the initiative to fix something if it’s broken. No stamp of approval or oversight required.

Along with a chance to make an impact on the organization as a whole, offer a different type of work environment — one where younger employees have access to the top executives and department leaders. This gives your team the opportunity to develop new skills and grow professionally — something young, ambitious people will find appealing.

And as they improve, make sure you reward good work. Promotions and salary bumps determined by merit (rather than time logged at the company) are a big draw for many young job seekers who are repelled by the concept of the “corporate ladder.”

The e-commerce platform Shopify awards bonuses to the employees who are most helpful to customers and other employees. Offering an environment where employees’ hard work and abilities are rewarded immediately can be a huge selling point for top talent, because they can get further in two years with you than they could at a larger corporation.

Don’t skimp on big-time recruitment

A lot of small companies shy away from big company recruiting strategies because of the expense and direct competition with larger firms, but this is a mistake.

Going straight to the source with on-campus recruiting is the absolute best way to snap up young standouts, but recognize what adds value and what doesn’t. There’s no need to spend thousands of dollars on pens or squishy balls that will end up in a junk drawer. Instead, post on school Web sites, attend career fairs, and meet with professors.

Another strategy the big dogs use is hiring headhunters. Some can be worth the fees, but others are a waste of your time and money. If you decide to use a headhunter for recruitment, do your homework, seek recommendations from people you trust, negotiate hard, and only hire one on a contingency basis.

While job boards are a great way to get a lot of applications, sifting through hundreds of low-quality applicants can put a strain on your team. Big sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and TheLadders can be effective when looking to fill certain roles, but they may not be the best solution for smaller companies that don’t have the resources for a massive search.

Keep top talent engaged and invested

Hiring great talent is merely the first step. Keeping those workers engaged and happy requires an ongoing effort.

A great way to keep your team members invested is to reward their ambition with incentives. Their salaries should be in line with the market, but highly driven individuals like a portion of their compensation tied to performance. Incentives don’t need to be strictly monetary, though. Offer travel opportunities and awards to acknowledge the great work of great employees.

Make sure there’s nothing in their work experience that makes them want to leave. People who are great at what they do often feel the urge to constantly do more. Make your company a nice place to work, but encourage a healthy work/life balance. Offer plenty of space to relax, and host events to foster connections outside the office.

My company hosts table tennis competitions and company-sponsored sports leagues, which give our team members the chance to get to know one another on a personal level. This creates stronger bonds within the company, and employees are more likely to have long-term stays if they feel they have friends and allies on their team.

Finally, give them the learning experience, resources, and opportunities you promised. Being a small company doesn’t mean you can’t snag top employees. You have a lot to offer the brightest talent — just make sure you deliver on your promises.

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On Sales Management… How Can We Recruit Good People?

Since his first movies, Clint Eastwood has worked with the same production crew every time he makes a film.

Since day one, our goal has also been to do the same; hire great people, train them effectively and take care of them better than anybody else will, so that as a team, we could build the greatest training company in the car business.

Whether it’s our trainers that attendees meet in class, our salespeople or our training coaches for our online training subscribers, the most common response we get is, “Wow, you have great people!”

Every employee we have, from our admin staff, shipping department, IT, marketing department, HR, accounting and even Ron, our art department director for 20 years who nobody ever sees – all of them become the image our company projects, so we only hire the very best people for every position.

If everyone would just step back and realize that your employees are your most valuable assets – then everyone would make hiring only the best, training them, managing them and taking care of them their most important priority.

You can’t even put customers first if you don’t have great employees because without great employees it’s impossible to provide a great customer experience.

So where do you start if your goal is to end up with the very best people?

Well logically, the very first step has to be a total management commitment to developing the best team in town. No, not just having the nicest team, not just the best dressed team – but the most competent team in town who puts your customers first every time.

That’s why clarifying exactly what you want a salesperson to do is critical to hiring. Without clear guidelines on the person and the skills you’re looking for, you get confused and make the biggest mistake; hiring people you like instead of people who are most qualified.

Or you’ll cave in and just hire someone to fill the slot while you try to find somebody else. Pretty soon all the slots have been filled with incompetent people and that makes it even tougher to get a good one to work there.

At the end of this article there is an offer for Recovery & Growth a free dealer/manager book, and while you’re reading it go through Section 7, it’s all about employees who make or break your dealership. Add that to your action plan meetings and make a decision on who you’ll be hiring from now on.

Tip: You have to decide whether to create a safe-house for underachievers in sales and management, or to grow every year.

There are no secrets to hiring…

Always be recruiting. Don’t wait until you need a salesperson to start trying to find a good person. If you have a full staff in sales, but get the chance to hire a 15-car guy who does 100 percent repeat business and doesn’t take ups, wouldn’t it make sense to hire him now?

I realize your most loyal underachievers and your 12-car guy who snakes all the ups, works double shifts and gets all the house deals might get upset if you start hiring higher achievers – that’s why you have to read section 7 in Recovery & Growth.

Where do you recruit…

The Newspaper: The Internet is rated the best choice for recruiting overall.

But that’s about jobs overall, and some jobs are better filled with an ad in the paper, so keep a presence there, too.

The Internet: Monster.com, AutoJobs.com, your local newspaper’s online postings…all of these are good sources for finding new employees. You can post your jobs online and you can sign up to review online resumes and contact only the ones you’re most interested in interviewing.

Vendors and Merchants: The reps who come into your dealership are in sales and
so are the merchants you work with (printer, etc.). If they’re good, hire them if you can. Or they may know a good salesperson who is unhappy, especially when dealerships cut their pay.

Job Fairs: I just talked to a friend of mine who recently opened a new dealership. He ran his own job fair at the hotel next door and got 209 people to show up and 77 great candidates. If you don’t do your own, try the local job fairs in your area.

Referrals from Employees (Our First Choice): Some of our very best employees were referred by other employees.

Tip: We used to offer $500 for referrals and didn’t get many, so we added a zero. Now we pay $5,000 for salespeople, managers or trainers. It works a lot better!

Tip: If you do this, pay $500 upon hiring, $500 more at 90 days, $2000 if they hit Level 3 (90-day avg. 15+) in six months and the other $2,000 if they reach Level 4 (20+) within a year.

Note: If you’re continuously hiring, you have a management problem.

Hiring the right people is key to your success today and your long-term growth, so stop taking shortcuts in this critical process.

Lastly, stop using your ‘gut feeling’ to decide who to hire. Your past is littered with all those ‘gut feeling’ failures that didn’t make it.

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