While we wait for the year-end numbers to come in, we can make some educated estimates that sales will continue to be strong, inventory issues will continue to unwind, and service will remain an opportunity for generating profit. But one of the biggest questions looming in 2022 is staffing and labor. Will you have enough employees to support your sales and service opportunities? And, if you have sufficient staff now – will they stay?
Labor is becoming a serious issue across all areas of the economy, impacting both large and small businesses. While the unemployment rate has improved since the height of the pandemic – falling from 6.3 percent in January 2021 to 3.9 percent in December – the rate of those leaving their jobs has escalated. Employers are having to play offense and defense at the same time, struggling to fill a near-record 11 million openings while also holding on to existing workers.
As dealers look to re-staff in 2022, some are finding themselves competing in a very tight labor market. Some economists are starting to believe the pandemic has changed the behavior of the job market in ways that could have a lasting impact, including resetting the relationship between workers and their employers.
To put this in perspective, think in terms of supply and demand. The past two years, powersports inventory has been low, and demand has been high, resulting in higher profit margins for dealers, right? In the labor market, job availability is high, and demand is low, resulting in greater bargaining power for potential employees.
When I say demand is low, I mean that people are no longer willing to take a job just for a paycheck. Demand for just a paycheck is low, but demand for a quality career is high. Potential candidates are evaluating not only the current position, but the career path, the work environment, and the overall company ‘attitude.’ The pandemic prompted workers to reevaluate their work-life balance during the lockdown and many employers found themselves on the negative side of the plus-minus decision making.
How can you overcome this challenge? Be smart about your hiring. Start by looking at the dealership job through the job seeker’s eyes.
Step 1: Focus on the candidate’s hiring journey
Smart employers are streamlining their job application processes, engaging the candidate on their preferred platform (email, text, web, phone, social media, etc.), and laying out a plan for success within the company. At EFG, we provide up-front information and transparency for potential job applicants with information like this: https://bit.ly/3GmLYl7
Step 2: Understand their work preferences
Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z have very different work preferences, and it is important to understand the differences. Take this into account when pitching the values of the position, the dealership culture, and opportunities for advancement. Check out our infographic on this topic here: https://bit.ly/3rfIxq3
Step 3: Deliver a fulfilling staff position
Regardless of the age demographic, employees across the board are not interested in just having a job. They require a fulfilling position with manageable challenges, opportunities for advancement, a dealership culture that is collaborative and respectful, and a company that supports its mission and values through community engagement. Can you clearly articulate why your store is a great place to work? Is your community involvement summarized on your website? Your community involvement is now key to both increasing unit sales and hiring quality talent.
With our record-setting ability to hire and train staff for our dealer clients, EFG Companies knows a thing or two about today’s hiring culture. Our proven team of advisors can assist dealers navigate the new opportunities in 2022. We’re more than an F&I provider, we’re your business partner with years of expertise in the powersports industry. We bring a wealth of industry expertise, business acumen, and tools to drive value for our clients. Contact us today to learn more about how our hiring and training solutions can drive success for your business in 2022.