With U.S. auto sales experiencing record highs, car dealerships are noticing an unsettling side effect—an influx of jobs to fill and a shortage of skilled applicants. One possible solution?

An internship program.

While you may approach the thought with some skepticism, dealerships that successfully commit to investing in interns receive a multitude of benefits that can drastically improve several key business areas. If you’re debating whether to hire interns at your car dealership, here are a few reasons to convince you.

A way to discover new talent

When designing your dealership’s internship program, you can certainly opt for positions like greeter and car washer, but it’s also important to invest in more skilled positions like mechanic, accountant, marketing specialist and IT support.

Offering paid internships with a specific focus not only helps attract more talented candidates, but it can also prove to be an effective recruiting tool. There’s also an opportunity to find stand-out workers who drive significant business results. Much like rent-to-own home options, an internship program allows people to get a feel for what they’re doing in hopes that they’ll like it enough to stay on full-time.

A way to keep tabs on the latest technology

If your dealership’s internship program is geared toward a younger community, then you should absolutely use those interns as a resource to keep your business up-to-date on the latest technological innovations.

Nobody has a better pulse on what drives millennial buyers than millennial buyers, so having them on your team, and listening to their advice, can prove beneficial. Evolving consumer preferences—such as mobile usage and digital marketing—have already begun to invade the automotive industry.

It’s the responsibility of dealers to evolve with those trends and create an improved customer experience. If they don’t, consumers will find another dealership that caters to those needs.

A way to get more involved in your local community

Promoting your internship program at local high schools, technical schools and colleges is a great way to drum up a positive perception of your dealership. Providing jobs for young people to learn and grow not only helps your HR department, but it also keeps your dealership top-of-mind with the audience that is exposed to the program. That kind of mindshare can result in a side effect of increased sales over time.

Not only can you attract the millennial crowd with your dealership’s internship program, but all consumers like to see businesses investing in their local community—whether it’s through philanthropy or people. If your program is successful enough, it may even get picked up by the press.

Does your dealership invest in an internship program? Share your experience in the comments below!