How to Hire and Retain Quality Employees at the Dealership

One of the biggest challenges for dealerships recently has been keeping the dealership staff. In 2023, 55% of dealers say they are still struggling with staffing. With proper staffing, it can be easier to provide the high level of service customers expect from your dealership. 

While hiring new employees and retaining existing ones may be difficult, there are some strategies that can be implemented within the dealership to help attract and retain more employees.


How to Compete for Employees at the Dealership

Currently, the national unemployment rate is low. This means that employees have many options when it comes to finding work, and employers need to be more competitive with their hiring strategies.

Many employees with trade skills are taking up jobs with higher pay, while many older employees with years of experience in the industry are entering retirement and leaving the workforce altogether. So what can you do to hire new employees, and what can you do to ensure they stick with you?

Finding New Employees

How is your dealership finding new employees? If people don’t know that your dealership is hiring or what roles they are hiring for, it will be very difficult to fill open positions. 

Some excellent platforms to help find new employees include:

  • Job Boards/Websites: Websites like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Monster, and SimplyHired are some of the most popular places candidates look for jobs. You can also post open positions through AutoNews.
  • Social Media: 82% of the US population is on social media platforms like Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter, making them a great place to advertise open positions.
  • Employee Referrals: Offer your employees a reward or bonus for referring people they know to open positions. For example, if an employee refers a candidate that gets hired and stays with the dealership for three months, you can reward that employee with $500. This incentives employees to refer people they know will work hard and not quit.
  • Career Page: Your dealership website should have a place where candidates can find open positions and learn more about the company and the job. They should also be able to submit an online application. With SEO best practices, you can even market your careers page to make it easy for candidates to find you.

Hiring and Retaining Employees

Your dealership needs an employee with the right skills, relevant experience, and a willingness to learn. But how do you get those employees to apply at your dealership, aside from offering a great place to work? And how do you ensure the ones you have don’t leave you for another dealership?

Here are some things you should consider:

  • Better Pay: There is a lot of competition out there, and let’s face it, pay matters.
  • Good Benefits: Incentives such as health insurance, wellness benefits, vacation time, and sick time mean a lot to employees.
  • Employee Rewards Programs: Employee of the month, bonuses, and company culture events.
  • Quality Training: Help employees grow their skills and show you’re invested in their success.
  • Company Culture: Establish a positive place to work by bringing people together through a shared sense of goals and ideas.
  • Company Perks: Providing job perks and incentives can help encourage employees to stay with your department.

Post-Hiring Tips

Once you find a candidate that is a good fit for your dealership, don’t wait! Not only should you stay in contact with the candidate after an interview, but once you’ve decided to hire, you need to act fast. Because you’re competing with other businesses for candidates, time is limited, and they could accept another offer at any time.

Once you’ve given your offer, make sure your onboarding process is smooth. A good onboarding process can improve retention. Here are some additional tips for a successful onboarding process:

  • Hold a new employee orientation
  • Assign a mentor
  • Give clear expectations and relevant training
  • Give one-on-one time with their direct manager for scheduled check-ins

Combatting Staffing at the Dealership

A dealership that is properly staffed is able to provide more for its customers. However, if your dealership is facing a staffing shortage, there are many things you can do to help alleviate some of the difficulties. Hiring more employees may mean changing your hiring and retention tactics. 

Want to be able to do more with less staff? Download the RevolutionParts guide on how to Combat Staffing in the Parts Department. By focusing on the parts department, your dealership can generate new revenue streams, increase profitability, and provide a better customer experience with less staff.

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