Phone: 630-495-2282 Fax: 630-495-2260 Map/Directions

Technology can draw millennials to dealership jobs, survey finds

November 3, 2017
Employing modern technology may be the key to attracting more millennial talent, a new survey indicates, as staff turnover continues to plague dealerships.
Survey results released Oct. 24 by Roadster, an online retail startup, examine millennial job satisfaction —revealing which industries are more likely to pique a millennial’s interest, and which careers they are more likely to sidestep. The respondents’ views of auto retailing were mixed to negative.
The results: 59 percent of respondents said they would avoid a career at a car dealership while 64 percent said they would avoid a career as a politician. The two industries that millennials found most appealing were information technology and health care.
Yet despite the general aversion to working at a dealership, 70 percent of respondents said they would be willing to work at a car dealership if it had access to modern technology such as iPads, kiosks and shared screens, much like an Apple Store. And 37 percent of respondents said if they could model a car dealership after another retailer, it would be Amazon, followed by Apple at 23 percent.
‘Born digital’
"This generation is born digital [and] everything that they experience in life is really based in that type of environment," said Michelle Denogean, chief marketing officer at Roadster. "We live in a convenience economy where you can open your phone and have it delivered the next day. And if that’s the world you grew up in, not only do you want your buying process within the car arena to be that way, but you also want to sell that way from an employee’s perspective."
The survey, conducted Oct. 11-12 for Roadster by California independent research firm Survata, interviewed 1,006 online respondents ages 18 to 34 who had bought or leased a vehicle within the last 12 months. It found half were exploring new job opportunities, even though most respondents were employed.
Asked "What would need to change about the car dealership experience in order for you to want to work there?" 61 percent of respondents — and  67 percent of the female respondents — said "less high-pressure sales." Fifty-seven percent — and 59 percent of the male respondents — said "more salary, less commission-based compensation."
Tech, not pressure
The former is where the Roadster connection comes in.
Tim Miller, general sales manager at Honda and Toyota stores in Seattle, said he has found Roadster’s Express Storefront platform to be beneficial in reducing worker turnover by using technology instead of high-pressure tactics.
"It definitely brings the stress level of the salesmanship down, if you will, because in a traditional car dealership, selling cars is extremely stressful," said Miller.
The Express Storefront links to the dealership’s website and allows consumers to carry out much of the car buying process online, from choosing a vehicle to transferring a down payment.
"The easy part is payments, and that’s because everything is done on the iPad and takes about 30 seconds," said Miller.
Denogean said not only does modern technology such as the Express Storefront provide a better experience for customers, but it eases training and speeds the process for dealerships that may suffer from high turnover.
"When [millennials] look at industries that are that antiquated, they are tending to not want to go there," said Denogean. "It really doesn’t take very much for those industries to deploy this type of technology and attract that new type of employee."