A Cox Automotive study this month showed that 57% of dealerships face staffing challenges, and 80% expect them to get worse. This is hitting service bays especially hard, where qualified technicians are particularly hard to come by. Coupled with parts shortages, it’s really eating into the bottom line for many dealers.
The hundreds of dealerships who use FLADCO are no different. In fact, some dealerships are removing staff listings from their websites for fear of serving as a recruiting service. And one dealership even said that a rival dealer had tried to poach staff by sending lunch to their service department with a note recruiting them.
We don’t think that approach is a great way to win friends or loyal employees, but we have heard some solid ideas as we talk to customers out in the field. These are beyond the typical solutions of signing bonuses, recruiting services and painful salary bumps. And they work.
One simple tactic is tapping existing employees to get referrals – something that’s particularly effective for long-time, happy employees, who are likely to sing the praises of the dealership and bring in quality candidates.
Another dealer has found success by looking outside the automotive field. They are offering a competitive beginning salary to tradespeople with base-level comfort around tools and mechanics who lack automotive experience. Then as workers train on the job, dealers are increasing their pay until they are fully up to speed.
The employment crunch isn’t ending anytime soon, so it might be time to try some new ways to keep your staffing levels up.