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5 Ways Dealerships Can Recruit And Retain Great Hires

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” – John Wooden.

Rushing through something might save you time right now, but it’ll ultimately take you more time to do it over if there are problems.

The ‘bums on seats’ hiring strategy might save you time today, but it’ll cost you time and money tomorrow. A. Lot.

Dealerships have one of the highest employee turnover rates. One Australian automotive group, with four dealerships, employing over 230 people were forced to uncover the ugly truth about employee turnover. It measured 39% meaning 90 new hiring assignments per year. Many of which were to correct hiring mistakes. Each mistake cost them just shy of $AUD 37,000.

Business is wasting billions each year because of the volume of hiring mistakes. The cumulative costs involved in bad recruitment include money wasted on training, lost productivity, and reduced staff morale and engagement.

Is your Dealership any different?

Get it right. First time.

Here’s 5 ways to get the right bums on the right seats. First time.

1. Create A Scalable, Sustainable & Repeatable Recruitment Process.

Hiring is hard. Even harder when you don’t have a robust recruitment process. One where expectations are misaligned, communication is wanting and recruitment skills or resources are limited or lacking.

As you recruit, aim to follow the same process across the business to prevent rework,  measure results, consistently deliver on those results, and continuously improve the quality of your hires.

Here’s a simple workflow as a guide.

Designing a simple recruitment workflow, where all the team players understand their role can put a stop to corner cutting which negatively impacts recruitment results. A good process can also stop creep, adding more steps to the process, costing time and money with little additional benefit.

Recruiting Talent is a Team Sport

Any sporting team doesn’t need a team of goal scorers. Same with hiring. But too often Hiring Managers and Recruiters aren’t syncing or worse are at loggerheads. Hiring Managers feeling they don’t have enough input and Recruiters feeling they’ve been completely bypassed in the process. Read more about 4 issues that divide recruiters and hiring managers and how to bridge the gap.

2. Make Screening More About Capabilities & Less About Credentials 

To often we’re seduced by a candidate’s credentials. We scan CV’s, selectively seeking out information about previous experience, qualifications, are they too old, do they have a family committments that will interfere with work?

But how successful someone will be at their job has little to do with credentials and everything to do with capabilities.

How many times has someone looked amazing on paper only to be disappointed once you see them in action?

Screening CV’s the traditional way, not only takes up valuable time, as much as 60% of the recruitment process, but on top of this you’re discarding the very candidates that your business needs.

Instead, before you look at a CV, define the capabilities that are required to perform the job and decide how you’ll assess these.

Think of this like a super-condensed job description, containing only 5-6 key capabilities for each role.  Then do this for each role in the dealership.

Sounds like a lot of work. It is and that’s why we’ve pulled it together for you.

After reviewing dealership job descriptions and testing this in the field we’ve identified a total of 22 capabilities across the entire dealership. 5 of these are core, the rest are specific to the individual roles.

So here they are. Capability profiles for more than 14 roles in your dealership representing departments such as Sales, Service, Finance and Insurance, Administration and Back office Support.

But now how do you assess if a candidate actually has them? Another big job!

Once again we’ve saved you the hard work. Read how it’s done.

For each role and for each capability we’ve generated assessment question(s). Providing you with a workable number, around 5-6 questions, you can ask candidates. This will provide a very clear picture of how capable they are to perform the role.

Download them now – more than 75 questions to assess whether candidates have the capabilities to make your dealership great.

Free Bonus: Click here to Download your Bonus

3. Source Talent Like A Big Business On A Small Budget

If your plan to attract talent is to only post on an online job board such as SEEK.com, just like everyone else,  then you’re not getting bang-for-your-buck.

In today’s job market, talent picks you, it’s a candidate driven market place. That’s challenging for dealerships because you’re competing with big brands for the same candidates. And you don’t have the resources or the budget to match.

Turn being small into a strength.

Being small means you’re closer to the action. So ensure all leaders understand their role isn’t just about selling cars and related services. It’s also about selling jobs and you want the best buyers.

Remember customers can be candidates, as can community contacts. Be a recruitment billboard for your dealership, whether you’re picking up laundry or lunching at the local bakery. Talent is all around you.

Being small means you can make an offer without the red tape, otherwise adding weeks to the process. Top candidates last 10 days before they’re hired, get your offer in first.

Also encourage your leadership team to sell the company and the role to your gold medallist candidates. Done well, this can seal the deal.

All this is more difficult when you’re big.

You also don’t need to be big to help you source and engage potential hires on social media. Read our 7 step guide on how to find and nurture potential employees on LinkedIn without reaching into your wallet. Here we’ll share the progress being made by forward thinking dealerships and groups including AP Eagers Newcastle/Hunter Valley, Suttons, Frizelle Sunshine, DriveCo and Sunshine Toyota.

4. Remove Unconscious Bias From Each Stage Of The Recruiting Process

Look around you. The Automotive Industry in Australia is homogenous or as some describe “blokey”.  The industry workforce comprises only 19% of women, in stark contrast to female participation rate across all Australian business, at 46%. Here’s a video for more details.

49% of all driver licences belong to females and they are a dealerships major customer. Yet female shoppers report feeling intimated by the prevailing male dominance in the dealership retail experience.

The business case for increased female workforce participation is compelling. But unless dealerships can tackle the biggest hiring hurdle of all, unconscious bias, little will change and opportunities will be squandered.

Unconscious bias (or implicit bias) is often defined as prejudice in favour of or against one thing, person, or group as compared to another, in a way that is usually considered unfair. Unconscious bias occurs automatically, a sort of mental short cut to help the brain process masses of information it’s exposed to each second. Although we all have biases, many unconscious biases tend to be exhibited toward minority groups based on factors such as, gender, race, ethnicity, social status, sexual preference, age and other such traits.

Hiring bias is rampant throughout each stage of the hiring process.

Think about what goes through your mind when you’re looking at a CV. What information are you using to judge a candidate?

Here’s just one of many similar studies where 1,500 otherwise identical CV’s with only the NAME & PHOTO changed, were sent to German workplaces. Notice how the number of call backs dropped when the candidates name and profile photo changed.

Therefore we need corrective action to remove it, allowing our head not our heart to influence high stake hiring decisions. Read our 25 ways to remove bias from each stage of the recruitment process.

5. Automate The Best Quality Recruitment Process

Automating the manual, repetitive tasks of recruitment will save time and money. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) offer this with their time saving features such as resume ‘keyword’ screening, interview scheduling, posting to multiple job boards and communicating with candidates.

But if you’re not improving the quality of each hire, you’re missing the real prize.

If a top performing employee is worth 3 times that of an average employee you want a system that not only automates but augments hiring by removing bias.

We’ve already taken a brief look at how to remove bias. And frankly doing this manually will require more time and resources. But here are ways you can automate the removal of bias from the recruitment process so you find the highest quality employees whilst at the same time eliminate the manual and repetitive tasks of hiring.

Get more applicants with inclusive job postings

By improving the language and words used in job postings and job descriptions you stand a much better chance of attracting a larger and broader talent pool.

We know that otherwise qualified and suitable women are less likely to apply to job posts where they feel they are unlikely to fit in.

Try the free Gender Decoder to help you identify words commonly used in job postings that turn women off.

Here’s how it works.

Another solution is Textio, an augmented AI (Artificial Intelligence) writing tool, which highlights words and phrases less likely to attract talent and provides suggested changes. This tool costs but you can try it out for free.

Blind Screening Resumes

By removing candidate demographic characteristics such as name and photos from resumes you can focus on more relevant content.

Unbiasify is a free Google Chrome extension that allows you to toggle on and off names and photos from various sites including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

All-In-One-Solution

If you’re looking for a solution to debias the recruitment process from end to end then RemiPeople is an all-in-one platform. Upon submitting an application, candidates are anonymised and given a unique candidate identifier. Hiring teams screen anonymised candidates via mini-work challenges, which are real-job scenarios. Candidates are comparatively scored and ranked in a leader board based on the quality of their responses. Top scorers are shortlisted to be interviewed using the structured interviewing approach. This ensures all candidates are given the same set of questions and scored using a standardised and comparative scoring tool. This process provides the objective data hiring teams need to make their final candidate selection. See the RemiPeople “How it works” video here.

Recruiting done right will offer your dealership sizeable returns. You can work through each of the 5 steps or choose the all-in-one solution in RemiPeople, if you want to experience better results faster.

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Screen For The Best Candidates Using These Questions

75 Questions That Will Help Your Dealership Find The Best

Yvonne Bowyer

Yvonne Bowyer is CEO and Co-Founder of the Start Up RemiPeople, Recruiting and Diversity software to fix recruitment. Now in her third career, first as a Dietitian, then in various Executive Leadership positions and now launching her first Start Up. Passionate about driving business performance through diversity and trying ever so hard to balance career and motherhood.

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