To maintain a competitive advantage in 2020 and beyond, your dealership needs to be more strategic than ever before when it comes to measuring and improving your hiring results

Many dealerships not only lack a standardized hiring process, but also don’t have access to the right hiring data to hold managers accountable to improving over time.

Hireology works with 1 in 5 retail automotive dealerships in the U.S. and we’re committed to helping our customers continuously improve their recruitment and hiring efforts. Below, we’ve outlined several key hiring metrics – and why your team should be tracking this data and taking action based on the results.

Hiring Process Metrics


1. Time to review applicants 

Time to review is the time between an applicant submitting a job application and the hiring manager reviewing their submission, deciding to reject or advance them in the process.

If your team takes too long to review job applicants, you’re leaving eager job seekers on the table, which will only make it more challenging for you to fill your open roles. Hireology data also found that of all automotive hires made in the first half of 2019, 67 percent were reviewed within one day of submitting an application, 82 percent were reviewed within three days and 94 percent were reviewed within seven days. 

By understanding your time to review, you can outline next steps for improvement, such as leveraging prescreen surveys to automate the initial review step – and weed out unqualified candidates – or holding managers accountable to reviewing new applicants every day. 

2. Time to hire (hiring velocity)

Time to hire means the total time between when a job application is submitted through final job offer acceptance.

The longer a position goes unfilled, the more productivity is disrupted, as your current employees need to pick up the slack covering for the open role. In fact, dealerships lose an average of $1,000 in gross profit for each day a role is open. Put into perspective, when your dealership has an open technician role, fewer vehicles are serviced and when there’s an open sales role, your team will likely sell fewer vehicles. 

In addition to lost productivity, the longer the hiring process, the higher the risk of losing quality candidates to competing job offers. 

To fill your open roles sooner, your team needs to first measure your time to hire. If your time to hire is longer than the average time it takes for a job seeker to find a new role – 21 days – this means your hiring process needs to be more efficient.

3. Time spent in each hiring step

Beyond time to review applicants and time to hire, it’s also important for your dealership to have an understanding of how long each candidate spends in each hiring step. This can help you identify where candidates are getting held up in the hiring process – and you to see where in the process you might be losing candidates.

Armed with this data, you can outline actionable ways for your dealership to speed up hiring steps that tend to lag, helping you secure qualified talent before the competition. 

For example, if it takes several days or weeks for one of your hiring managers to schedule interviews – and your team loses applicants as a result, you can work with this manager to ensure he or she is more efficient with coordinating interviews. 

4. Hiring process adherence 

Once you have a hiring process in place, it’s important to ensure all your rooftops and managers are following this process. Following every step of the hiring process each time you make a hire will ensure you don’t overlook quality candidates, hire the best fits for your open roles and maintain compliance. On the other hand, skipping steps in the hiring process poses at risk for making a bad hire. 

To ensure your team follows the hiring process in place, you can tap into hiring metrics related to process adherence.

Process adherence data enables you to gain visibility into your hiring process health and pinpoint where critical hiring steps are followed or missed for specific candidates and roles, with transparency into: percentage of hiring steps completed, percentage of hires who completed all steps and percentage of candidates with skipped steps. 

You can use the data to drive conversations between managers and team members to ensure all applicants are reviewed and proven process steps are followed. For example, if a certain hiring manager tends to skip background or reference checks to speed up the process, you can sit this manager down and let them know why candidate verifications – and following all hiring steps – is important.

5. Total lost applicants 

Hireology data found that more than 2 million retail automotive job applicants were lost in 2019 simply because they were never reviewed or total review time took more than 21 days – the average time it takes to find a job. 

Once your team has an understanding of other key hiring process metrics such as those outlined above, you can better measure where you might be losing applicants throughout the hiring process. For example, if your time to review is a week, you’re likely losing qualified applicants before you even have a chance to contact them. And if your time to hire metric shows it takes longer than 21 days to hire new employees, this means you’re losing top candidates to employers with more efficient hiring processes. 

Turnover is high across several dealership positions and few job seekers are interested in retail automotive careers, meaning your dealership can’t afford to lose applicants due to an inefficient hiring process. By improving how you measure and manage your hiring process, you can avoid lost applicants and hire qualified employees who will drive profit for your dealership.

Quote Mark

Dealerships lost 2 million job applicants in 2019 simply because they were never reviewed or were reviewed too late. 

Recruitment Marketing Cost Metrics


6. Cost per applicant (overall and by channel)

To understand whether or not your recruitment marketing efforts are driving results, one metric you should track is cost per applicant. This should be measured both overall – meaning your total spend versus number of applicants you received  and by recruitment marketing channel. Recruitment marketing channels might include your career site, referrals, social media, sponsored job boards, organic job boards, targeted ads, and more. 

Hireology data found that some of the most cost-effective channels for cost per applicant include referrals, career sites and organic job boards. On the other end of the spectrum, sponsored job boards have the highest average cost per applicant. 

7. Cost per hire (overall and by channel)

Once you make a hire, you can also measure your total cost per hire. How much did you spend – across all your recruitment marketing channels – to ultimately secure this hire? And how much did you spend on each channel for this particular hire? Similar to the cost per quality candidate metric, you can use this data to inform which recruitment marketing channels you should continue investing in and which you might want to eliminate. 

The good news for dealerships is, Hireology data found that the total cost per hire across the industry has been declining. In the first half of 2019, cost per hire dropped by 75-79 percent across the board compared to the same time period the previous year. Much of this drop can be attributed to dealerships investing less in sponsored job boards and more in their referral programs and employer brands, which are more cost-effective.   

8. Applicant-to-hire percentage

This refers to the total number of applicants needed to yield a single hire. Applicant-to-hire percentage is another metric you should track to measure the effectiveness of your recruitment marketing channels. For example, the data might show that one channel – such as a sponsored job posting – requires a significant number of applicants to make a single hire, while another –- such as your career site – only requires a handful of applicants. With this data in mind, you can eliminate this given job board and invest more in your career site and employer brand.

9. Total cost per recruitment channel

It’s also important to have an understanding of how much you’re spending in total on each recruitment channel. This can be measured in several ways – for each role as highlighted above, monthly, quarterly or on an annual basis. 

By understanding your recruitment costs per channel, you can identify trends in your recruitment marketing spend. If you notice your total spending on a given job board has increased dramatically in the past year – but you haven’t seen improved hiring results – this might mean the job board isn’t driving results for your dealership.

10. Recruitment marketing ROI by channel

Your dealership likely knows, in great detail, which lead sources convert to new business on a daily basis. This same level of attention and data-based decision making should be applied to the most critical component of your organization – hiring quality people. But many dealerships simply invest in one-off job boards and other applicant channels without measuring whether or not they’re actually driving quality applicants and eventual hires.

By measuring your top sources of quality applicants, you can have clear visibility into the total number of applicants, quality candidates and hires by source. You can further understand your recruitment marketing ROI through tracking such metrics sponsored job board performance, including total sponsored posts purchased, dollars spent, quality applicants sourced, and average cost per quality applicant.

Applicant channels that deliver a high quantity of poor applicants will only waste your team’s time and recruitment budget. By continuously tracking your recruitment marketing ROI by channel, you can drive over time without sacrificing quality hires.

Drive More Efficient Hiring at Your Dealership

Your people are your dealership’s main source of competitive advantage, meaning you need to have a strategy in place to continuously improve your hiring efforts. By continuously tracking the metrics outlined above, you can staff your dealership with quality employees while saving time and money. 

Rather than tracking these metrics on your own Hireology’s analytics solution, Insights, tracks and centralizes all this data in the Hireology platform for you. With Insights, your dealership can gain visibility into hiring performance across locations and managers, compare results to peers using industry-specific benchmarks and outline actionable next steps for improvement.

If you’re already a Hireology customer and have questions about making the most of Insights to improve your hiring results, reach out to your Customer Success Manager. 

Not working with us yet? Learn how Hireology can help you attract top talent, hire qualified employees, seamlessly connect new hires with your other HR systems, and continuously improve your hiring efforts – see a demo today.