Retail Workers Trade in Old Jobs for New Ones
By George Anderson
Most retail store employees do not make a lot of money. That’s exactly what Asbury Automotive Group is hoping to use as an employment sales pitch as it attempts to get retail store workers to trade in their current jobs for a chance to make some “real” money working at one of the company’s dealerships.
This summer, recruiters working for Asbury will visit malls in Florida and Texas on the lookout for outgoing saleswomen in department and specialty shops. Once a potential candidate is identified, a recruiter will approach the salesperson and give them a business card and inquire if they might be interested in going into retail auto sales.
Asbury is specifically looking for female candidates because research suggests that women, on average, might be better at auto sales than their male counterparts.
According to CNW Marketing Research, women prefer buying a car from another woman and even 9.5 percent of men prefer to buy a car from a female (8.9 percent preferred a male). The overwhelming majority, 81.6 percent of all consumers, said they had no preference in terms of the gender of their salesperson.
The fact that most of its female recruits will not have experience in auto sales is not an issue for Asbury.
Ken Jackson, a human resources vice president at the Asbury Group, told The Wall Street Journal, “We would like somebody that has sales initiative, somebody that is money-motivated, that has good communication skills. You can teach them the product and you can train them on the mechanics of selling the product.”
Moderator’s Comment: What do you think of the Asbury Automotive Group’s plans to recruit retail salespeople this summer? Will this have any effect on
how others in various retail channels go about finding workers?
If the recruitment strategy goes according to plan, Asbury will roll it out at 70 of its 94 dealerships.
The National Automobile Dealers Association reports that only about 10 percent of the sales staff at the average dealership in 2005 were women. That was
up from eight percent the year before.
Asbury Automotive Group puts their current female sales workforce at 11 percent of its total. Ken Jackson said the company is looking to eventually increase
that to at least 50 percent. – George Anderson – Moderator