Human Resources in an Auto Dealership Environment

When most auto dealers think about a human resource department or a human resource manager, they normally respond with a “not for me” approach. Human resources are often viewed as something only big companies need and, in turn, are viewed as an expensive and unnecessary cost. However, the true purpose and benefit of human resources is to make life easier and more profitable for auto dealers and their managers.

In truth, most auto dealerships are sorely in need of better people. It’s not that the people that they have hired are bad; it’s just that they may have a bad hiring, training and retention process. Just as in all businesses, it is wise to adopt a comprehensive step-by-step action plan to become an “employer of choice.”

We all know that employee turnover in retail automotive is a killer. But, that is just one piece of the puzzle. It doesn’t really matter if you reduce turnover, if you have the wrong people in the wrong jobs to begin with. It also doesn’t matter if you have the best processes in the world, if the people who are to be following these processes are constantly changing or if they lack the ability to follow them

A professional human resource structure will allow for the development and adherence to a long-term employment plan. Such a plan will not only reduce turnover, but will also improve the quality of your people and their performance which has a direct impact on customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and profitability.

The following areas should be conceptualized and implemented within any human resource plan:

  • Complete a self-assessment of your current working environment;
  • Calculate the true cost in “real dollars” of employee turnover;
  • Ask yourself “why” a prospective employee would want to work in your dealership;
  • Identify appropriate sources from which to recruit candidates;
  • Formalize the interview process;
  • Assess current employees as well as prospective candidates;
  • Develop honest, detailed job descriptions;
  • Provide adequate training and determine how “coachable” your employees are;
  • Develop employee handbooks;
  • Evaluate employees in a timely and consistent fashion.

In addition to these items, there are still numerous human resource issues and challenges that confront an employer on a day-to-day basis. Whether they pertain to performance, payroll, insurance, leave or legal matters, profitability will undoubtedly be impacted in some manner.

So, in the future, when thinking about your people and your business, remember that human resources “is for you.”

Schneider Downs provides accounting tax , wealth management, technology and business advisory services through innovative thought leaders who deliver the expertise to meet the individual needs of each client. Our offices are located in Pittsburgh, PA and Columbus, OH.

This advice is not intended or written to be used for, and it cannot be used for, the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties that may be imposed, or for promoting, marketing or recommending to another person, any tax-related matter.

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