Lower Turnover Via Better Hiring Strategies
Hiring and retaining high-quality employees is a crucial success factor for any business, including auto dealerships. Unfortunately, dealerships generally have a less than stellar track record when it comes to holding onto their employees.
Overall employee turnover at dealerships is about 40% annually, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association’s (NADA’s) Dealership Workforce Study. Among salespeople, this number rises to 72%, the study says.
The Harvard Business Review reports that up to 80% of employee turnover is related to poor hiring decisions. Whether you’re seeking managers, salespeople or rank-and-file employees, you’ll want to choose from the best possible candidate pool in the first place.
Looking in the right spots
Asking your current employees for recommendations is a good way to start your search for the best job candidates. Some of them may have friends and family members who’re looking for new employment opportunities. You might even consider offering cash bonuses to employees for successful candidate referrals.
Another way to find good candidates is to work with a recruiting service that specializes in dealership employees. Auto Careers’ Jobs in Georgetown, TX; Jack Young Personnel Services in Plainview, NY; and Pinnacle Automotive Hospitality Services in Tampa, FL, are a few services that place candidates nationally.
Auto Careers’ Jobs finds employees for a wide range of dealership positions, including management, administration, accounting and operations. Jack Young focuses on placing mid- to senior-level management positions such as general and sales managers. Pinnacle Automotive specializes in filling such positions as receptionists, service ambassadors and courtesy-shuttle drivers.
To locate good service technician candidates, visit auto mechanic schools in your area. Some of these schools actively recruit graduates for area dealerships looking to fill service positions. Many offer a wide range of specialized training, such as general automotive technology, high-performance technology and performance machining. This can make it easier to find technicians with the specific skills you’re seeking.
Once you’ve received resumés from qualified candidates, you’ll be on your way to the interviewing and hiring processes. The specific information you’ll be looking for on resumés and during interviews will differ depending on the job you’re filling.
Regardless of the position being filled, you’ll likely look for certain characteristics in any potential new hire. These usually include professionalism, promptness, problem-solving abilities, strong interpersonal skills and a positive, can-do attitude.
A wide range of laws and regulations govern dealership employment practices, so be sure to consult with an attorney for additional hiring guidance.
Building a career website
One effective strategy for finding and hiring high-quality employees is building a separate career website or microsite. This site will list current job openings at your dealership and allow candidates to submit job applications online.
Here are a few tips for creating an effective site:
Make it easy to locate and navigate. Include a prominent link to your career site on your dealership’s home page. On the career site itself, make sure that application instructions are clear and candidates can start and stop an application without losing their completed work.
Create an eye-catching and visually appealing design. Your career site should offer a good first impression of your dealership to prospective new employees. If it’s drab and boring, quality candidates might not bother filling out an application.
Keep it up to date. Make sure listings for new jobs are added and those for filled jobs are taken down quickly. An outdated career website is frustrating for applicants and reflects poorly on your dealership.
It’s probably not realistic to completely eliminate employee turnover. But by locating the best candidates for positions you need to fill by taking the actions described above, you’ll likely increase the number of hires that will work.