Hiring the right people for the right roles makes all the difference. The business of selling and servicing cars is a people business, first. That’s because people impact profits. In an interview with Automotive News, Adam Robinson, CEO of Hireology, a hiring software provider and consultant, said the “difference between a mediocre dealership and a great dealership is the strength of its people.” Yet, filling the roles at your dealership has always been a challenge. As recently as 2016, the turnover rate for automotive dealerships was as high as 43%, according to an NADA Workforce Study. Fast-forward to today, and your dealership is facing a whole new set of staffing challenges. Record unemployment, restructuring, and new technology makes finding new talent tricky. Building your dealership’s dream team is possible. But you’re going to need to change your approach. Here’s how to get started.
Build a Top Career Site to Attract Candidates
The saying goes, “If you build it, they will come.” We’re talking about your career page, that is. That’s because, according to Hireology’s State of Hiring 2020 Report, applicants who apply directly to your career site are more likely to get hired. In fact, 44% of all hires, and 57% of career site applicants are considered top candidates. Consider that people who already want to work at your dealership are already on your site and looking for open positions. When was the last time you updated your career page? Do you have employee testimonials on this page? Can candidates easily find your company values and mission statement? If not, it shouldn’t be a huge lift, and it will go a long way.
Think Outside the Box
As you adjust to new buying behavior, you should also adjust your expectations for new hires. If, previously, sales and customer service experience was required, or even a basic understanding of your Dealer Management System (DMS), consider a change. Try listing experience in technology, online retail, or software management in your job post. With so much of your business taking place online, it’s time for a new mindset.
Diversify Your Search
At the start of April 2020, many dealerships faced the difficult decision to furlough or layoff workers due to COVID-19. While most have been able to recover, rebuilding your workforce will take some time. According to a Cox Automotive COVID-19 Dealer and Consumer Sentiment Survey, 57% of people are still extremely concerned about the virus. Your ability to conduct in-person interviews may still be impacted for some time. You can still find the right talent to fill open positions at your dealership as long as you invest in a multichannel strategy. That’s according to the State of Hiring Report from Hireology who say “dealerships with diverse sourcing channels increase their quality applicants by 62%.” And, they claim, don’t rule out mobile ads in your approach. 80% of Facebook’s 2 billion users only have a mobile phone proving just how important mobile-first experiences can be for job seekers.
Rethink Your Dealership Roles
Business at your dealership has changed. From e-contracting, to virtual showrooms, to Sales Pick-up and Delivery (SPUD) and virtual check-ins, your business is now running as much (or more) online as it is in-person. As you look to fill positions, consider the opportunity to rethink the way your team works. As Director of Business Development for Dealertrack DMS, Tyler Anderson, points out in this article, “connecting the right people with technology and timely data is the winning combination that, I believe, will bring dealers through these tough times. I’ve seen several OEMs take the lead by hiring higher caliber sales people who are able to carry the sales process from beginning to end, and with fewer hand-offs.” The omni-channel approach to sales is now possible to many dealers thanks to more fully integrated technology. With fewer logins, less friction, and more systems working together, your staff can function at a higher level.
Your dealership looks different. But, change is nothing new to the automotive industry. As you continue to shift and grow, your staff will grow with you. With the data from industry experts, surveys, and our dealer partners, we hope your team continues to thrive this year and many more.