3 Key Takeaways from the 2016 NADA Dealership Workforce Study

By Adam Robinson,
September 29, 2016

Note: this is a brief summary of our coverage of NADA’s most recent workforce research study.
Download our full take using this link.
The results are in: According to the 2016 NADA Dealership Workforce Study, the retail automotive industry had a monumental 2015. Dealers from coast-to-coast saw overarching trends of long term growth: vehicle sales, transaction prices, and rooftop employment numbers leading to more profitable businesses. Unfortunately, that’s where the good news ends. The 2015 study also shed light on the industry’s consistent struggle with turnover, retention, and engaging the female workforce.

Hireology has read the report, analyzed the study, and found the three key takeaways you need to know in order to increase the gap between you and your competitors. Use these insights to differentiate your approach to hiring and building a better team.

Key Takeaway #1: Treat Hiring as a Process

2015 continued the trend of previous years with 27 percent of terminations across all departments (39 percent for sales consultants alone) happening within the first three months on the job.  The study also found that fewer than half of employees – 45 percent – stay with their dealership for more than three years, significantly less than the 67 percent retention rate seen in the U.S. nonfarm private sector average.

Turnover and retention can be alleviated by aligning a dealership’s entire team on a unified hiring process. This continues to be a huge opportunity for the retail automotive industry, as little traction has been made in both recruiting and hiring practices since 2014. Your dealership can differentiate themselves to coordinate a process-driven approach to find, hire, and onboard higher quality staff across all departments.

A dedicated process removes the guesswork from hiring and gets all employees on a level playing field, ensuring that the right candidate is selected for each open role.

Key Takeaway #2:  Showcase Your Employment Brand

Millennials were a hot topic on the study this year and rightfully so. In 2015, millennials solidified their lead in dealership hires, rising three percentage points to now 60% of all dealership hires. The average dealership is now comprised of 42% millennial talent, with this expected to increase dramatically in the years to come.

Attracting better quality candidates, specifically millennials, doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, showcasing your dealership’s employment brand could be the leading way to recruit Gen Y talent. The study shows that millennials care about three things: A career path, work/life balance, and compensation. How you promote these items is what will attract the talent.

Ensure your career site is up-to-date with the latest job postings and your employment offerings (vacation days, competitive pay, a desirable career path) which will attract all types of candidates, specifically millennials. Also, if your hiring process isn’t online, you might as well just cut 50% of your candidates out. Millennials are the leading technology using demographic and prefer applying to companies on their smart phone.

If your dealership isn’t up to millennial standards, consider the consequences. The millennial rate of turnover was significantly higher than Gen X and Baby Boomers, coming in at 35 and 26 percent, respectively.

Key Takeaway #3:  Focus on Women Talent

At the end of 2015, just 18.6% of all dealerships teams were female.

Additionally, women accounted for only 20% of new hires made across dealerships. Turnover among female employees increased two percentage points to 43 percent year-over-year, and is a full four points higher than their male counterparts who come in at 39 percent.

Imagine if your dealership only sold 18% of vehicles to men. You’d be missing out on a huge sales opportunity as women were the leading car buyers in 2015.  Currently your dealership is missing out on a huge talent opportunity by hiring, retaining, and focusing your efforts on male employees. It’s time to consider the benefits and results that female dealership teams can have on your profits.

Make your dealership a more female-friendly place. Eliminate any “macho” attitudes, employees known to harass, or biased sales people. Update your career site with a designated career path, health and wellness benefits, and work/life balance opportunities. These are all things proven to  attract female talent and all items that women consider when applying for a job.

Read Hireology’s Full Summary

Hireology would like to congratulate both the NADA and their survey partner Ted Kraybill of ESI Trends, for another comprehensive and insightful workforce study. There are several more trends and takeaways that dealerships should consider in the 2016 study and Hireology covered them all, read the entire summary here or download it below.

About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.