When numbers start dropping, dealerships might assume that the cause is vehicle trends, fickle customers, or a general economic slump. They may not realize that their hiring process is what has put them in a losing position.

According to a Cox Automotive study, poor staffing strategies often result in high employee turnover rate. And with each new hire costing dealerships approximately $10K, and the current turnover rate in sales standing at about 67%, the cost of a poor hiring process is high.

Reducing money lost in turnover is just the beginning of why it is crucial to review dealership hiring processes. Sales continue to be heavily influenced by positive human interactions, no matter how much attention we give to increased internet shopping. By investing in good people who will stick around, you could also significantly increase your profits. The key to finding and retaining those stars all goes back again to how dealerships hire.

Luckily, there are ways to turn things around, starting with developing a targeted, thoughtful hiring strategy. Here are three ways dealerships can increase retention and dealership growth by hiring the right people for the right roles. 

Understand What’s Driving Turnover

It’s hard to propose solutions when the problem is unknown. Take the time to follow up with departing and existing employees to understand where dissatisfaction lies. Is it the company culture? Pay? Lack of upward mobility? These are all critical reasons for low job satisfaction cited by the Cox Automotive study. Consider creating an employee survey, administered once a quarter for a year to get accurate data regarding employee perspectives.

Once you become aware of what is leading to departure, you’ll be able to address the problems within the dealership. Going forward, make sure to tout the improved system, such as excellent employee benefits or environment, to interviewees. 

Focus on Millenials hiring process

Currently, there’s a changing of the guard in sales. Gen X and Baby Boomer employees are aging out of the workforce or retiring. Though they still make up about two-thirds of dealership employees, their hiring rates are declining as those of Millenials increase.

Millennials, despite stereotypes, make model employees, though the sticking point is often the onboarding process. More than half of Millennial employees leave positions annually, and many cite job dissatisfaction.

Cox Automotive suggests that to attract Millennials dealerships should take a three-pronged approach: 

  1. Advertize the areas where your dealership is investing in new technologies, practices, and causes, all of which contribute to Millennial interest and satisfaction.
  2. Emphasize career growth opportunities within the industry and your dealership.
  3. Outline (and follow through with) a clear training and mentorship path for new hires. 

Use a Holistic Approach

Finally, Cox Automotive recommends gearing a dealership’s entire operation towards employee wellbeing and satisfaction. This means being wise about who and how you recruit, investing in quality onboarding training, creating a culture of communication, and recognizing employee achievement. By approaching hiring from a whole-picture view, dealerships can maximize the allure of their jobs and promote long-term job security and loyalty. 

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