The past year and a half have thrown dealers the gauntlet of challenges. Yet, despite an ongoing pandemic, vehicle inventory shortages, and other economic woes, the automotive industry continues to do surprisingly well. Customer satisfaction is reaching all-time highs, dealers are finding innovative ways to improve the online retail buying experience, and the industry continues to shift according to recent Cox Automotive research. But, the ever-present challenges to hiring and staffing remain. In fact, dealerships and industries across the country are facing what is now being dubbed the “Great Resignation” as employees are leaving their posts in greater numbers each day.
Although the retail automotive landscape has changed—in many ways, for the better—some things have remained constant in recruitment. We turned to the experts at Hireology, the Human Resource Solutions team that specializes in retail automotive, for advice on the matter. Here’s what they had to say about the unchanging and reliable truths of hiring.
- Hiring great people is difficult
Because every industry is looking to hire new talent, your competition is likely more vast than in previous seasons. You need to continue to work to attract retail automotive talent — so continue to use the appropriate job boards — but don’t limit yourself to those within the industry. You’ve got a huge talent pool if you open your roles up to other sectors, simply by making your requirements broader. Include things like “great customer service skills a plus” rather than “this role requires 2+ years of automotive sales experience.”
- Your team is your competitive advantage
Regardless of how reliant we become on technology, your team will always be your most essential asset. Every hire you make needs to be a strategic play to improve your business operation because hiring is the biggest expense for business owners. You can’t risk just filling roles with warm bodies — you have to find people that add value to your organization and are looking to grow their careers with you. That said, your dealership has to facilitate that career growth and you need to prioritize advertising it to potential job seekers through your career site and social media channels.
- You have to take care of your people
It’s not enough to do the bare minimum for your employees — you have to offer competitive benefits and compensation in order to keep your team around and attract new employees. Look at your competitors and what they’re offering, and consider including unique incentives as well, like continuing education stipends or certification reimbursements.
Hiring at your dealership will continue to be an investment that yields a huge payoff, for your business, your customers, and your staff. The industry will continue to change. But the importance of your hiring strategy, and the value of your people, will always remain a crucial component to your company.