Over the past three months I have been spending hours working with as many dealer principals as possible. The purpose was simple, to discover what separates great dealerships from mediocre ones. In the end the answer was abnormally obvious — the people make or break the dealership.
After digging deeper on the subject with a number of dealer principals who own more than thirty dealerships, one thing was made pretty clear — management is sick of hiring mediocre talent while losing their stars to others.
And who could blame them? Not only are the steps taken to gain and retain an employee tedious, but turnover is expensive, costing anywhere from $10,000 to $60,000 per employee. If you think that sounds bad, here’s some even worse news: the turnover percentage for sales staff in the industry can be as much as 50 percent in any given year. Turnover can literally kill a dealership and this has been overlooked by management for far too long.
After more research, I made it my aim to identify simple, actionable, and effective hiring processes that if applied correctly, can allow any dealership to dominate its competition. While others are hiring the wrong people and losing their best ones, you’ll be busy working with a motivated, effective, and content group.
Like anything, you want to make sure you have a solid grasp of the fundamentals before you can start getting fancier and that is exactly what we’re building over my next posts. If you take this seriously and follow the series – you’ll have an unprecedented advantage over your competition.
Focus on the Job, Not the Candidate
Don’t make the mistake of focusing on what skills, capabilities, experience, or interests an individual should possess when writing your job description. Make the job the focal point of the description, and then write it as clearly and concisely as possible. When creating the job description, think about your department’s needs and then drill down into what the critical daily duties and activities are as well as the expected workload. When writing up the description, be sure to:
- Write using complete sentences.
- Write duties starting with an action verb.
- Include only the major tasks and avoid noting any minor or occasional tasks.
Increase Involvement in the Interview Process
At ClearFit, we’ve found that the best and most engaged employees were those who interviewed with at least two or more people within the dealership, and on more than one occasion. By getting different levels of management involved in the interview process, the individuals who the candidate will be working with a chance to see if:
- They’ll enjoy and be able to work with their new teammate.
- The candidate will fit in with the company’s culture and workplace environment.
Uncover Their True Colors with Psychometric Testing
Many sophisticated and well-established dealerships across the country have already implemented psychometric testing into their hiring processes. These tests help employers determine a candidate’s personality, thereby uncovering their true behavior as well as his or her motivational factors. Though there are varying levels of psychometric tests, the best tests will examine an individual’s behavior as well as check for any discrepancies in the test.
Go off the Grid with Reference Checks
Finally, if you want to get an honest take on a candidate, go above and beyond the candidate’s outlined references and contact your own list of individuals who they worked with in a professional capacity. The extra time that you spend getting the “real deal” on a future employee can save you thousands in the long run.