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Welcome to NCM's Up to Speed Blog

Three Must-do Fixes to Improve Your Hiring Cycle

Joe Basil
Written By: Joe Basil
Posted on March 22, 2016

It’s a process we all know too well. You post a job online. Get 12 applications. Interview nine; hire four. And three out of the four are gone by the end of the quarter. Sound familiar?

Why do new hires leave?

During the interview process, each prospect was painstakingly interviewed by two or three other managers. You and your team spoke at length about each candidate, and there was majority opinion or consensus about who to hire. Everyone—you, your managers, the new hires—were enthusiastic about the opportunity. And you thought, “Hey, we made some good choices!”

“Wrong fit” is the wrong answer

So, why did they leave? (Or get fired?) The answer for most managers will be that they just didn’t work out. I’ve also heard, “They weren’t as good as I thought during the interview.” Or, “She turned out to be a different person than the one we interviewed!” Sometimes the blame shifts back to the interviewee, with claims that the new hire just didn’t realize what the job entailed.

These are not acceptable answers. And they certainly aren’t answers that help us solve the hiring problem.

Identifying the real hiring problem: your process

Let’s take a look at the steps dealerships typically take to bring new staff on board. In the video below, I break down the typical automotive dealership hiring process and its challenges:

Here’s the question I ask hiring managers to determine if there’s a hiring process issue: What did you discover about the new hire between the date you hired them and the date you fired them that you didn’t learn during the interview?

The gap I consistently find is that an inefficient interviewing and selection process coupled with a lack of job descriptions led to a mismatch. Add to this confusion the fact that the vast majority of managers have little or no training in how to conduct a thorough interview, and you develop a systemic hiring process problem.

The results of a bad hiring cycle? You discover deficiencies about the candidate after you’ve hired and trained them, mismatches which should have been identified during the interview stage. Really, it’s no different than putting a price on a used car trade-in and not doing a test drive, evaluation, and inspection until after you have taken the car on trade and own it!

Three must-do fixes to improve your hiring process

So, how can you change the cycle going forward? I have three steps that will make an immediate impact on how your organization selects new employees:

  1. Have a detailed job description. The details need to be reviewed and approved by all the managers who will interact with the position. This way, the managers own the job description.
  2. Anyone involved in the interview process must be trained on how to conduct a thorough and effective interview. Require the interviewers to have an interview plan, a personality profile, and a question list prepared; they should reference these tools during the interview process.
  3. Clearly communicate the job description to the candidate and confirm their understanding of the duties during the interview stage. Question them about their ability and willingness to fulfill the job description.

Once you have a thorough and efficient interview process—and that process is utilized by well-trained managers—you’ll see an immediate improvement in selecting and hiring the right people the first time. These strategies will help you discover if a candidate is a good fit for your organization and has the talent and abilities required for the position. And you’ll discover all this at the interview stage, not when they’re walking out the door.

Employee recruitment and retention continue to be a struggle for the automotive industry. Join the NCM Institute for their class, Hiring Top Talent, to get more tools on how to simplify and improve the hiring process. And, once you’ve found the right person, learn how to keep them with the NCMi course, Success-Driven Pay Plans.

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