Dealership methods of talent acquisition and retention have become increasingly outdated, not only in how retailers identify candidates but also in how they keep high-quality employees from quitting. With the market starting to return to pre-pandemic norms, storefronts that fail to reform their hiring processes and labor practices may be unable to meet their staffing needs, especially in the sales department, as lucrative commissions become more difficult to obtain.
On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Adam Robinson, CEO and co-founder of Hireology. Hireology is a talent acquisition and human resources platform that helps businesses find productive employees and keep them happy. Now, Robinson discusses his recommendations for dealers looking to assemble competitive teams and avoid labor shortages.
1. Robinson notes that the retail automotive sector has played a heavy role in boosting job numbers over the last year, even though many dealerships are still facing staffing difficulties.
2. Robinson urges dealers to prepare their staff for a “reckoning” in the retail automotive sector. Although the car business is lucrative, the last few years have seen employees grow accustomed to abnormal conditions, such as unprecedented profit margins and a relaxed sales environment. Acknowledging now that the industry will become more difficult can help dealers avoid dire talent acquisition difficulties down the road.
3. Dealers will need to pursue talent acquisition aggressively to keep their companies staffed in the coming months. Robinson notes that the retail automotive sector is now competing with giants such as Amazon, who can afford to pay great benefits and high wages. To attract and retain talent, storeowners will likely need to improve their offerings as well.
4. Moving away from a commissions-based pay model or expanding training offerings are two possible options that can boost talent acquisition. Robinson notes that other industries, such as food service, are moving away from tips in favor of higher hourly wages. This system tends to attract more workers since employees value the financial security of guaranteed wages over a variable income. Furthermore, training that fully prepares staff members for a competitive market will improve their odds of earning a satisfactory income even when sales begin to slow.
5. Robinson urges dealers to implement more technology into their talent acquisition process. He notes that data is essential to finding talent and that automation can make the process of communicating with candidates faster for managers.
"I think we're finally at that watershed moment where it's not a choice; it's an imperative. You've just gotta take your [hiring] game up, and in this day, that means taking your technology game up." — Adam Robinson