It's bad enough that many Americans distrust dealership personnel. The real shame is that many dealers do, too.
At the Automotive News Retail Forum: NADA, several dealers speaking on one of the panels said they prefer to hire employees from outside the industry and train them rather than hire folks who may have picked up bad habits.
It's a sentiment I've heard often before.
Of course, dealerships aren't alone in preferring to train people in their own ways, inculcating that store's own culture, rather than having to untrain or retrain someone who learned another company's methods and culture.
But still. The utter aversion to hiring personnel who already know something about auto retailing is a sad indictment of how little respect dealers have for dealership employees.
Can you imagine the New England Patriots refusing to hire a defensive lineman who played for the Detroit Lions because he might have picked up bad habits? Amazon saying it would rather hire a newly minted college grad than a data analytics professional who had worked at Google for five years because she would have to be retrained?
Most companies recognize that they have unique cultures, but also that new hires from other companies in their industry can be trained in their way of doing things. Does it always work out? No. Do they therefore devote all of their recruiting solely to newbies who know nothing about the business? Also no.
But an industry that suffers on multiple fronts from its poor reputation does.
To be sure, not all dealerships have an aversion to experience. But that some dealer principals would say this openly tells you more about auto retailing than you really want to know.