When building our automotive advertising agency, we found that sourcing and hiring the perfect employees was undoubtedly the hardest part. You want the BDC staff that can make the call volume with a smile. You want the ambitious salesman that never gives up. You want the dream team, the people who excel at their jobs and love doing it. In a word, you’re looking for mission-driven employees—those with such a passion for what you do that it gets them out of bed in the morning and helps them sleep easy at night.

It took a while to hire exactly the right people for our automotive marketing firm. The agency needed developers, writers, designers, videographers, salespeople, and marketers. But through persistence (and a few trade secrets), we assembled the best, brightest, and most driven workforce in the state—and we were named a Best Place to Work! Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect staff for your dealership:

1. Tap Into Your Existing Network

It turned out that our awesome developer was friends with other awesome developers. Your exceptional employees probably know other exceptional people. Birds of a feather really do tend to flock together—and studies have shown that people recommended by current employees produce 25% more profit and are 20% less likely to quit. Ask help from the employees you already trust!

2. Slow Down

It’s better to take your time to find the perfect candidate than to rush a new hire. If you’re desperate to fill a position, you’ll likely sacrifice quality (and you might even make a poor choice). Measure twice, cut once. Hold out for the ideal hire for the position. If you don’t say, “SHE’S THE ONE!” after a few interviews, it’s probably not the perfect fit. Don’t get discouraged—keep looking!

3. Put Hires To The Test

Come up with a trial for potential hires to gauge their passion and skillsets. Hiring a social media associate or a marketing manager? Have them create a video submission to assess their creativity. Looking for a sales superstar? Have candidates run through a dry pitch to test their mettle (sell me this pen). You’ll have a much better idea of your prospects’ capabilities.

4. Stick Up For Your Values

Hiring the right cultural fit is of the utmost importance. You don’t want someone working only for the money—the dream team will stand behind your mission and align with your values. Don’t let someone in the door that isn’t right for your culture. Never bend for someone whose attitude doesn’t fit.,

Hiring great employees remains the hallmark of high-functioning businesses. A combination of great referrals, ability assessment, and a clear focus on the role will yield an excellent team and the foundation of your store’s success. A wrong hire can be a costly mistake—so fight the temptation to fill your positions quickly and hold out for the perfect candidate.

Hiring great employees is only half the battle. Our free eBook The 7 Keys To Creating A Culture In Your Dealership That’s Enjoyable, Simple & Prosperous outlines the steps you need in order to foster a culture your employees are passionate about.