I recently went new car shopping and I had three different types of experiences with car salesmen. These experiences reminded me that there are similarities between buying a car and looking for a job. When buying a new car you shop around, want to find the best deal, and want to work with a salesperson that is trustworthy. The same goes when you are searching for a new job. You want to work for an employer who is trustworthy, has a strong reputation, makes you feel comfortable, and going to compensate you fairly.
At the first dealership; I met the salesman at the door, and they took me over to their workstation. The salesman asked some basic information about what I was looking for and then he went to the Sales Manager to work out a price (Very typical car sales approach). They came back with a non-negotiable price, never asked me to go for any type of test drive, and then handed me their business card. I left the dealership without any offer for a follow-up conversation but received the pricing I was inquiring about.
I move down the road to the second dealership which was a few miles farther from our home. I interacted with the salesman at this site over the phone the previous day. When I arrived, the salesman was very accommodating. He went over what I was looking for and then pulled up two different vehicles and models for me to look at. After we had looked at the vehicles, we went back to his desk to discuss what I was looking for in payments and the specials that they had running at the time. We went over all the options, and he worked with me directly on pricing for the vehicle that I had interest in. I left the dealership feeling good about the offer and the experience, but I want to check out one more place.
At the third and last dealership, I had a totally different experience. The salesman I have talked with was not ready for me being there at our scheduled time. He pulled up the car I was interested in, then gave me the keys and told me to go for a test drive. The salesman didn’t offer to come with me for the test drive, so he was not available to answer any questions I had about the vehicle. When I returned to the dealership after my test drive, I walked back to their desk to discuss options on the car as well as pricing. The salesman was acting very busy (As if he didn’t want my business or sale.) and said he would not give me figures at this time due to not being ready (We also scheduled this meeting ahead of time.). He offered no one else to help, and he said would send me an email prior to 7pm with the figures as he knew we were going to make a decision soon. We never received an email, but we did receive a phone call from him at 9 o’clock at night and never left a voicemail. He texts me the following morning asking if I had made a decision, but we still have not received any pricing options from him like he promised.
My wife and I have had already made a decision on what vehicle we were going to buy, and we made it prior to the 3rd salesman reaching back out to me in the morning. We chose to go with the second salesman due to the experience that we had with him and the dealership. The third salesman probably could’ve given us a better offer in the long run, but we felt that it would have taken too much effort of us, and we were not sure if we could trust him based on the interactions. We could also lose the other vehicles to other buyers if we decided to work with him and gamble that he could give us a better offer. The first salesman offer was slightly higher in price but was not engaging and didn’t offer any information about what the dealership had as far as specials or promotions.
Recruiters and hiring managers remember; candidates are also interviewing you during the process, and they will make decisions based on their experience and interactions with your organization. Do not be the unprepared, rushed, or the unengaged salesperson. Always listen to your candidates, be ready for questions and give details of the role and organization, give honest feedback, and set clear expectations during the process.
Just like buying a new car, candidates go through similar experiences when they are interviewing for a new job. In this job market, candidates have multiple options available, and they are receiving multiple job offers. Studies have shown that candidates are more likely to choose an employer where they feel welcomed and have opportunities available to them. Just like buying a car, they might pass up making a bit more money, travel a bit further, and go with the company that gives them a better experience and has more options.