What is your dealership doing to attract and retain talent?
This is the big question isn’t it? Dealers all over are looking for talent across all departments. While there does seem to be a huge deficiency in qualified tech candidates, no department is exempt from the talent shortage. Sales, F&I, Service Advisors, Accounting staff, Technicians, Lube Techs, even car wash and detail—it is becoming more and more difficult to fill these positions with talented, motivated, and qualified candidates.
There really is a talent shortage.
As of February according to the Department of Labor, there are more job openings than job seekers for 10th month in a row. Say what!? Yes, it’s true. HR professionals have known this was coming, but who really listens to us anyway?
Nationwide, we are in an interesting employment environment and the proverbial ball is in the job seekers court. A large part of what is happening is demographic (this is the part that we knew was coming). The Boomer Generation is really and finally retiring—and they are retiring in droves—leaving big gaping holes in the workforce. And while we are trying to fill these positions with the best talent we seem to forget that candidates have OPTIONS today. A lot of options actually. They don’t need your job—not when they can go across the street to the next dealership.
What are you doing to bring them to YOUR dealership?
Frankly, if you are doing nothing and just waiting for the old days to return well—good luck with that. The days of a Rockstar walking into your dealership are over. Posting job openings on job boards and praying for qualified and exceptional candidates to apply—yep, over too. Today’s candidate need a reason to want to choose your organization over the others.
Brand your dealership as an employer of distinction
Do you know what is being said about your company on social media? What about reviews on glassdoor? Believe that candidates are doing research on your company. They want to know what is in it for THEM—other than a pay check. Does your website have an employment page that explains why your dealership is a great place to work? We are an industry of innovative creative thinkers—it’s time to put our immense skills to work to acquire talent.
Employee Value Proposition
Yes, it’s a thing. Today’s candidates are looking for the value they will receive in return for working for you. And if they don’t think it’s worth their time, they will move on to the next dealership. Remember those Boomers who are retiring? Well, the workforce is also filling with Millennials and Generation Z…think what you want about these generations (I happen to think they are pretty awesome) but we MUST learn to adapt to them and their wants and needs for employment. And they want very different things. They want a career path. They want to know how you, as their new employer are going to help them achieve their career goals. They want security and work life balance. Do some research into your new workforce and see what you can do to make your organization more attractive to this workforce.
Once you get them—KEEP THEM
It’s no secret that as an industry, we suck at retaining our employees. Even though we’ve all been talking about retention for years, turnover rates, according the NADA workforce study has actually gone up! I’m convinced that the place to start is with your onboarding process. First of all, get one. And not just for sales—remember that your organization is more than just sales although sales seems to get most of the attention and resources. Create an onboarding process that will:
Do this for every new employee and you will be taking the first steps toward retention. If you don’t, and it’s “business as usual”—you are risking that your newly hired employee will be on their phone looking for their next gig even before they have all their passwords.