Are You Hiring Employees or Team Members?

By Ted Ings, Executive Director

We’ve all had an experience interacting with someone who makes it obvious they don’t want to be where they are. 

They’re in it for the paycheck; simply a warm body to fill a role. As a complete mirror image, we’ve all had the experience dealing with someone who loves their job, does it to the best of their ability, and honestly cares about your satisfaction. 


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It’s the difference between a team member and an employee. Who you choose to hire – integral components to your dealership’s team or order-takers – impacts the customer experience as well as your bottom line. 


•    Watch the clock, ready for a coffee break or home time. 
•    Avoid problems. They want their day to be easy and fast. 
•    Follow policy without considering the customer. 
•    Focus on their job, not the customer.
•    Are looking for their next opportunity elsewhere.

Team members: 

•    Are selfless, working to foster a good experience. 
•    Love their job – you need to encourage them to leave when their shift is over. 
•    Strive to resolve problems so the customer is satisfied.
•    Try to find solutions, even if it means stretching the boundaries a little. 
•    Are committed to the dealership’s success. 

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Hire People Who Buy into Your Culture

The stack of resumes on your desk might be tall, but few will qualify to be team members. The rest could be good employees, but your goal should be filling positions with team members. 

It takes a huge amount of resources to find people that fit into your dealership culture, but it’s so very important. You could hire someone to do the job, like an order-taker, but it comes at the expense of customer satisfaction.


When you hire team members who fit into your dealership culture perfectly with like-minded goals and expectations, your store is going to flourish.

Hiring doesn’t always work out like you think it will. But when your goal is to find the right fit for the team, not just the position, your odds of success are much higher.