Let’s face it: most dealers struggle with hiring qualified employees. And since the car business is a people business, our inability to achieve success with hiring new team members will have a negative long-term effect on the health and value of our dealership.
Why is Hiring Success So Difficult to Achieve?
I define “hiring success” as having the ability to predictably and consistently hire the right people for your store (or stores). Take some small comfort in the fact that, as an industry, we’re all pretty bad at meeting this standard. In fact, our company’s research on hiring effectiveness at retail automotive dealers shows that dealerships hire the right person for the job approximately 50% of the time.
In other words, 50% of the time, the person who’s hired for your open job was not someone who should have been given the opportunity in the first place. It’s no wonder why the average dealership experiences turnover that approaches 70% a year. With results like that, why even bother having interviews?
Why not just flip a coin and save yourself the trouble?
You’re running a tight operation in every aspect of your business, but you’re probably not treating the recruiting and hiring process with the respect and diligence it deserves. The act of hiring new employees is no different than any other business process: when the process is thought-out, trained, documented, and followed, the results are consistent and are highly likely to produce the outcome you want. “Winging it,” on the other hand, will produce wide swings in results, with zero predictability.
Take stock for a moment and ask, Which one describes my hiring process?
For dealers, the issues that typically arise when hiring a new employee are compounded by the fact that recruiting resources (and headcount!) are severely constrained. If you’re fortunate enough to have a dedicated human resources person on staff, he or she is probably bogged down in payroll, administration, medical benefits, training…basically, doing everything but developing sound hiring practices.
If you’re going without a dedicated HR resource at your store or stores, then chances are nobody is consistently held accountable for properly executing your hiring process. Which, I can tell you with certainty, is why most dealers struggle to attract and retain quality people.
Without a clearly defined process, followed to the letter with each and every open position – with each and every candidate – the only consistency you’ll experience is unpredictable and uncontrollable hiring results. Having a clearly defined hiring process is the most important thing you can do to increase your chances for hiring success.
So what do you mean by “Hiring Process?”
The hiring process is the list of steps that take a manager from understanding and defining the job opening through to the new employee’s first day on the job. It’s the path that a store follows when management decides that there’s a need for a new employee, and ends when the newly created position is filled.
Ideally, it’s simple, straightforward, and, with minimal training, is usable by everyone in your store regardless of experience or background.
This column exists to teach you a proven, straightforward, and effective method for hiring new employees. In doing so, together we will eliminate the guesswork and put you and your team in full control of its recruiting destiny. A big thank you to Jeff and the DealerRefresh team for giving me the space to share my thoughts on this important topic.
What’s your current process for hiring the RIGHT people?
Hiring success is in your future. Until next time!