Being an auctioneer takes a certain personality combined with talent and skill. Today, a large number of our auctioneers have a tenure with us of more than 20 years and a handful with more than 30. But we don’t see many new faces calling the auction.

Initially, we didn’t worry about this. We figured that, with the growth of online selling options, there would still be enough auctioneers to manage the volume of business that would still go to the physical auction.

Yet, despite the popularity of online selling, the physical auctions are still thriving. In fact, additional lanes have been recently added to handle the increased volume of business: 14 lanes were added in 2014 and 10 more will be added this year, for a total of 113 lanes at 14 ADESA Canada locations.

On the heels of our physical auction lane expansion, our leadership team identified the shortage of auctioneers as a significant risk to our business and we realized we needed to create a plan for the next generation of auctioneers.

In the past ten years, most of our auctions have had employees step up to learn the skills to be an auctioneer. Within our Canadian auctions, currently eight general managers serve as auctioneers in our weekly sales, and three of us on ADESA Canada’s executive leadership team have carried the skill for 20+ years, filling in where needed.

So we turned to the people who already have a love for and an understanding of the business as our first resource. We asked our general managers to find candidates from their auctions who would be willing to invest in attending the Canadian Auctioneer College to become certified auctioneers. Sixteen employees—from sales managers to clerks—stepped up.

The Canadian Auctioneer College worked with us to customize an ADESA-only class and curriculum that was tailored to the wholesale auction business. A one-week course, averaging 14-hour days, trained the newest additions to our auctioneer teams.

The graduates returned to their sites and have been given a mentor from the current auctioneer team. They are also up on the auction block to sell each week to ensure they are successful with their new skill.

As we look forward, we realize how important the auctioneering process is to our overall success and we plan to invest in the current team as well as the future of recruiting this very rare skill set.

First graduates of the Canadian Auctioneer College’s ADESA-only class:

3rd Row: Gregg Maidment (SVP Operations ADESA Canada, Auctioneer school graduate 1983), Phil Faulkner, Matt Budolosky, Matt McLeod, Alain Groulx, Brad Powell, Joe Zhou, Jason Mistry

2nd Row: Scott Rennie, Tom Burns, Barb Richards, Cathia Begin, John Ross, Lisa Scott (SVP Sales and Operations ADESA Canada, Auctioneer school graduate 1992), John Sampson

1st Row: Rick Hemond, Nick Maidment, Jeff Connell, Pat Segin, Dan Leslie