Don’t rush to judgment when you’re hiring for keeps

Nine of your dealership’s sales consultants quit in the last year.

And that cost your average-sized dealership more than a half-million dollars over those 12 months, based on calculations using several turnover cost calculators.

Not only does that mean your dealership will spend more money than you would like on hiring, onboarding and training, but it creates continual pressure to find consultants so your team isn’t left shorthanded, costing you sales opportunities.

And your hiring process may be exactly where the trouble starts.

062217 IL Don’t rush to judgment when you’re hiring for keeps

“It’s no secret that employee turnover rate for certain positions in the auto industry is high,” David Druzynski, director of human resources at Auto/Mate Dealership Systems, wrote recently in Dealer Solutions Magazine. “Auto dealers keep making the same hiring mistakes over and over. When you hire the wrong person, chances are that person won’t stay long.”

In fact, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that turnover among automotive sales consultants annually is about 67 percent – and as high as 72 percent among non-luxury sales consultants. That’s about 1.5 times the 46 percent total turnover the Bureau reports for the private sector.

These are the some of the “common” hiring mistakes Druzynski says dealers to often make:

  • Hiring too quickly to fill a need. “Dealers may associate an empty seat with lost revenue, but it’s important to realize that the wrong person in that seat could cost you much more.” Hidden costs of making a bad hiring decision may include losing vehicle sales, alienating customers, hurting employee morale, damaging your reputation, etc.
  • Believing what is on a candidate’s resume is true. “It’s hard for many dealers to believe, but candidates lie on their resumes, and they lie during interviews. They lie about their abilities, achievements and experience.” But there’s a lot you can do: form a hiring committee, formulate interview questions, require your top candidates to take pre-employment aptitude, skills and/or personality tests, and require a unanimous approval from the hiring committee.
  • Not properly vetting a candidate. “In a survey of 3,100 hiring managers, 49 percent said they caught a job applicant fabricating their resume. Ask every candidate for at least three references and state that two of them must be previous managers.” Then make sure they are actual managers at legitimate companies, and call to talk to them on the phone.
  • Overselling the job opportunity. “It’s critical not to oversell the opportunities in your dealership. When you exaggerate to convince a candidate to take a job, that employee will feel duped … [and] chances are they will immediately begin looking for a better opportunity.”

But avoiding these mistakes in the hiring process is just the beginning of your efforts to reduce turnover on your sales team and bring more money to the bottom line.

We’ll have more about other practices that can help reduce turnover and associated costs – onboarding, communication and training – in a series of blog posts, “Hiring for Keeps,” on the Inside Lane blog.

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