Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Creating Exceptional Workplaces and Extraordinary Results
Roberta Matuson's Blog

Talent Acquisition-Are you using your industry as an excuse?

I just returned from delivering a key note to a group of managers and executives who work in the supermarket industry.  I wish I had a donut for every time I heard someone say, "Well that’s our industry.  We could never be like that."  I responded by giving them three examples of companies in their industry who were doing exactly what I proposed.

During our time together, we spoke about the difficulty of attracting top people to entry-level part-time operations positions both in the store and the warehouse.  Now I will admit that few people grow up saying, "My dream job is to work in frozen foods," unless of course they are an ice cream addict. But I doubt many grow up saying they’d like to work in an automobile dealership either.  Yet the Acura dealer in Latham, NY has managed to hire a team of people in their customer service area that would make others envious.

I had some time available, while in the Albany area, to get my oil changed and my tires rotated so I called the local Acura dealer.  They managed to fit me into their busy schedule.  From the moment I drove up to the moment I left I could tell that I was their number one priority.  I was escorted to a clean waiting room with desks set up to plug into the Internet.  (There were other stations set up with computers for those who didn’t bring their laptops.)  Complimentary cold drinks and snack foods were set out by the comfy leather couch.  I kept looking at my watch hoping they would take more time so I could enjoy "my new office."

My car was returned, within the time they had told me, and it was hand washed.  Everyone I encountered was polite and professional. 

It should be noted that this is the only Acura dealership within a 90 mile radius so it’s not like you would have much of a choice if you received poor service.  Yet the service I received was right on par with my local Mercedes dealer.  I felt so special that I told them I would make the two hour drive for my next oil change.

These employees are the same types of people that retailers are trying to attract.  I suspect Acura has been successful because they are not using their industry as an excuse for why they might have to settle for someone who is less than a "10."  Are you doing the same?

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