Hire Your Way To A Top Net Promoter Score

‘The Customer Is Always Right’

– Marshall Field & Harry Gordon Selfridge, 1852

This centuries old, well worn quote still stands the test of time today.

In many ways little has changed.

A  businesses raison d’être is to make customers happy.

What has changed, is that more and more companies are investing in building a strong relationship with their customers.

And for good reason, competition has never been fiercer.

Delivering an exceptional customer experience offers a sustainable competitive advantage.

In some industries such as automotive retailing, a dealers Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a key customer service metric which can attract a direct financial reward.

It’s also no longer about simply solving a customers problem; it’s about a deep understanding of their expectations and then surpassing these to delight your customers, often in unexpected ways.

But too often, it’s the basics that are overlooked, like whether customers are treated with respect and fairness.

That’s according to the findings from the report ‘Missing Out: The business case for customer diversity’ by Deloitte and the Australian Human Rights Commission, 2017.

After surveying more that 1,200 Australians, they found

Respecting graphic V2

All this despite the diverse community we enjoy here in Australia. Where one in five people speak a language other than English at home, 18% of people have a disability, 11% of people identify as LGBTI.

Customers Are Diverse 

The authors concluded, “If organisations want to lift their (customer experience) game, it would require a greater emphasis on respect and fairness per se and particular attention to diverse customers”.

They argue stereotyping, unconscious bias, and lack of awareness are leaving customers feeling excluded. That’s bad for business.

So if companies serve a wide variety of customers across gender, ethnicity and other facets of diversity, what about their workforce?

Let’s take the Australian automotive retailing industry as a case in point. And for simplicity let’s look at the gender breakdown of customers as compared to it’s workforce.

No surprises but car driving isn’t gendered. We all drive cars.

The National licence plate holder gender breakdown (AADA presentation 2018, “How this CFO reduced HR costs” by Sharon Pask) is,

Licence plate gender breakdown.png

Sure car manufacturers get this, adapting their product development efforts to appeal to women, kids and families. But what about their employees?

And here’s the rub – the management of these retailers is not representative of the customer base that it serves, nor the workforce it represents.

In our example, car retailing is male-dominated or as many before have described, blokey.

This is confirmed by the WGEA 2018 ‘motor vehicle retailing’ workforce gender data set along with data from Toyota Motor Corporation Australia (2018) where,

Workforce gender breakdown auto

So in summary, whilst around 52% of licence plates are held by women, only 10% of sales consultants are female.

Turning Problems Into Opportunities

An opportunity exists for the automotive industry to close this workforce diversity gap to improve the customer experience and drive much needed business performance and profitability.

The report ‘IBISWorld Industry Report X0014 Automotive Industry in Australia’explains industry profit margins have fallen over the past five years, largely due to reduced economies of scale and the poor performance of local passenger vehicle manufacturers.

“Diverse employees bring differing life experiences, cultural backgrounds, and ways of thinking that will assist their employer in relating to, understanding, and meeting the needs of their diverse customers”.

The authors of this research point out, this isn’t about employee-customer matching – assigning employees to exclusively service a customer from the same minority group.

They argue we are unique and just because we belong to a minority group doesn’t mean we are clones. One demographic characteristic can’t define us.

So simply hiring women to sell to women isn’t the goal. Instead the goal is to achieve a diverse workplace so each employee can relate to everyone of your customers.

At the same time we need to focus on hiring job-capable candidates and those who value the opinions of others.

But we don’t.  The very stereotypes and biases we have towards customers also exist towards those we hire.

If we consider who applies for sales consultant roles, based on 29 car sales roles transacted through RemiPeople an online recruitment web app, attracting 604 applicants we found,

41% of applicants are female, yet only 10% women make up the workforce

So women are applying but are not getting through the process.

Because of unconscious bias, we recruit in our own image, unaware that we discount female applicants because we’re more familiar with male applicants.

Inaction, hoping your workforce will grow more diverse organically doesn’t address the issue of bias in hiring and retention.

Women will still apply for automotive car sales roles and will continue to be unfairly rejected without intervention.

Of course diversity isn’t just about gender, it’s multidimensional.

According to analysis by HR tech company Restless Bandit using 19,258,407 resumes, closing the diversity gap in white-collar jobs in the US automotive industry, would require,

  • 420% increase in hiring of African-American workers
  • 239% increase of hiring of Hispanic workers

Many business leaders remain ‘blissfully unaware” that hiring bias is occurring under their watch.

However ignorance was never a defence and it’s a problem that needs attention.

How To Overcome Hiring Bias

The bad news is that the recruitment process is rampant with bias.

The good news is that there’s lots you can do to mitigate bias and increase your workforce diversity.

To learn more see our blog, 25 ways to Recruit for Diversity.

If you’re looking for an automated solution to debias the recruitment process from end to end then RemiPeople is an all-in-one platform.

Upon submitting an application, candidates are anonymised and given a unique candidate identifier.

Hiring teams therefore sees no names just a candidate reference code.

Hiring teams then screen anonymised candidates via mini-work challenges, which are real-job scenarios.

Candidates are comparatively scored and ranked in a leader board based on the quality of their responses.

Top scorers are shortlisted for interview using the structured interviewing approach.

This ensures all candidates are given the same set of questions and scored using a standardised and comparative scoring tool.

This process provides the objective data hiring teams need to make their final candidate selection.

5 Ways Dealerships Can Recruit And Retain Great Hires

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” – John Wooden.

Rushing through something might save you time right now, but it’ll ultimately take you more time to do it over if there are problems.

The ‘bums on seats’ hiring strategy might save you time today, but it’ll cost you time and money tomorrow. A. Lot.

Dealerships have one of the highest employee turnover rates. One Australian automotive group, with four dealerships, employing over 230 people were forced to uncover the ugly truth about employee turnover. It measured 39% meaning 90 new hiring assignments per year. Many of which were to correct hiring mistakes. Each mistake cost them just shy of $AUD 37,000.

Business is wasting billions each year because of the volume of hiring mistakes. The cumulative costs involved in bad recruitment include money wasted on training, lost productivity, and reduced staff morale and engagement.

Is your Dealership any different?

Get it right. First time.

Here’s 5 ways to get the right bums on the right seats. First time.


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Screen For The Best Candidates Using These Questions

75 Questions That Will Help Your Dealership Find The Best

Why Hiring Managers & Recruiters Don’t Get Along And What To Do About It.

Every hiring decision stands on three legs – the recruiter, the hiring manager and the candidate.

Any leg of the stool that is too short or too long will cause an imbalance- at best lots of rework, at worst missing out on the best candidate.

Here’s what each leg is about:

The Recruiter (those who partner with the business to recruit) is responsible for attracting the right talent.

The Hiring Manager (whom the role ultimately reports to) has to properly screen and select candidates then sell the position to secure the best person.

The third leg is the Candidate. They are responsible for showing the value they will provide to the business.

Too often each of these legs don’t measure up, some too long, some too short. Realising that, here’s how you can work on evening them out,


Mismatch in understanding between the recruiter and hiring manager. Whilst recruiters think they have a “high” to “very high” understanding of the jobs they recruit for, hiring managers disagree, believing recruiters have, at best,

How To Better Screen Candidates In Your Dealership Without Looking At One CV

Sigh! That burdensome feeling you get from an unexpected team vacancy. The burden of extra work you and your team will have to shoulder. Maybe even the stress of missing important deadlines or targets.

That’s exactly how Simon, a car dealership Sales Manager felt when faced with the task of recruiting and onboarding a new sales consultant. That is until he ran into Jo in the staff kitchen. Jo was the receptionist and after hearing Simon’s troubles told him about her brother. Darren was looking for a job and even had automotive selling experience. Simon couldn’t believe his luck- the prospect of no lengthy recruitment process and very little training was a dream come true. What’s more Darren was available for an interview immediately and all being well could start straight away.

Simon later acknowledged the only reason he wouldn’t have given Darren the job, was if he hadn’t showed up. He did and was working on the shop floor the following week. Problem solved. Or was it the beginning of something else?

Well, turns out Simon’s problems had just begun. Darren couldn’t achieve his sales targets, rarely showed up on time, always had an excuse and despite additional training and coaching couldn’t perform at an acceptable standard.

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Screen For The Best Candidates Using These Questions

75 Questions That Will Help Your Dealership Identify The Best

How This Dealership CFO Slashed HR Costs.

This case study was presented at the 2018 Australian Automotive Dealers National Convention on 5th September.
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