Dealership turnover reached a 10-year low last year, according to NADA – but as inventory shortages ease, the turnover rate is expected to rise. What can dealerships do to engage and retain key top talent and high performers?
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Emma Hancock: Hi everyone. Welcome back to the All Ears podcast. I'm Emma Hancock, host and strategist at Automotive News. This podcast is sponsored by Ally Financial and produced by the Automotive News Content Studio. In each episode, we explore topics that are important to leaders in automotive retailing. Our guests include experts in their field from Ally, plus dealers from around the country, and we cover tips and explore insights that can help dealerships successfully navigate the transformational changes taking place in our industry. So on that note, let's get into our topic for today. We're going to be talking about effective talent management strategies. We'll be discussing ways to help dealerships retain and engage their top talent and high performers. According to NADA, dealership turnover reached a ten year low last year. [Source: https://www.autonews.com/retail/car-dealership-jobs-pay-above-100000-average-study-shows] But as inventory shortages ease, the turnover rate is expected to rise. Our guest today is Julie Becker-Myers, Director, Auto Learning and Development at Ally Financial. Welcome, Julie. Thanks for being here.
Julie Becker-Myers: Thanks for having me.
Emma Hancock: It's great to have you here. So, Julie, let's start with the basics. Why is it so important for a dealership to have a holistic strategy for managing and retaining their talent?
Julie Becker-Myers: So think about our most recent drive around town. How many businesses did we pass with "help wanted" signs out front? That is realistically the market all dealers are facing when trying to capture top talent. So keeping our current talent and attracting new talented talent is going to be equally important as we focus on areas that allow us to grow and attract talent as we have retirements in our industry.
Emma Hancock: So if a dealership wants to begin implementing a holistic strategy for retaining top talent, what might they look at first? Where might they start?
Julie Becker-Myers: The best place to start is your current staff. Take care of the staff that you have. Think about the programs you have. Do you have an org chart? Do you have job descriptions that actually clearly state what the expectations of those roles in those individuals are? And do they include what skills are required for those roles? If you don't, that's the first step in this process. Once you have those in place, then you need to get the management team in place and really develop plans where people can develop a career, not just a job at your dealership. When we think about dealers, we really want them to think of their staff as a moldable item where they can grow, and keep them within their walls and make them successful -- but also, in turn, making the dealership successful.
Emma Hancock: I love that. You know, start with the staff that you already have. Don't wait until that hiring process -- which segways perfectly into my next question. We've talked about retaining existing employees. What are some ways dealerships can apply these strategies, beginning with the initial hiring process?
Julie Becker-Myers: I think we need to change the narrative on what we've been expecting in the automotive industry when trying to recruit individuals. We have to be creative, right? Things that have worked in the past aren't necessarily going to work today. The market has changed. Individuals needs, requirements have changed. If you focus on the individual development of your staff and growing them within your dealership, then you actually have individuals that are working towards your success and they're going to help grow others in within your dealership. Think about how important mentoring individuals giving them career path can help them feel not only as part of the team, but allows you to stretch your own goals and allows for additional growth.
Emma Hancock: I love what you're saying because it's really about how retaining top talent is more important now than ever. You know, we could have talked about this for the last ten years, but in 2023, this is the year when it's going to become paramount. You've covered so many valuable tips, Julie: The benefits of having a holistic strategy, how to get started, even how to get started earlier in the hiring process. I love that, "Don't wait." Thank you so much for your great insights today.
Julie Becker-Myers: Thank you so much for having me.
Emma Hancock: And you know what? That is it for this episode of the All Ears podcast. I hope everyone found this helpful. I certainly did. On behalf of Ally Financial and the Automotive News Content Studio. Thanks for listening and bye for now.
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