What’s the most tedious process about owning a business? Is it the sales? Is it the marketing? Hardly. Most business owners will tell you that the most difficult part of owning a business is the staffing requirement. If they have to find new employees every other year or so, then that’s taking away precious time, money, and resources. Unfortunately, surveys showed that dealerships are less likely to retain employees than the average employer. The rate of employee turnover last year, mainly because of the coronavirus pandemic, was 46%. That’s double the average employee turnover rate in other industries.
Why are employees not staying with auto dealerships? Aside from the pandemic, the automotive industry is highly pressurized employment. Workers have to meet their quotas. Not to mention, they also need to meet with clients, negotiate the terms of the agreement with them, help them with their loans, and persuade them that you have the best deal to offer.
Every dealership faces such challenges, but that doesn’t mean that you will sit down and take the beating. Auto dealerships must also adopt new strategies to fill the gaps in their staffing requirements to move forward. That’s why aside from direct hiring, dealerships must also work with an engineering recruitment agency to find the best-skilled people for their business.
Determine the Right Staff Size
Auto dealerships are now settling into the “new normal” as best as they can. Since they had to let go of most of their staff last year, that means they need to rehire some of them or hire new ones this year. But before you open your doors again, ask yourself this question: how many employees do I really need to get the dealership going? Chances are that your dealership will not have too many customers buying cars, so you might not need too many employees.
Hire the correct number of skilled, qualified, and competent employees. The more employees you have, the more money you have to spend. You need to be very practical with how many people you need in the business.
Think About Automation
This is the perfect time to think about automation. Tasks previously done manually should be automated. Look for solutions that can help your staff do their tasks well. To reduce the time they spend on brainstorming marketing ideas, you can also think about outsourcing this particular task. This isn’t only important for employee productivity. It’s also critical to adapt to these changes because consumer demands have changed.
But you need to make sure that your employees can confidently use the technology. If they do not have the skill, consider a training program for them. Otherwise, they may not be the ones who can fill the gap in your staffing requirements.
Broaden Your Qualifications
The old formula doesn’t work anymore. Ask your hiring department to also consider the soft skills of a candidate. Empathy, attentiveness, and emotional intelligence are also key to successfully moving forward. Make sure that your hiring managers are considering candidates with various skills sets and backgrounds. Remember that retailing is focused on digitalization right now, so make sure that your candidates have the skills to market on a digital platform.
Because a lot of people lost their jobs in the past year, it’s also important to consider luring talents from other industries such as hospitality, tourism, and entertainment. They have competencies to bring to an auto dealership, too. Even if they have no experience in the dealership industry, they can bring other more needed skills to the organization.
Develop an Effective Onboarding Process
Although the skills and competencies of your employees are important, the onboarding process of the company is also critical to their success. They can easily adapt to the new environment and company policies if the onboarding process brings them up to speed on critical processes and systems. Give enough time for the onboarding process. This means to begin the process before the candidate’s first day at work.
The first week of the onboarding process should be a trial run. Dedicate this time for the candidate to know the documents, processes, and systems in the dealership. If possible, give them a rundown of the valuable clients and suppliers in the dealership so that they know how to deal with them when the time comes.
The world has changed not only because of the pandemic but more so because it is now a digital society. It is critical to have the right staff in your dealership to address the issues that the organization faces. But this all begins with organizational leadership. By defining roles, challenges, risks, and processes, you will see your dealership thrive in this new normal.