The auto finance sector is on track for growth in 2021, if job listings are any indication. In fact, Auto Finance News found more than 1,400 job posts on the websites of 25 of the nation’s top 100 financiers.
Carvana is far and away the most active on the hiring front, with 565 openings ranging from accounting and analytics to information technology and wholesale operations. The online retailer has been growing at a fast clip for the past several years, spurring the need to staff up. Last year, it added 61 new markets and nearly doubled its headcount to 7,324 employees. Carvana has already added another 115 markets so far this year, bringing its total to 261.
The bulk of Carvana’s current hiring binge consists of inspection center, logistics, and market operations personnel, including the customer advocates who deliver purchased vehicles and lot attendants — the folks who maintain the cleanliness and appearance of the vehicles at Carvana’s dealerships. But it also has 14 analytics roles, 22 tech-related positions, as well as 17 human resources posts, among a slew of other jobs.
For lenders without retail operations, collection positions are popular job listings. The premise is that financiers are looking to staff up in advance of worsening credit performance, with delinquencies and charge-offs expected to rise. Of the 68 jobs listed on Credit Acceptance Corp.’s website, one-third were related to collections. At Westlake Financial and Santander Consumer USA, about 20% of the 60 or so job postings were for positions in the collection department.
Lenders are seeking to fill dealer-facing roles, technology positions and some senior-level posts, too. A deeper look at some of these job opportunities provides insight into the expected sources of lender growth next year. For instance, 60% of the open positions at Nicholas Financial are for sales and branch managers. Nicholas Financial had indicated in its second-quarter filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it would evaluate Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, Nevada and Utah for potential expansion. Sure enough, three of the company’s job listings are for roles in Arizona.
Interestingly, Nicholas is also looking to hire a Texas district manager, along with area sales managers and branch managers in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. “We’re expanding, and we have Texas in our sights!” reads the district manager job listing, which also indicates that the district will have between four and eight branch offices. Nicholas stopped doing business in the Lone Star State late last year because a shrinking portfolio had caused operating expenses to increase as a percent of income.
Flagship Credit Acceptance is also on the lookout for dealer representatives. Ten of its 24 outstanding positions are for area sales managers in Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee, among other locales. Capital One Auto Finance has similar openings in California, Oklahoma, Virginia and other states.
Meanwhile, Ford Motor Credit, Pentagon Federal Credit Union and Chase Auto are seeking senior-level executives to enhance and expand segments of the business. Ford Credit is searching for a head of UX to captain the design, strategy and implementation of a variety of experiences across its portfolio of products, including its online and mobile user interfaces. PenFed is looking for a manager of direct lending operations, whose responsibilities would include oversight of the end-to-end member experience for targeting, acquisition and servicing of auto loans through the channel. Among banks, Chase Auto is seeking a pricing and strategy manager, as well as various data engineers and software developers. Ally Financial also has a lot of open tech positions.
Some companies — like Alaska USA Credit Union, Ford Credit and Toyota Financial Services — have only a handful of openings, while others have put their hiring on hold. Take Consumer Portfolio Services, for example. The company has shaved 21% of its staff in the past couple years, including a 10% reduction in headcount in the second quarter as originations declined because of COVID-19. But with plans to ramp up volume, CPS has six sales rep jobs listed on its website. Alaska USA and TFS each had four auto finance-related job postings as of Nov. 10, while American Credit Acceptance had none.
GM Financial, meanwhile, has some developer and engineer jobs on its site labeled as “future opportunities.” The description says: “Being thoughtful on the current situation that is impacting global business, at GM Financial we have decided to stay connected with talented professionals for future opportunities. Help us proactively identify your profile for upcoming opportunities by applying to this open pipelining requisition.”
In a nutshell, lenders are eyeing cautious growth and expansion in 2021, with targeted opportunities in a range of business segments.