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Ford's CEO: 4 Ways To Find New Talent

Posted by Natalie Pike on November 14, 2014

Hiring in the automotive industry is at an all time high and it isn't slowing down anytime soon. In order to stay ahead in this competitive industry, Ford CEO Mark Fields said they needed to expand the way the company approaches recruitment. Retaining talent that creates a positive work culture is equally important. Fields recently spoke at the Detroit Free Press 2014 Top Workplaces awards show, which attracted close to 500 people.  

"Creating a great place to work is one of the biggest challenges for us," said Fields who technically manages over 180,000 employees. One in five new hires leave a job in the first 45 days if they feel it's not a good fit. The auto industry is said to generate up to $1 trillion in new revenue by the end of this decade. "With this growth, the need for top talent is greater than ever before."  

The auto dealer has hired more than 23,300 jobs and he doesn't expect it to calm down. Here are his four ways to find new candidates. 

1. Social Media

In order to find today's best, you must use Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. These platforms are where the talent is—especially millennial talent. The possibilities are endless and the potential audience is massive. Promoting your job on social media is a simple task. Tweet a simple sentence about your open job, create a custom tab on your Facebook page focusing on available positions, and the easiest of all, look for candidates on LinkedIn—they’re everywhere!

2. New Attitudes

Professional business wear is the standard for most auto dealerships. In order to stay ahead of the pack, Fields decided to make a small change that would create a big difference. "We have changed our company dress code. Yes, jeans are now welcome at Ford," he said. I know, it's just a pair of pants, but this actually matters to a lot of people. Wearing jeans versus a skirt or dress pants doesn't only mean changing an article of clothing. It means more comfort, which could lead to less stress and a higher focus on work. 

3. Reach Out To Different Places

Think outside of the box and determine where your ideal candidates are. Ford was looking for summer interns. Where would most interns be throughout the year? College. Ford expanded recruiting efforts on college campuses with guest lectures, business case studies, and even tailgate parties. Fields said the entire senior team was involved in making regular campus visits. Because of this implementation, the number of college interns has increased by 20%.

4. Show Why They'd Want To Work At Your Company

What makes your company special? Why would someone want to work there? Whatever it is, show it off. Fields created a center where his HR managers would conduct interviews in an environment with pictures showing the company's heritage and products. In addition to showing off the company during the interview process, once the candidate was hired, they'd hold a reception where the new employee met the senior leadership team.   

"It's amazing what happens when a culture of positive leadership takes root in an organization," Fields mentioned. "It's infectious, and it's energizing." While posting to social media, taking a trip to a college campus, and allowing your team to wear jeans are essential to finding new candidates, culture may be the most important. It's not something you can buy. It's created within a cohesive environment of people who all believe in the company and work their hardest towards the same goal. Follow Ford's best practices for finding talent and you'll be happy with the results. 

Finding new candidates will also decrease turnover. Read more on how to hire effectively with our FREE guide!

hireology, Hiring for dealerships, hiring salespeople for dealerships, auto dealership hiring, NADA hiring

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Hiring Millennials, Company Culture, Recruiting, How to Hire, Hiring, Social Media

Natalie Pike

About the Author

Natalie is Hireology's Inbound Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite topics to write about are how to hire millennials, building a strong company culture, and employee engagement. She is a Purdue University graduate (Boiler up!), social media junkie and avid iced coffee drinker.