While turnover rates continue to be higher than average in the auto industry, a dealership’s ability to understand the components of its hiring process will unlock critical insights that help to increase profit and identify roadblocks that deter quality hires.
For example, the longer an open position goes unfulfilled, particularly in a sales role, the more productivity is disrupted. The average dealership takes seven days to review a new job application. By the time a dealership gets around to contacting a potential candidate, they are usually already in talks with another employer. Our research has shown that the fastest company response tends to win the candidate—70 percent of new hire applications were reviewed in the first 12 hours after submission, and 82 percent of all hires were considered within 24 hours. If the average dealership is waiting a week to review candidates, how many of them are still quality leads?
Not only does an efficient hiring process help fill vacant roles by 37 percent (or 16 days) faster than the national average, it can also help a dealership secure top talent in the industry before its competition.
As you analyze your dealership’s current approach, consider the following components of an efficient and effective process:
Define the role
Rather than remain focused on what your dealership needs, find out where ideal candidates are already working and the work culture and environment to which they are accustomed. For example, are there opportunities to grow and learn in your open role, or do you need someone seasoned who requires less training? Once you determine the position, you can better identify if your opportunity is robust enough to attract the right fit.
A dedicated company career site (or landing page on your dealership website) is the best way to attract candidates by providing them with enticing, relevant information on your business, available positions, and what makes your organization a great place to work. These goals are best accomplished by applying the same mentality of consumer advertising to your employment advertising. What’s more, dealerships only review about 72 percent of total applicants, but all applications should be examined, prioritized, and responded to.
Select a quality applicant
While this is often the piece of the process that tends to break down the most in the auto industry, it is important to carefully select the right candidate. Be sure to give multiple people in your company an opportunity to weigh in on the decision, which also provides the candidate with multiple perspectives of what the job will entail. A candidate’s competencies should be identified, and the team should determine which ones can be transferred over, and what will require additional training.
While typically an overlooked step in the process, verification helps mitigate your risk. Be sure to confirm a candidate can do what they say they are capable of, and whether or not they have done so previously, by speaking with references. Background checks should also be performed to see if the candidate makes good choices and is a good member of society. As the person who will be interacting with your customers, be sure their values align with yours.
Typically, the first day of a new job is filled with paperwork and logistics. Utilize technology to take care of as much paperwork as possible ahead of time, showing your new employee you have already made an investment in them. This approach will, in turn, raise their enthusiasm and investment in your dealership and their new position.
Applications should be reviewed immediately, candidates should be contacted in a timely fashion, and the overall hiring time should remain relatively short.
Once your process has been developed, it is important to measure its success against industry benchmarks to ensure your team and hiring managers see it through. An efficient process in a vacuum doesn’t do your dealership any good, so keeping your team accountable is crucial.
If a hiring manager is taking too long to reach out to candidates to facilitate the recruitment process, that delay has the potential to impact not only a candidate’s interest in the position but their opinion of the company overall. This delay can also result in a loss of potential business from the candidates as customers down the road, or loss of new consumer leads when they share their experience with their family and friends.
Your managers should include the hiring process in their regular discussions on how to improve sales and strategies, keeping their finger on the pulse of who may be at risk for leaving, how to best prepare for those situations, and how to continue actually shaping the team.
A successful hiring process will not only benefit your company but also your customer. While dealerships have little control over the make and models of the cars they sell, and many dealerships are offering the same products, the customer experience is one of the few factors you CAN influence, making the hiring process just as critical to the success of your company as the client experience. Maintaining an efficient recruitment process will ensure your employees continue driving your profit.
Thanks to NCM Associates’ partner, Hireology, for sharing their guidance on attracting and managing millennial employees. Learn more about Hireology and join NCM’s experts for more actionable advice on hiring the best people for your team in our Hiring Top Talent and Success-Driven Pay Plans classes.