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Talent in the Automotive Dealership Industry

Attracting and retaining top talent involves everything from recruiting and hiring, to compensation and benefits, to training and rewarding staff members. While the following strategies may seem daunting, they are essential for dealers to succeed.

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One of the top issues dealerships are facing today is the struggle to attract and retain top talent. Plagued by a widespread perception problem and a tight job market, dealerships must evolve to recruit young people entering the workforce. 

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By 2025, millennials and Generation Z will account for 65% of the workforce. Now more than ever, people are going to college prior to seeking employment. It’s time to recognize that the younger generations have different goals and values than the candidates who came before them. As a result, dealerships must consider adapting their recruiting approach in order to remain competitive.

Strategies for Dealers to Find and Retain Employees

Attracting and retaining top talent involves everything from recruiting and hiring, to compensation and benefits, to training and rewarding staff members. While the following strategies may seem daunting, they are essential for dealers to succeed.

Hiring

Staying ahead of the hiring process is crucial to attracting new talent. Here are some suggestions to help auto dealers tackle the problem:

Conduct a Successful Interview: For a dealer position, interviews can be less structured and more conversational. The initial outreach should be a phone interview to screen less-qualified candidates, followed by a series of in-person interviews with those who seem like a fit for the role. Creating and maintaining a structured hiring process will yield optimal results.

Use Technology in the Hiring Process: Streamlining the hiring process helps keep applicants engaged and interested in the position. There are a variety of platforms and software available to automate parts of the process and filter out unqualified applicants.

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Go the Extra Mile for Hard-to-Fill Jobs:For positions that are more difficult to fill, rolling out the red carpet can help dealerships catch the attention of sought-after candidates. Providing rich content and descriptions in your ads and on your website will help attract applicants, while being quick to respond to their emails and applications will reassure and remind them of your interest.

Involve the Leadership Team: Encouraging executives to make personal connections with prospective and new hires across all departments helps build loyalty and commitment from the candidate’s standpoint, while also helping to build the value proposition of working at a dealership.

Ask your Employees What They Think: Allowing employees to feel heard and acknowledged can also help with retention. One of the top things employees want is a dealership manager who encourages new suggestions. It’s important to create an open line of communication between employees and managers to continuously find new ways to improve the customer and employee experience. 

Benefits

Benefits often play a deciding role in employment choices. Dealerships that offer competitive benefits will likely attract more talent and can help retain employees. 

Consider Flexible Scheduling: A flexible schedule can be a huge draw for candidates. Allowing employees to work outside of the regular dealership “9 to 9,” makes those positions more appealing to many job seekers, especially millennials and applicants with young families.

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Enable Time Off: Studies shows that one of the most important benefits to employees — particularly millennials — is work-life balance. Enabling ample time off for employees will prevent them from getting burned out and decreasing productivity.

Training

Training programs are an effective way to help new employees quickly adjust to their positions and gain confidence at work.

Make the Investment in Training: Investing in employee training and development will help both new and existing employees succeed and grow. Offering a 30- or 60-day program ensures that employees learn every aspect of the job.

Create Opportunities for Career Advancement: Employees, particularly millennials, are seeking regular promotions. Breaking up jobs into a variety of experience levels will allow an employee to progress through positions, keeping them encouraged and motivated in the workplace.

Strategic hiring practices will be essential for auto dealerships to stay competitive in today’s landscape. The next generation of workers wants to feel valued by their employers, beginning with the hiring process. If dealerships can adapt accordingly, they will attract and maintain top-tier talent that will help propel their businesses forward and create new opportunities for growth.

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