As dealership groups continue to grow and consolidate, dealership acquisitions are on the rise. In fact, the number of dealership groups with more than 10 rooftops has grown significantly in recent years – from 90 in 2001 to 141 in 2017 – and much of this growth can be attributed to acquisitions. And when a dealership is acquired, it also means acquiring the dealership’s employees. This can present a great opportunity for your team if the previous owner hired quality employees, or it can pose challenges, such as a culture clash and lack of proper training.
One way to get started on the right foot with employees after dealership acquisitions is to keep all employee information organized using an applicant tracking system and talent management platform. We’ve outlined some key ways to enlist the help of a hiring and talent management platform below.
Interview All Employees
Your HR team and other key stakeholders should take the time to interview all employees following dealership acquisitions. Not only can this help you better understand whether each employee will be a positive, productive member of your team, but you can also outline key ways to help all employees succeed in their roles. Ask employees to share a little about themselves and their work history. Also ask about any concerns employees may have. For example, they might not have the tools they need in the fixed ops department or might have outdated computers that hinder their job performance – and your team can figure out next steps to solve these problems. An applicant tracking system can help you easily centralize all notes from your employee interviews, so they’re easy to go back and reference.
In some cases, this interview stage might make you realize certain employees aren’t right for the team, or on the other hand, might help you identify employees who can take on more responsibility and leadership roles.
Collect Formal Applications from Employees
Even if you decide to keep all employees from the acquired dealership on board, it’s important for each employee to fill out your standard job application. This enables you to collect all employees’ information in one centralized applicant tracking system, so you’ll have a record of who is employed, and so you can access critical information as needed – such as emergency contact details. And if your applicant tracking system is integrated with a talent management system, you can easily transfer job application information to begin your formal onboarding process and take care of key administrative tasks such as payroll and tax forms.
Run Background Checks
Whether or not the acquired dealership completed background checks for each employee before they started, it’s best to be on the safe side and re-screen all staff members following dealership acquisitions. Your dealership has no way of knowing how thorough the previous background checks were, or what might have happened with the employees since then. Ensuring each new employee passes a background check can save your dealership from potential liability down the road.
An applicant tracking system can help you make the background check step seamless. Candidates simply submit the required personal information and the rest of the process is taken care of automatically. The platform helps you select the required background checks, obtains candidate authorization, verifies results and manages payment. It also emails candidates if they need to take any action, and you’ll be notified as well to cut down on manual task management. This results in accurate and timely turnaround of applicant screening results, eliminates errors and ensures each new hire can be fully vetted before you extend an offer.
Beyond using an applicant tracking system to keep you organized as you get to know new employees after dealership acquisitions, it’s also critical to set employees up for success with effective onboarding and training programs. For more information on how to build the best team at your dealership – post-acquisition or not – read our resource, Planning for People in Retail Automotive.