NADA 2019: The HR4 Experience

Press - February 20, 19 - Bri Newman

In the opening speech at NADA 2019, NADA Chairman Charlie Gilchrist said that the future of the auto retail industry depends on the industry’s ability to “recruit, train, and retain the best people”

The HR4Dealers team travelled to NADA 2019 in San Francisco this January to offer Dealerships, Dealer Groups and OEM’s fresh insights on employee engagement.  Our themes? #rollouttheredcarpetand #loveyourpeople.

A consistent pain point amongst the dealers we spoke with was the struggle to attract and retain hires, specifically millennials. Knowing that there is no silver bullet for this issue we spoke frequently about Dealers better positioning themselves online to talent, taking the time to highlight the career possibilities that exist in a modern Dealership, the culture and innovation taking place at their stores and the overall opportunity for growth. Finding ways to facilitate this through social channels, word of mouth or a centralized HR platform & strategy, one thing is true: manual processes are a thing of the past.

The Automotive Industry is changing, as a result, Dealerships must also change to bolster sales and better find, engage and retain talent in the Digital Age.

Here are some key takeaways from the weekend:

  • In order to recruit the best talent, you must #loveyourpeople; at HR4 we believe that your organization only thrives once you live this reality by empowering your teams.
  • Attracting top talent to fill out your roles is crucial in your dealership’s success. The days of people coming in to drop off their resumes have passed but having hundreds of resumes emailed in from a job board doesn’t work either. An online applicant tracking system that allows you to view at a glance who is the most qualified and brand-aligned employee for your team is crucial.
  • Onboarding is one of the toughest aspects of running a successful dealership.  Having an efficient way to ensure your new hires are effective right out the gate is obtainable by giving them clear achievable tasks to follow within their first several shifts that set the bar for the expectations of them while welcoming them to your team in a very personal and engaging way.
  •  Compliance was a focal point in all conversations had over the weekend. To be a successful team each individual needs to be held more accountable and hold themselves to the standards of the organization, and management needs a simple and efficient way of knowing this is taking place. This will allow more time for your management team to find new ways to create more revenue for the dealership.

Like Charlie said above, your future is in the hands of your people. To succeed, invest in them. According to the NADA Workforce study it is common to lose 40% of your staff annually, and your teams’ peak profitability begins at 3 years. Sounds like getting the right people on the bus and keeping them there is worth the investment.

Need some help unearthing your team’s potential? Contact us at  We can help!



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