Handshake showing success in hiring and retaining the right employees at dealership

Hiring and retaining the right employee at your dealership

Hiring and retaining the right employees is a challenging task. While the challenge is not a new one, it has become more critical than ever due to new generations- Young millennials and Gen Z, entering the workforce. Consequently, bringing with it a new set of values, beliefs, and expectations. The new generation is the true digital native and brings fresh ideas and skills to your workforce. Still, it could lead to problems if you do not manage employee satisfaction appropriately. Therefore, it demands critical considerations to hire, develop, and retain employees at your dealership.

In addition, employee turnover is on the rise in the auto industry now more than ever, as per a Deloitte Report. The sales and F&I employees often move from dealer to dealer in search of better products to push and bigger commissions to take home. It leads to constant new hiring that could potentially disrupt the profitability if the right person is not working in the right role.

A graph showing the rise in employee turnover rate in auto industry

Hence, attracting and retaining the right talents is not a preference but a necessity for every dealership. The process of identifying and placing the best talent takes work.

How to identify and hire the right talent for your team?

Before we dive into approaches to find, develop, and keep the right talent, let us look at the type of employee you should be looking for based on their motivation and mindset.

Generally, there are four kinds of team members in an organization’s workforce— undertakers, caretakers, playmakers, and game-changers. The behavior associated with each group goes beyond the skills, experience, and knowledge. Instead, they are primarily motivated by one’s mindset. The mindset, in turn, determines how well and consistently the skills, experience, and knowledge are activated.

As a matter of fact, everyone usually spends some time in each group depending upon their circumstances. However, one of the four mindsets dominates a person’s time, reflecting in their performance and contributions.

The undertaker:

The undertaker brings negative value to the organization. The longer you hold them in your store, the more damage they do to the culture, team morale, and overall growth. S/he may be nice enough as people, but someone else has to constantly carry their load, clean their mess, or perform damage control for them.

The caretaker:

The caretaker is a “just enough” performer. S/He does just enough to get by, just enough to get paid, and just enough not to get fired. The caretakers often have the skills, knowledge, and talent that would allow them to perform far better than what they deliver. Still, they are not motivated or interested in doing so. Therefore, they often find comfort at the caretaker level.

The playmaker:

The playmaker usually has more energy than the caretakers. It is their mindset that enables them to elevate results. They occasionally do great things but are not consistent enough to reach the game-changer status.

Additionally, the playmaker has a great need for external motivation and craves personal glory. Hence, s/he cannot cross a threshold of mediocrity due to contentment with his or her current state or ability.

Comparatively, the playmaker is more “me” centered, unlike the game-changer, who has a more robust team concept.

The game-changer:

The game-changer is unstoppable. S/He is a team member who constantly brings effort, energy, attitude, and passion to the workplace. It does not mean they always make the best results, but their failure is not attributed to a lack of effort or work ethic. The game-changer does not work according to the clock or schedule because s/he knows it does not happen on an eight-hour day.

Markedly, the game-changer leaves a situation better than they found them, sometimes so much so that a transformation takes place, and an innovative norm is established. They have three essential qualities, namely, commitment, loyalty, and enthusiasm.

Furthermore, the game-changer is humble rather than showy and has an earnest ambition for the team to do well.

The four performance groups are not just essentially about your teammates but also you. The good news is that it is possible to develop a new mindset and become a game-changer.

Strategies when hiring employees:

How do you find and hire game-changers?

Bet on the candidate’s potential:

When you are hiring, bring in a person you believe can be a game-changer. To emphasize, an employee does not have a neutral impact on your team. They are either adding value or subtracting value by default. Therefore, for your dealership’s success, bet on the candidate’s potential more than the skills.

Take a data-driven recruitment approach:

Predictive Index sample result to identify, hire and retain the right employees

P.I Test for personality and potential assessment.

Personality assessment such as the P.I test is a data-driven recruitment process that provides objective data for better decision-making. Taking the help of personality tests while recruiting is a great way to determine candidates’ traits, attitudes, and potential to be a game-changer. In addition, it will let you assess whether a candidate is likely to stay in the role and fit in with the company culture. P.I Test is an efficient way to hire and retain the right employees at your dealership. 

Strategies when developing employees:

How do you develop employees for mutual growth?

Providing better tech tools:

Young generations who grew up with technology are keen to learn and implement advanced technological solutions. They consider workplace technology a great motivation or perk because it can make their lives easier and more efficient. In addition, technology will speed up workflow, improve employee satisfaction, and enhance brand perception.

Mapping career paths:

Employees want more than “just a job.” Growth is a significant ingredient to employee’s job satisfaction. Therefore, it is critical to map your employees’ development, ambitions, and challenges. A career map will help your staff retrospect their performance, where they need to grow, what they should celebrate, and which training or tools can help enhance their skills and knowledge. Ultimately, it would lead to employee growth as well as your team’s success.

Strategies to retain employees:

How do you keep your best employees? 

Employee turnover is expensive. Retention saves your valuable time and resources, such as the cost of hiring, replacement, interviews, screening, and lost productivity. Therefore, it is critical to realize that turnover sets dealerships back in more ways than one.

Motivating pay plan:

Game changers can inspire and lift others to a higher level of performance. So, when you find these game-changers, pay them well and do what it takes to keep them on your team. They are the people who will be a significant part of the success of your dealership.

Create a culture suitable for the next generation:

A positive environment is where your young employees feel valued through professional development opportunities and can access helpful tools and technology. Thus, creating a culture suitable for the young generations is an effective approach to hire and retain the right employees.

Cox Report stats on employee development. Only 50% manager meets their subordinates regularly to set goals. Managers ignore important factor to hire and retain the right employees

It is vital to regularly connect with your employees and understand their needs, goals, and challenges. Unfortunately, as per Cox automotive report, only 50% of current dealership employees say their manager meets with them regularly to set goals or objectives.

Cox Automotive Report stating that 1 in 3 dealers agree training employees is a top challenge yet they fail to invest in training opportunities.

Furthermore, training employees is a top challenge for dealerships, yet they are not investing in training opportunities for employees beyond what OEM provides. As a result, it could pose severe implications in employee retentions.

On the whole, investing in your employees and building a positive work culture can significantly decrease employee turnover rate and save you time and resources in filling the position. Additionally, it is essential to identify the right person for the role so that your dealership does not miss profit goals.

How can we help you hire, develop, and retain employees?

We can help you find the right person and assess their potential to place them in the right role.

Getting the right people into the most important roles does not happen by chance. Instead, it demands a disciplined analysis of where the dealership creates or lacks value and how your employees contribute. Our expertise in assessing your unique goals and linking talent to value would streamline your process and performance. Additionally, reviewing talent allocation across all departments and making changes is critical to creating strong teams.

Finally, we provide custom solutions to help your dealership succeed. Reach out to learn how we can help you hire, develop, and retain your employees.

The content related to the four performance groups, undertaker, caretaker, playmaker, and game-changer, is inspired by Dave Anderson’s book, Unstoppable.