Fighting Todays Dealership Turnover

While it is true that good help is hard to find, some would argue that it is even more challenging to keep it. If you are a dealership owner, you would probably identify with this even more. The demands of working for a dealership seem to impact the staying power of millennial workers. A study by Hireology revealed that 60 percent of dealership hires are millennials, and more than half of those individuals turn over annually.

Chief Economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association, Steven Szakaly, mentioned that millennials might be leaving their positions because the entry-level jobs they are taking on are not what they expected. According to the Cox Automotive Dealership Staffing Study, the departments of sales, service advising, and F&I are the top three areas with the highest turnover (67, 41, and 38 percent respectively). So, how can dealership owners help millennials to stick around a bit longer? Here are five tips to lower the millennial turnover rate in dealerships.

Provide the Proper Training and Ongoing Education

As stated above, many millennials may not know precisely what they are walking into. Szakaly remarked that dealers should ensure they educate younger workers on the demands and expectations of their new workplace. Having literature that goes into the realities of working in sales, servicing, or F&I can help millennials decide whether working in a dealership is really for them. It keeps individuals from taking a position they may not be prepared for which decreases the resulting turnover costs.

Incorporate What They Care About

According to a survey by Roadster, 59 percent of millennials said they would avoid working as a vehicle salesperson. So, it is true that they are not as comfortable with sales positions, especially those that are based on commission. However, dealership owners have to realize what they can capitalize on to make working in a dealership more attractive. According to the same Roadster survey, 70 percent of millennials said they would work at a dealership if there were more modern technology available. Marketing the use of tablets and even promoting the understanding of car technology could be a draw to this generation.

Impose Manageable Work Hours

When it comes to millennials, and even their generation z counterparts, long working hours are cause enough to retreat from an organization. Newer generations are a lot more open to work-life balance and expect their workplaces to be as well. Therefore, dealers have to reassess positions that are requiring employees to work over 40 hours a week. Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations of Toyota Motor Sales, had this to say when asked how dealerships can attract more millennial talent:

“Millennial customers will relate better to Millennial sales staff,” Carter believes. However, he says dealers need to change working hours and move away from commission-based compensation plans to make jobs more appealing to this age group.

“To attract Millennials, you can’t expect to work them 16-hour days,” he says. Dealers should try to see where they can save time and money by creating more efficient work schedules.

Take the Pressure out of Sales

For dealers that are looking for new talent to fill sales roles, they may have a challenging time because of the preconceived notion about sales manager roles. Referring again to the Roadster survey, 61 percent of millennials do not like the burden of having to make “high-pressure sales.” Along with this stat, 57 percent of millennials want “more salary” and less of a “commission-based” payment structure. It makes total sense as many millennials grew up during The Great Recession and are looking for jobs with stability. Establishing ways to make payment more concrete will likely encourage millennials to stick around.

Offer Opportunities for Training and Development

Millennials are prone to seek out training and development. They are eager to learn and want to feel that the company they work for wants to help advance their skills. According to a study conducted by Bridge, a human resource management software maker, training and development ranked 300 percent higher than cash bonuses for millennials. Dealership owners can even use this to make up for payment to attract and retain millennial workers.

Dealerships offer up a unique opportunity for millennials to bring new talent and ideas to the automotive industry. With the increasing use of technology and new consumer demands, younger generations have a lot to offer. However, dealership owners have to create an environment that not only attracts them but keeps them for the long haul. Offering more concrete payment options, reassessing work hours, and even offering flexible work options are things that companies in all industries are having to consider. Dealerships are in a good space to capture and keep millennial talent if they are willing to reevaluate their approach.

Originally appeared, in part in CBT