Best PracticesDealership Operations & Processes

What is the “HR tech stack,” and how does it affect your dealership?

Dealerships run the gamut with respect to the technology they use for hiring and onboarding.

The trouble that many businesses run into is knowing where to invest their limited budget for HR software. In its 2015 research report, Key Interval Research highlighted 13 unique HR areas where dealerships can potentially focus their efforts – your HR technology stack. It includes:

  1. Onboarding
  2. Recruiting
  3. Learning
  4. Performance management
  5. Payroll
  6. Benefits administration
  7. Time and attendance
  8. Analytics
  9. Compensation management
  10. Wellness management
  11. Total rewards
  12. Success management
  13. HR information systems (HRIS)

Your HR technology stack may include just a few or all of these types of software platforms. Furthermore, these tools range from individual purpose resources, like an onboarding platform, to an HRIS, which frequently includes all of the above. So, it’s critical to fully understand where your pain points reside and how these tools can reduce or eliminate them entirely.

What Are the Fundamental Pieces of Your HR tech stack?

At the very least, you must have some sort of payroll technology across the board. Legally and functionally, you need to ensure you’re paying your staff on time and compensating them accurately. Along with a payroll solution, a platform to manage benefits is critical to run your dealership. Again, you have a legal obligation to provide employees with certain benefits, such as health care insurance, disability insurance and paid maternity – depending on the size of your organization.

According to the Key Interval Research report, the majority of dealerships rely on Excel spreadsheets and similar types of databases to keep track of data related to applicants and employees. It should go without saying that most of the more reputable HR software vendors provide technology that improves on spreadsheets by offering a way to aggregate, organize and analyze data in a user-friendly format.

So, your HR tech stack should also include a platform that helps automate and streamline recruiting and onboarding. A common misconception that many dealerships have, with respect to their hiring strategies, is that job boards are the answer to all of their recruitment problems. In reality, simply posting a job opportunity to a site like Indeed or LinkedIn will only increase the flow of applications you receive online. The critical component is your response to – or management of – an increasing number of job seekers coming through these channels. What’s next?

With an automated solution for recruiting and hiring, you’re able to let technology do a lot of the manual labor that has traditionally fallen on the shoulders of hiring managers and other dealership staff. At Hireology, we’ve found that our processes enable dealerships to automatically filter out more than 90 percent of unqualified applicants before they’re even considered a candidate. So, the dealer principal or HR manager is able to focus their time and efforts on the right candidates instead of those who are qualified for a specific role.

At the same time, pre-screening surveys help separate those who are serious about applying for a position within your organization from those who are simply “kicking the tires.” In fact, we’ve found that roughly 6 in 10 applicants actually take or complete a survey. On top of helping eliminate time spent on unqualified candidates, dealerships can also use surveys to gauge the job seeker’s cultural fit.

In another way, your approach to your hiring process isn’t much different from your approach to sales, ranging from lead generation to customer relationship management. It’s all about how you organize your applicants in the first place, keep track of their information, score them based on specific criteria and maintain the relationship through in-person and digital touch points. If you have a bunch of electronic applicants coming in you need something comprehensive to bring them together.

What Do Best-in-Class Organizations Focus On?

Beyond applicant tracking software and payroll and benefits management systems, dealerships have to focus on productivity. In fact, recent research from Aberdeen Group found that best-in-class HR organizations are 21 percent more likely than other businesses to place a high priority on boosting productivity when they consider business objectives.

To achieve this goal, it’s important for dealerships to ensure they have developed the right processes – that are supported by effective technology systems. Having a way to attract, qualify and organize candidates is a good starting point. However, the true test of the value of your HR tech stack is whether your software enables new hires to become high-performing employees. Onboarding is fundamental to this effort. Effective onboarding software allows dealerships to structure:

  • Collecting personal details
  • Filling out the required tax forms
  • Distributing training materials

Effective onboarding aligns with ongoing training that dealerships provide new staff. The best platforms make onboarding resources accessible from anywhere at any time. So, new hires can fill out documentation at work, commuting or at home, which frees up their time at the office to focus on adjusting to the new setting and learning the processes. Meanwhile, onboarding software gives the dealership a clear view into the how a new employee is progressing throughout the process.

Where Should Dealerships Begin?

Your applicant tracking system should be the foundation of your HR tech stack to help you organize all prospects within a single, user-friendly platform. Included in this must be your payroll and benefits management system to ensure you fall in line with any state or federal regulations.

To keep pushing your dealership to outperform your competitors, it’s increasingly important that you invest in tools that help you keep track of new hires as they transition from candidate to employee. By doing so, you’re in a better position to track performance and productivity – helping you build a stronger business.

Adam Robinson is the co-founder and CEO of Hireology – the leading integrated hiring and retention platform in retail automotive – working with ov...