Wednesday, July 6, 2022
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How does dealership culture affect recruitment and retention strategies? – Kevin Hull | JM&A Group

Finding the right talent to fill a role within your dealership can be taxing, but there are resources and strategies used by many in the industry to make the process easier. Today on Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome Kevin Hull, Director of Sales and Talent Services at JM&A Group, to share some best practices.

Finding the right talent to fill a role within your dealership can be taxing, but there are resources and strategies used by many in the industry to make the process easier. Today on Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome Kevin Hull, Director of Sales and Talent Services at JM&A Group, to share some best practices. 

The COVID-19 pandemic required car dealers to find ways to accomplish more with fewer resources. However, like many industries, auto retail faces a talent crunch, especially on the fixed operations side of the business. On the variable side, turnover has decreased significantly (7-20%) over the past two years due partly to higher profits. Now, some car salespeople are making very good money selling fewer cars. JMA&A is closely monitoring this trend, and the company is helping its dealer partners train and develop their talent ahead of the curve. 

Hull says that training and development have taken a backseat to other challenges like inventory availability and rising costs. The car dealers that take the next 6-12 months to develop the necessary skillsets will have a leg-up in attracting and retaining talent. 

Looking at recent labor statistics, Hull says there have been various changes to the labor participation rate. In a market where it is difficult to find talent, dealers must reinforce their dealership culture to win in this area. There are many ways car dealers can start preparing for this today. 

Culture is different for every dealership, says Hull. Authentic culture can’t be forced. It has to form organically, starting with the company’s founder. Luckily, Hull says that the culture created by JM&A Group Founder Jim Moran is still present at the company today. As a newer associate, Hull explains that the company cherishes how Moran valued his associates and dealer partners. In his role, Hull works with dealer partners to attract talent. However, dealers can’t attract talent if they aren’t ready to retain it. Part of the process at JM&A is addressing and evaluating the state of a dealership’s culture. 

Every store’s culture is different, but there are some core tenets including safety, well-being, capacity for growth, and training. The automotive industry has so many opportunities, but there is a disconnect between innovative technology and the actual sales associate on the floor. Now is the time for dealers should focus on their employer brand.


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