To the Editor:
I read "Hey, kids! Why not try the auto industry?" (Oct. 19) about the need to attract young talent.
Our dealer members had been telling our association for some time about the difficulty in attracting the right people to apply for positions. Among our strategies for assisting our members:
n Increasing awareness of the industry in general. This involves outreach at high schools, colleges and universities. We created a branded job-postings website, carsandjobs.com. We do presentations at schools across the province and attend as many career fairs as possible. Besides promoting the industry, we're also working to break down the long-standing stigma associated with it.
n Talking to dealers. This has shown what's lacking in our industry, at least here in Ontario: active outreach -- and the right kind. Migrating dealerships to digital platforms for recruitment and marketing is a key component; many are still posting newspaper ads and wondering why young candidates aren't coming forward.
n Melding the industry with schools. So many dealers have had zero involvement with colleges or universities. We've joined program advisory committees at colleges and brought dealers along with us; we've brought dealers to career fairs for direct exposure to students/grads. We have begun to create events to bring dealers and grads together to network and interact.
n Having a major auto show presence. We have a huge space at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto, as well as the Ottawa Gatineau International Auto Show, to promote the industry and reach out to those who are looking for their first career or looking to change careers.
There is much more, but those are the foundations. This is an important issue that needs to be communicated effectively to dealers in all brands across North America.
Ontario Education Coordinator
Trillium Automobile Dealers Association