In the current employment market, job candidates interview you!
Certainly, most employers understand that they need to make a good impression with prospective employees. But in an industry such as automotive, where turnover is high, there’s a constant scramble to fill roles quickly, and little details like hourly pay rate can get lost. To make sure your organization represents well to prospective employees, you’ll need to systematize your onboarding process in a way that ensures alignment between the organization and a new employee.
The first step is to communicate workplace expectations. Before any employee gets started, hiring managers should ask themselves if they’ve covered the basic things that the individual will need to do their job successfully.
Consider questions like the following:
- Do they know where and when they’ll be working?
- Have they been introduced to managers and colleagues?
- Do they have access to the equipment they need? Are they prepared to use it safely and effectively?
- Do they have all the necessary login information?
This initial conversation is also the ideal moment to have a clarifying discussion about overall employment benefits and expectations, and ultimately, employee accountability. What you communicate (and document) at the outset shapes issues down the line. It’s up to the hiring manager to preclude an employee from saying, “well, I had no idea I was supposed to do that” during a disciplinary meeting or termination event.
A systematized onboarding and hiring process is also essential for communicating organizational culture. When candidates have the upper hand in the job market, it’s more important than ever that an employer demonstrates that employees enjoy positive cultures; that people feel good about coming into work every day and don’t dread when the alarm clock goes off. This not only enhances your employment brand but also directly impacts your bottom line.
To take advantage of this opportunity, look toward your employee handbook. Your handbook can include elements of compliance and clarify aspects of specific roles, but it’s also a great avenue to highlight your company’s unique story, mission and principles. Beyond explaining what you do, it should communicate why you do it. It’s a roadmap for interacting with your business.
Connection is everything you do to set a new hire up for success on the first day. In addition to conveying the practical details of the job (e.g. the location of their workstation and parking space), consider what other means you have for helping a new employee feel welcome and valued. Some employers create personalized introductory messages from executive team members. Others will take a team member out to lunch on their first day. Some employers assign “buddies” that provide new hires with quick, personal access to the people, resources and answers they need.
These moments should happen on day one and periodically throughout the first 90 days on the job.
These days, many prospective employees aren’t just looking for any job, but the ideal job — one that is fun, pays well, offers plenty of benefits and perks, and aligns with their personal goals and values. People-to-people interactions are essential, especially in a dealership setting. Making sure your new team member feels connected to their team, as well as to other people in your business and the industry at large, can go a long way in terms of boosting retention and reducing turnover.
Callout: Your employee handbook is a roadmap for interacting with your business.