CDX CDX 2018 News

CDX18: Why JCT600 increasingly recruits from outside the motor trade

Time 3:29 pm, May 22, 2018

THERE’S no reason why people with no automotive experience can’t make a success of a career in the motor trade.

That’s according to John Tordoff, boss of Yorkshire-based dealer group JCT600, who took part in a Live Stage employment discussion at CDX18 today.

Tordoff was appearing on stage with Zara Ross, chief executive of the automotive charity Ben and Jimi Matthews, business development director at Perfect Placement.

Asked what he would be looking for in a potential employee, Tordoff said: ‘A mixture of things really – it’s very much horses for courses.

‘Certain jobs in certain dealerships working with certain brands require a particular skill set but more and more now, we are recruiting from outside. More and more, we find that experienced people just bring bad habits with them.

‘Fresh people with no previous experience – but who are from a customer service background – have all the necessary skills in terms of dealing with customers, they just need the sales process training, or the training related to whatever role it is they’re going into.

‘If you take someone from quite a young age, you can ingrain in them the culture of your business. We’ve had a lot of success in taking people on in trainee roles like that.

‘We also have people in senior management roles now who have achieved that success despite having no motor trade experience whatsoever. We have the training plans and support that they need – but most important of all they have got the right attitude.’

Asked about the best way to attract new employees, Zara Ross said diversity was key – ‘where you have young, and older, more experienced people working together and where you have opportunities for supporting people who are less experienced than others’.

There need to be opportunities for training and learning; and mentoring and supporting young people, she added.

‘People want to be respected,’ she added, ‘they want to be recognised and they want to be rewarded appropriately. The respect one is really, really important.’

Discussing the factors that attract candidates to dealerships, Matthews said that salary levels were important but that for younger workers the pay packet might not be the be all and end all – linked to the fact that property ownership is just a ‘pipe dream’ for so many younger employees.

He said the employer / employee relationship was moving to a place where ‘it’s all about engagement, it’s about feeling worthwhile’.

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Dave Brown's avatar

Dave, production editor on Car Dealer Magazine, is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience in the worlds of newspapers, magazines and public relations.

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