Best PracticesDealership Operations & Processes

3 Benefits of a NEW HIRE Onboarding Program

The onboarding process begins on your new hire’s first day and ends after all the HR paperwork is signed and filed, right?

Well… not quite.

The truth is, onboarding begins long before the employee ever officially clocks-in and can last months or even up to a year before an employee is fully immersed. Onboarding occurs throughout the entire selection and hiring stage, as prospective employees receive their first look into the inner workings of your dealership – including the HR process, organizational hierarchy and different levels of communication.

That’s why an effective onboarding program is critical.

A great onboarding program is designed to educate and engage your employees so they can become productive members of your organization quickly and effectively. The more comfortable they feel, the more inclined they will be to stay employed at your dealership.

Still not convinced?

THREE Reasons to Institute a Comprehensive Onboarding Program

Here are three reasons why your dealership should institute a comprehensive onboarding program.

  1. Engage Employees Early On

According to a recent study conducted by the National Automobile Dealers Association, the annualized turnover rate for all dealership positions is 39.4 percent. For sales consultants, turnover is 71.9 percent, with a three-year retention rate of just 32.8 percent. It’s clear that employees are not engaged in their positions. A solid onboarding program can help your dealership properly facilitate early success and help to retain talent.

Engagement is the number one objective when it comes to your onboarding program, not just because it helps build company culture and rapport among new staff, but also because it directly drives your dealership’s growth. According to a study done by Gallup, employees who reported themselves as “highly engaged with their company” had 147 percent higher earnings per share than those who were “not engaged.”

  1. Assimilate Your Employees

Most of the time, the only way new hires learn about the culture or the subtle nuances of a dealership is after they have done something they shouldn’t have. This “trial by fire” approach is not conducive to helping create an employee that wants to stay with your organization and grow. Being unable to assimilate isn’t only frustrating for new hires; poorly assimilated employees can create a great deal of conflict within your organization and have a severe effect on the overall team morale.

A well-thought-out approach to onboarding can serve to assimilate new staff members and provide them with clarity regarding their roles, responsibilities, and team goals, along with effectively working with other departments in your dealership to help them all reach the same page and best work together.

  1. Encourage Open Communication

According to a study done by the University of Missouri Business Development Program, two of the top 10 reasons why employees quit their jobs were attributed to inadequate training and poor communication. New employees may often feel scared or intimidated to share concerns or feedback about their new role and surroundings. They may not feel comfortable asking questions or expressing their opinions and that could negatively impact their work, as well as motivation to stay on board.

An onboarding program can give your dealership’s new hires a proper communication structure to help them get answers to questions about their new workplace without the unneeded pressure. Encouraging them to feel comfortable and honest can do wonders in creating a space where they feel secure and part of a team. If this is something that is established early on in the onboarding process, it translates to more confident workers and a better outcome for your dealership.

Improve Onboarding and Decrease Turnover at your DealerShip

Implementing a solid onboarding program ensures a better employee/employer relationship right from the start, as well as making communication easier – keeping employees engaged and interested in staying for the long haul.

Your dealership’s onboarding program is not only essential to its success, but can go a long way towards growing your culture and increasing your bottom line. What’s stopping you from retaining your dealership’s employees?


Adam Robinson is the co-founder and CEO of Hireology – the leading integrated hiring and retention platform in retail automotive – working with ov...
Great topic Adam. Most dealers don't have a strong onboarding process for their new employees, and if they do - it tends to be minimum. I know Hireology offers an onboarding feature/product that I've seen DEMO's and was quite impressed with -

Looking forward to your next article.