Women make up only 18.6% of all dealerships teams
Comprising of more than half of today’s workforce and influencing 85% of all vehicle sales in the U.S., women play a critical role in the automotive industry. Yet dealers find it challenging to attract and retain women in key dealership roles: just 16% of F&I positions are staffed by female talent; this drops to an astonishing 5% and 1% for sales managers and service technicians, respectively.
With women comprising half of today’s workforce, the industry is excluding millions of talented female candidates from potentially joining dealership teams and contributing to success.
The Modern Dealership Hiring Checklist
There are things you can do today to make sure your job descriptions, interview process and onboarding program make everyone feel included and empowered. Here are a few key items we recommend incorporating into your hiring process to ensure your dealership looks attractive to all applicants, regardless of gender:
_ Write Inclusive Job Descriptions – When describing the role, use examples from each gender to show inclusiveness: An ideal candidate should demonstrate his or her negation experience is a simple way of showing that each gender can succeed in the role.
_ Showcase A Welcoming Culture – When researching jobs at your dealership, will female applicants see other women contributing to the team? Be sure to highlight the culture on your careers page, from everyone’s perspective, to show that men and women can be equally successful in their roles.
_ Lead By Example – Does your leadership team, key sellers or F&I leads include women? If not, it could be a good exercise to evaluate what steps you can take to make each role a level playing field for everyone to advance.
_ Implement A ‘No Jerks’ Policy – Teams dominated by men, specifically in sales, can be seen as unwelcoming to women. Your leadership team should make it clear to all employees – new and tenured – that jerks won’t be tolerated, and that the leadership team has a way for anyone to talk about possibly inappropriate behavior so every employee feels welcome and empowered.
_ Promote Growth And Sponsorship – Do you have women contributing to your team today who show leadership promise? Do they have a set career path, and feel empowered to advance with your dealership? When employees have an understanding of their potential and advancement plan, they’re more likely to grow with your business.
_ Encourage Collaboration – Traditional sales structures are dominated by male sales teams primarily because of the competitive culture that results. By incentivizing your teams to work collaboratively, more women may see a place for themselves on your sales floor. We’ve had several dealership customers achieve this by transitioning their traditional sales roles to product specialists tasked with leading the customer conversation.
_ Create Realistic Comp Plans – A challenge that turns many women away from dealership roles is their need for a dependable income that so many other industries outside of auto offer. Work with your HR team to develop a compensation plan that’s more dependable than the traditional, high-risk sales comp packages generally seen with automotive sales roles.
_ Offer Perks Beyond The Dealership – Are you promoting a healthy work/life balance and providing necessary time off for family and medical leave? Consider offering family-friendly work hours, flexible spend accounts for medical expenses and maternity leave to attract engaged women who may have children or are planning to do so soon.
_ Bonus: Offer Paid Paternity Leave – While it may sound counterintuitive, paid paternity leave can differentiate your dealership as especially family-friendly, letting both parents spend quality time with their new family, saving both spouses from worrying about money and work at a very important time in their lives.
Getting more female talent to key dealership roles is a massive opportunity to add unique approaches to the automotive industry where 85% of car purchasing decisions are influenced by women. These steps should help ensure women feel welcome, empowered and set for success at your dealership.
To get a printable version of this checklist, click on the link below.