An Interview with Adam Robinson: The Secret to Retaining Talent at Your Dealership

Retention is top of mind at dealerships as we head into another year of labor supply and demand imbalance. Simply put, keeping your top performers around is the best way to minimize having to compete for talent in today’s tough market.

But how do you improve retention at your dealership at a time when your team has more options for work than ever before? CBT News interviewed Hireology’s CEO, Adam Robinson, on this topic at this year’s NADA Show to uncover just that. In the interview, Adam covered the topic in-depth, including touching on why retention might be even harder in 2023 and how scheduling flexibility can make all the difference.

See the full interview below or read on to get a summary of Adam’s takeaways:

Low-pressure sales environments impact retention

Adam notes that a big reason why retention might become even more of a challenge in the year ahead is that selling cars is going to get harder. Due to the inventory shortage of the past two years, selling cars is currently easier than it’s ever been and sales roles have become more like order taking positions. But as the shortage eases up, the job is going to get more competitive, sales team income might drop, and you might see people leaving the industry for other types of work.

So as a dealership it’s important to prepare staff for what’s next. Make sure they have the training and support they need to continue to perform in higher-pressure, more competitive selling situations.

Flexibility is key to retaining great sales team members 

At a time when hiring and retention is harder than ever, it’s important to give your employees what they’re looking for out of work. And today, most employees are seeking greater flexibility and better work/life balance

However, many business owners in the automotive industry operate with an outdated mindset, assuming that employees must adhere to the schedule that exists if they want to succeed. But many dealerships have proven that cutting floor hours to give employees a more manageable schedule actually leads to better productivity and happier, more loyal employees.

This is even more important for dealerships looking to recruit and retain more women. Women are much more likely to bear the burden of childcare, which means they’re much more likely to seek out and remain in positions that offer the flexibility they need to live their lives outside of work.

Simply put, the cost of turnover (losing and then replacing great talent) is more expensive in the long run than providing the flexibility and work/life balance your team needs.

Build a pipeline of talent with a candidate-friendly process

No matter what you do to train employees and rethink flexibility offerings, turnover happens. The best way you can deal with losing great team members is by having a pipeline of talent ready to backfill the roles. But of course any dealership that has tried to hire in the last few years knows this is easier said than done. 

To attract and engage great job seekers Adam notes that it’s critical that you build the process around them and their needs. So speed up your time to respond, reduce the time it takes you to get them in-store for an interview, use texting to stay in touch with them, and sell your dealership as a great place to work. Gone are the days where candidates have to jump through hoops to prove that they’re interested in your dealership. In fact, the tables are turned and you need to do everything you can to meet the needs of today’s talent or you can and will lose them to competitors. 

Looking for more tips and advice on recruiting and retaining great automotive talent in 2023 and beyond? Check out Hireology’s most recent research report, The Future of Automotive Hiring to learn what your peers are doing and how you can stand out and capture your fair share of the talent pool today.



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