Hiring Decisions Impact Your Bottom Line

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.


Good Talent = Revenue

Good news! The retail powersports market continues on a roll! According to composite data from more than 1,650 dealerships in the US using CDK Lightspeed DMS, sales increased 23.9 percent in February 2021as compared to February 2020. Early results from the Q1 2021 Powersports Business/BMO Capital Markets Dealer Survey reflected that more than half of all respondents said business was trending above plan.

In general, a positive sentiment has also spread across several economic indicators. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rates in each of the large metropolitan areas dipped below 10 percent in February. The stimulus at the end of 2020 ($900B) and the relief package signed in early March ($1.9T) equate to nearly 14 percent of US GDP.

However, there are a couple of wrinkles which could put a damper on that optimism. Inventory continues to be an issue, both in terms of units and parts for all makes and models. Many dealers responding to the Powersports Business/BMO survey listed lack of inventory as the number one issue impacting their business. Certainly pent-up consumer demand bodes well for driving traffic to the store, but there is another issue facing powersports dealers. What happens when you don’t have enough staff – or the right talent – to capitalize on that consumer demand?


Interviewing 101

Contributing Author:
Amber Hash
Recruiting Manager
EFG Companies

Have you found yourself wondering what happened to that stellar candidate who came in for the job interview? They were impressive in the interview, so why are they not measuring up on the job?

This scenario happens because some people are just better at interviews than others. It could be that you find yourself passing on potentially top-performing employees and hiring less apt candidates, all due to the interview.

So, as an employer, what are you to do? Approach an interview the same way you would approach a needs analysis with a potential customer.

First, put the candidate at ease with some small talk and set expectations on the interview itself, including timing. This step helps those people who are nervous interviewers. Putting them at ease will help them open up about their experience and what they can bring to the table.

Then, ask behavioral questions. Again, let’s go back to the needs analysis with a customer. Those questions typically revolve around driving habits and lifestyle, i.e., behavior. The same thing applies in a job interview. Ask candidates for examples of goals they reached and how they achieved those goals. Have them describe a stressful situation, or a situation where they made a mistake at work and how they handled it. Ask them if they’ve ever been in a situation where they needed to change a person’s mind, and how they achieved that change.