Dealing with change in the auto industry

The automotive industry in Australia is in a state of transition, changing the focus of those in the sector. One area of potential is vehicle retail, as consumer demand and increased competition leads to a greater need for dealerships.

According to Bayside Group Automotive Senior Consultant Cyril Hennequin, making the most of the shift in the industry requires automotive professionals to be more adaptable than ever, proactively seeking out opportunities and reconciling their skill set to fit the needs of the new climate.

An increased competition for talent has led automotive retail employers to scramble for suitable candidates.

A sector in a state of shift

Australian automotive is seeing a momentous shift, concentrating employment opportunities in new areas of the sector.

“The engineering and design sector is experiencing a period of significant disruption as manufacturing and associated roles are moved offshore,” said Mr Hennequin. “Meanwhile, the retail sector is currently undergoing a large increase in demand for staff due to the increased number of brands now operating in Australia.”

He states that a rise in the competitiveness of automotive retail due to more brands on the market is providing a wider range of employment opportunities for staff, while also making it more challenging for employers to find suitable candidates. This could make employers more likely to compromise during the recruitment process in order to secure someone quickly, which according to Forbes, is one of the biggest causes of bad hiring decisions.

“Increased competition for talent has the tendency to put employers into ‘panic mode’, reaching out directly via LinkedIn to secure staff quickly rather than following protocol to ensure their hires are of quality. Important aspects such as professional, effective interviewing and assessment (to judge behaviour and attitudes, rather than just qualifications and experience), may be missed in the ‘race’ to secure a candidate, and can lead to major issues down the line,” said Mr Hennequin.

“It is crucial that employers looking for talent now utilise quality procedures to source staff – such as those provided by a reputable recruiter.”

Increased competition is providing more opportunities for staff.Increased competition is providing more opportunities for staff.

Flexibility is key to filling the gaps

While these are challenging conditions for employers, Mr Hennequin says that they can present favourable prospects for jobseekers, if they know how to be flexible in their approach and expectations on the type of role they are looking for.

“If a candidate is from a sector experiencing disruption, such as automotive manufacturing, it is useful to apply to allied fields,” he said. “Find ways your skills can lend themselves to a different role and you might find you learn new ones, as well as increasing your network. Networking is key in today’s job market and being active online as well as in person (via committees, groups and other industry events) is an important part of the job hunt and subsequent career development.”

In addition, he says that employers will favour candidates that demonstrate a positive, motivated mindset.

“As with any industry, a ‘can do’ attitude will always set you apart from other candidates.”

The expertise of an experienced recruiter will be invaluable for jobseekers and employers alike when navigating the evolving automotive landscape, allowing them to take advantage of the changes and maximise on long-term prospects.

Click here to learn more about the positions we have available in automotive dealerships and beyond.