Over the last several months, it seemed like everywhere you looked, there were ‘”Help Wanted” signs and hiring fairs offering sizable referral and signing bonuses. According to the US Department of Labor, the economy added 263,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate declined to 3.5 percent as more people entered the labor market looking for work. 9.7 million jobs have been added since President Biden took office, including an average of 378,000 per month over the past three months. However, we’re already beginning to see hiring trends slow as companies prepare for a potential recession in 2023.
While powersports dealers have been setting record profits over the last few years, salespeople have shared in the bounty, raking in significant wage gains tied to their commissions. However, with a recession looming, and inventory on track to becoming right-sized within the next year, dealers are coming to the realization that the current sales-staff might be ill-equipped to adapt to the changing times ahead.
Rather than simply being order takers and counting the commission checks, salespeople will once again need to return to customer service and sales best practices. Those who manage that shift gracefully should do just fine. Those who lack the training, or the capacity to change, will most likely find employment elsewhere.
As a powersports dealer, these labor challenges can directly impact your bottom line. Not having enough staff – or having the wrong type of staff – means you cannot service the available market. And that equals a loss of revenue.
But hiring the right candidate is very different today. Let’s look at some of the challenges and opportunities dealers face when hiring.
Unique hiring demographics
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 employers 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, prioritizing work/life balance and company culture. Making those diverse perspectives work effectively can be challenging for any employer.
Dealer managers who hold the antiquated belief that only college graduates are suited to fill positions are missing out on a wealth of candidates. Savvy dealers should reach out to as large a swath of candidates as possible, casting a wide net across various demographic pools to make hiring quicker, and build a more diverse workforce. Post open positions on sites where candidates will see them, be clear that you are actively seeking a wide variety of candidates, and be diligent about removing hiring biases for gender, ethnicity, education, and skillset.
Dealership culture is the relationship between management and employees, and the alignment to achieve specific goals and aspirations. If everyone is closely aligned, employee satisfaction – and success – increases, turnover decreases and hiring improves. But dealer management is responsible for clearly communicating the goals and aspirations and ensuring staff understand and feel empowered to achieve results.
Values = Value
Some ‘old-school’ managers believe these attributes are trivial and don’t impact the bottom line. Failing to establish an effective company culture that leads with clarity, respects diversity and encourages work/life balance can directly impact revenues. Examples include:
- Frustrated and complaining customers resulting in customer churn
- Internal politics and an us vs. them mentality resulting in diminished teamwork and employee turnover
- Case-by-case-by-case evolution of employee behaviors resulting in frustration and resentment
- Misinformation resulting in poor decisions and wasted resources
- Lawsuits resulting in distraction and wasted resources
- Complacency resulting in market share loss and business decline
Each of these items directly hits company performance, decreases productivity, and diminishes revenue.
Our proven team of advisors can assist you and your team with the training, tools, and resources needed to hire the right team members, create a thriving culture, and establish the right goals for your powersports dealership. At EFG Companies, we’re more than an F&I provider; we’re your business partner with years of expertise in the powersports industry. Contact us today to learn more about hiring with excellence and boost your success for the rest of the year.