End the Year on a Hiring High

According to the most recent jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the United States job market continued to grow steadily, with 261,000 jobs added in October 2022. This shows a slight decrease in the jobs added compared to the previous month, while the unemployment rate increased to 3.7 percent. Conversely, many high-tech companies have signaled – or already implemented – layoffs or hiring freezes. Could this mean a larger pool of potential recruits for dealers to scoop up?

With continued signs of strength in retail automotive and strong revenue potential, dealerships have some strong selling points to attract the best candidates. But don’t rush to hire the first available candidate. Successful hiring at the end of the year should be strategic. Hiring the right candidate is very different today. Let’s look at some of the challenges and opportunities dealers face when hiring.

Hiring Five Generations Deep

For the first time in modern history, there are currently five generations active in the workforce. Each generation brings a unique perspective to their job, providing an employer with a rich, cultural microcosm that can relate to every type of customer. Although the pandemic accelerated changes to the traditional workplace, many of today’s workers have reassessed their relationships with work, placing a priority on work/life balance as well as company culture. Making those diverse perspectives work effectively can be challenging for any employer.


Are Your Recruiting Practices Causing Turnover?

Contributing Author: Amber Hash Recruiting Manager EFG Companies
Contributing Author:
Amber Hash
Recruiting Manager
EFG Companies

Auto dealers have always had a difficult time with employee retention. It takes a certain kind of individual who can handle the long hours, commission-based pay, and constant pressure to make a sale and increase gross. It’s easy to think that turnover is just the nature of the industry. But, we all have those dealer principals in our 20 groups who brag about the tenure of their staff. What do they have going for them that most dealers don’t?

According to the 2017 NADA Dealership Workforce Study, the median workforce tenure in retail automotive is 2.5 years. But, it takes employees in key production positions, like F&I managers, an average of three years to reach full productivity.

So, why are dealers losing key employees right before they reach their potential? A lot of it has to do with the dealer’s recruiting practices.

A common trend in the retail automotive industry is to hire the first person interviewed, often on the spot. This is especially prevalent in high volume dealerships that need to fill positions quickly to keep production levels up. The problem here is there is no vetting to make sure the person being hired is the right fit for the dealership.

One interview does not provide the entire picture of a person’s strengths, weaknesses, energy level, and ability. It’s always better to build time into your recruiting model to conduct multiple interviews, background checks, and references checks to ensure you have the right person for the job.

Dealership Recruiting Dealership Training

Tips for Keeping Your Top Performers

Amber Hash, RecruiterAccording to the 2014 Dealership Workforce Industry Report, dealership employment grew 3.4 percent and topped 1 million people last year, with median weekly earnings of $976. However, turnover is still taking a toll on dealership overhead, with an average rate of 36 percent.

As you re-evaluate your operations going into 2015, you are probably asking yourself how to address turnover in your dealership. After investing time and money into recruiting, training, and ramping up your employees, the last thing you want is to lose that investment to high turnover.

Maintaining and retaining a staff of high performers always starts with recruiting. When identifying the type of person you want for a given position, set up a model that extends beyond experience and education and considers the qualities, work styles and strengths of Top Performers in the position for which you are sourcing candidates. Then stick to that model during your candidate selection process.

Ryan Musgrove, Director of Training, EFG CompaniesHowever, in order to truly woo Top Performers, dealers need to think beyond how much they are willing to pay in commissions, to how they will provide a career path to recruits. For today’s job seekers, the opportunity to advance is just as important as their paycheck. A good career path does more than simply list off the hierarchy of job roles in your dealership, but also clarifies benchmarks and career goal metrics for employees to be considered for promotion.

Once you’ve hired quality talent, cultivating and retaining your Top Performers becomes the primary objective. This process begins with providing your team with the tools to succeed through training and mentoring. The most successful dealerships are those with a culture that encourages education and mentorship, and fosters a community where your team members support one another.

If you have a person placed in a position where they are not succeeding, consider whether they would fit better in a different position or if more training and follow-up is required. For those that are succeeding and providing the dealership with significant income, don’t get “sticker shock” when you see their commission check.

The number one reason why good sales managers and F&I producers are recruited out of a dealership is because their pay plan was changed, resulting in less take-home pay. When creating your job descriptions, determine a pay plan for each position based on percentages you are willing to pay. Then stick with that pay plan when your people succeed. If an F&I producer is taking home a fat check, that means the dealership is making that much more.

Lastly, take account of the work/life balance of your employees, especially if you are looking to hire young talent. Generation Y has repeatedly stipulated that they want to be a part of an organization that is about more than making money, and that provides a good work/life balance. According to NADA’s 2014 Dealership Workforce Study, dealerships are seeing an increase of Generation Y employees, which they attribute to across-the-board cuts in dealership hours, as only 13 percent of dealerships surveyed schedule sales consultants to work more than 50 hours.

While this might make you cringe, think about productivity in a different way. Numerous studies have demonstrated that employees who live full lives tend to also be the most productive employees. Work/life balance does not have to mean complete flexibility for every employee, but rather tailored to individual dealerships and their respective cultures. Good work/life balance programs have the potential to:

  • Increase employee retention
  • Improve morale
  • Reduce absenteeism
  • Increase engagement and productivity
  • Decrease stress and burnout

With almost 40 years of experience in automotive retail team development, EFG Companies knows how to cultivate a culture of success within your dealership. Our recruiting services team has conducted extensive, proprietary research to identify core qualities of Top Performers. With our Top Performer Profile, our recruiting experts can match individuals whose personality characteristics and work style will make them successful in the retail automotive space. Meanwhile, our training services team goes beyond traditional methodologies that temporarily fuel sales teams without changing culture, behaviors and attitudes for sustainable benefit. We are a team dedicated to identifying and changing behaviors to transport teams into Top Performers. Find out how today!