Cox Automotive’s Dealership Staffing study pointed out some worrying hiring trends in the auto industry. It found a 40% overall dealership staff turnover rate, with sales being the largest artery bleeding out: that sector had a whopping 67% turnover rate.
Adding color to those already gloomy figures is the fact that women have a 9 in 10 turnover rate. Millennial hires are also quick to head for the door: according to the research, 60% of new hires fall into this age group, and 50% of those onboarded leave annually.
Something isn’t working. It’s crucial to examine different perks, and policies dealerships can offer that drive retention. Here are four considerations that could help turn the tide of turnovers for many dealers.
Where You Hire
One of the reasons a dealership may be having difficulties with hires is because of where they’re hiring. Increasingly, the pool for employment is a virtual one. Not only that, but often when searching online, dealers will need to look for skills sets instead of job titles. Your next sales superstar may not know they want to work at a dealership, but the savvy employer will see past what they’re advertising to their potential.
And on the subject of potential, customers are a great resource just waiting to be tapped. Who better to sell a dealership’s cars than someone enthusiastic about their positive experiences on a lot? Converting customers to sales staff is also a great way to attract more nontraditional and diverse employees to your dealership.
How You Hire
Just like customers, potential employees today generally have low patience thresholds. Dealers hoping to increase quality hires and retention should consider their interview and on-boarding processes. How long are they? How many hoops do potentials have to jump through?
Additionally, dealerships can make joining more attractive by creating training policies. Let people know that you’ll be offering on-the-job, paid training when they come on, eliminating any fears of failure they may have. Most younger employees today, Millenials through Gen Z, feel a strong need to know where they stand and that they’re doing their job correctly. Letting them know they’ll get the support they need throughout will go far in alleviating anxieties about taking the role and staying long term.
What the Job Offers
Here’s a problem: most people taking sales positions don’t want to be salespeople. At least, not forever. This leads many talented people to balk from taking a job in automotive sales because they’re afraid that’s where it will end.
Mitigate these concerns by providing a clear path for upward mobility for your sales staff. Or, find ways for sales personnel to take on additional responsibilities around the dealership, so they get to experience a variety that spices their sales job. T Make it clear that they won’t only be selling.
What You Offer
If dealerships hope to attract specific groups, like women or millennials, they’ll need to offer the perks that appeal to these groups. Everyone appreciates bonuses, but perks come in other forms as well.
For women, offering paid maternity leave is not just a beautiful thing to do, but also creates an incentive to stay on long term. Health care and other benefits are, of course, excellent to include, but so is tuition assistance for further education. If your target employee is the kind to drive electric cars, have charging stations available. Be creative and think outside the box, and those will be the kind of skills new hires will have.