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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

What’s in a name? Advice from Andy Lees of PG Automotive


Date: 02-Oct-2019

I’d like to start by posing a question – does anyone actually know the difference between the following roles: regional sales manager, area sales manager, district sales manager? Answers on a postcard please! But in truth are we not merely looking at semantics here, with the job in question being near enough exactly the same, just positioned under a different banner?

The point I’m trying to make is that during the recruitment process too often the focus is on the job title, and not necessarily focussing on the role itself, or the pool of talent available to fill the void. In most cases recruiters are tasked with filling a like for like job role. Sometimes entirely necessary, but at other times this misses the opportunity to review the vacancy, to assess the company’s needs and whether the role has evolved into something new or different. I appreciate that time sensitivities mean that there is not an unlimited amount of resource available to sit back and fully review recruitment needs, but that is where recruiters come in. We have the time and skills to work closely with clients to better define the role and person needed, but more so, we can help companies to think outside the box. 

Thinking outside of the box is one thing we are often tasked with, with employers often asking us ‘where is the new talent?’ – a phrase we hear time and time again. But when it comes down to it, so often the same pool of people is assessed for suitability. Again, this comes down to time limitations in that roles are needed to be filled quickly but also some of it is from fear of the unknown. Employing a talented person from outside the market carries a level of risk, as so much emphasis is currently placed on industry knowledge. This fear of cross fertilisation from other sectors is negatively impacting industry growth at a personnel level. However, a fresh pair of eyes can make a huge difference when its needed most, and can provide a real point of difference in a hugely competitive and already saturated marketplace.

Pigeonholing is another aspect that we are all guilty of. Particularly when considering the values and characteristics of particular job roles. For instance, sales agents are often deemed to be tenacious and money-motivated. So, candidates that fit this ‘brief’ are, understandably, more likely to be considered for a sales role. But in an evolving marketplace, and one that is so greatly at the mercy of the online world, is this really still the case? What about transferable skills such as the ability to network and build trusted relationships, experience of online or recognising the value of social channels, the ability to build effective campaigns or unrivalled industry knowledge?

With all this in mind now is the time to start thinking differently about your recruitment process. Instead of thinking of recruitment as a numbers game, try thinking more about the person and the value they can add to your business. Step outside of your comfort zone, think differently and be prepared to consider new faces. As our market evolves as a rapid pace, it is vital that your business evolves too. 

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