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  • Writer's pictureDealerPILOT HR

Ensuring Retention to Alleviate Recruitment

One of the most common challenges that we hear about is recruitment. The interesting element is that when we dive in further, recruitment is actually a symptom of the real challenge- retention.

Although the current labour market does increase the challenges that dealerships face in recruiting great team members, the easiest way to avoid facing the challenge is to reduce how often you have to recruit in the first place. Wouldn't it be great to only have to hire due to growth and expansion?

The key to long-term retention is to know why staff stay (and why they leave) and ensure that it is a key focus of dealership operations and strategy. Then, exceed that bar.

This takes effort, but the payoff in putting your effort here, instead of in a frustrating recruitment experience is huge. Financial, cultural and service improvements are all payoffs for high retention.

Here are a few key pieces of your dealership that you should be looking at to see if your retention strategy needs some attention:

1) What is your turn over rate? If you are often hiring the same roles, or always seem to have a vacancy, this could be a sign that something needs to change in that department or in the employee experience.

2) When was the last time you performed a stay interview or exit interview? If you do not know (no guessing!) why people stay or leave, you won't be able to provide what people truly want.

3) Money is often an excuse, not a reason. Yes, great pay is a motivator, but we can't lose sight of the fact that the majority of people who leave a job, leave because of experiential dissatisfaction. The offer of more money wasn't likely on the table until they started looking in the first place and truly happy staff will not leave just for better pay. The phrase, "not for all the money in the world..." exists for a reason.

4) Do you get feedback from departmental staff when you do a performance review on your management team? For that matter, do you actually review their performance? Financial results are important but if it is at the cost of high turnover, poor employer brand reputation and resentful staff you are likely losing profit where you may think you are gaining. The people who know how well your managers actually manage, are the ones that are managed by them.

5) Is conflict seen as healthy or harmful in your dealership? Positive dissent breeds a culture of inclusion, a feeling of being valued and more well rounded decision making. If your dealership avoids difficult conversations, treats opinions and input as adversarial it can quickly turn into a place where people do not want to stay.

6) Assess vacancy reasons. If your vacancies are a result of retirements and promotions, congratulations! If they are the result of frequent resignation or termination, a re-evaluation may be in order.

7) What makes you stand out? In today's labour market it is a job seekers game. What makes you unique so that your staff want to stay? This can be a combination of tangible and intangible factors. Review your pay scales, benefits, work environment, team attitude and technology to ensure that you are on the leading edge of the industry. Highly engaged staff do not want to plod along with an organization that lags behind in innovation, employee or customer experience.

When you have a clear picture of what makes you great, share it! Ensure that your staff are excited to share it too because we all know that word of mouth is a powerful thing.

8) Train, re-train and get trained. Continuous learning is important so be sure that you are offering your people the opportunity for personal growth and that you are also continuing to grow and develop as a leader. Just like anything else, stagnation will impede success.

Remember that what made you great in the past may not be what staff think is great now, and it will change again in the future. So continue to assess and reassess the value of what you offer and pivot when you are no longer on the leading edge.

Does the idea of a retention strategy feel overwhelming? Not sure where to start? We can help! Whether it is assisting with technological solutions or driving a culture shift (or anything in between!) ,we are driven by helping dealers achieve more, ask us how at .

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