Develop a Culture Prime for Recruiting & Hiring

Imagine your dealership is fully staffed. Not only do you have enough people to do all of the work, but whenever you do have an opening, high-quality applications come flooding in, with the right candidates ready to start right away.

Okay, that might be wishful thinking. Especially in 2022. But it shouldn’t be too far off from your vision. We work in a fun industry. Our customers are enthusiasts, and we sell recreational vehicles that bring joy to people’s lives.

However, the workplace culture at some dealerships keeps them from turning this vision into reality. If an applicant comes into your dealership and feels unwelcome, will they want to return?

Ponder a minute about your culture and what it says to a potential employee. A few things to think about:

  • What is the vibe a candidate will get when they walk through your door? Are they greeted and welcomed? Or ignored? Will they see smiles or frowns among your staff?
  • What will they learn from your dealership while they wait for their interview? Will they overhear positive or negative conversations?
  • What will they notice about your facility? Is it bright, well-organized? Does it celebrate the boating lifestyle (even if you don’t have boats in stock)? Or is it run down, dirty and messy?
  • What will your staff say when the candidate asks the question, “What is the culture like here?”

These attributes go beyond pay and benefits to give talent a unique look into your business that can make a big impact on their acceptance of your job offer.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of March 9, 2022, there were 11.3 million job openings in the country. We’ve all seen and heard the stories. Everyone — and we mean everyone — is hiring right now. As a result, job seekers have their pick of opportunities.

The best candidates want to work for a business with a strong culture that supports their employees’ work/life balance, wellbeing and professional growth. They seek a place where they know their voice will be heard, and they’ll have a chance to make a difference.

If you’re unsure about the culture within your dealership, survey your staff and ask. You’ll learn a lot about your team’s experience working for your dealership, which you can use in your recruiting efforts. In addition, you’ll probably improve that experience for your employees by showing them that you care and you want to listen.

There are many ways to go about surveying. Certified Dealers rely on MRAA to conduct their surveys and guide them through the process of applying the data to drive positive change. The program’s annual Employee Satisfaction Survey (ESS) process allows dealers to better understand how their employees feel about the customer relations, employee satisfaction, leadership, management and reputation of the business. This survey is completely anonymous, allowing employees to be honest about what’s it’s like to work at the dealership. It asks employees 32 ranking questions about their experience at work and offers them 3 open-ended questions to share their thoughts.

To learn more about Certification the program’s ESS process, reach out to Liz Keener at

It’s important for every business owner to truly understand the culture of their workplace and to improve upon it in order to attract the best new hires. Once you get a grasp on your culture and began to make meaningful change, you’ll be able to better recruit and retain the strongest performers.