How HR Technology is Helping the Auto Industry: Mike Poskey on DealerElite Podcast

May 23, 2017

How HR Technology is Helping the Auto Industry

ZERORISK HR CEO Mike Poskey recently appeared on the DealerElite podcast to discuss the latest hiring trends in the automotive industry.

Mike discussed the ZERORISK HR approach to help companies in the auto industry hire, develop, and retain top candidates. One of the most important trends is that dealerships that shift to using emotional intelligence measurements reduce their risk of turnover.

This advanced measurement using HR technology allows hiring managers to match a candidate's assessment to the dealership's culture to find the best candidate for the job opening. But, in order for this to be effective, there must be top-down buy-in.

Successful use of HR Technology Starts at the Top

Most turnover in the automotive industry is due to reactive hiring. Hiring managers should be able to track a candidate throughout the hiring process, but one of the biggest obstacles for dealerships is not training their hiring managers on how to decide the best candidate for the opening.

On the podcast, Mike cited an example of a dealership that wanted to know why they were still seeing too much turnover despite having HR technology in place to measure candidates.

When the dealership looked at the pre-employment assessment of employees who left the company, the answers were right in front of them. But, the hiring managers were not trained on how to use the results of the emotional intelligence during the hiring process.

This example highlights the lack of consistency in the hiring process leading to hiring managers going rogue. An advanced hiring system creates the opportunity for uniform decision-making, but there must be accountability for the process to work.

The hiring department should not drive accountability, though. It needs to be driven by owners, partners, and general managers with complete buy-in.

Another dealership that Mike cited on the podcast reduced their turnover to less than 20 percent. Comparatively, the industry standard is 33 percent for long-term employees to 71 percent for first-year employees. How did the dealership reach an exceptionally low turnover rate?

The dealership implemented the technology and held hiring managers accountable for whether they consistently followed the process.

Without accountability, the advanced hiring method does not work if managers believe upper management will not track whether they are following the process.

This method must be part of the company culture from the top down. If the top leaders are committed to implementing and following the process, it will work. But, if leaders just want to try it out without total buy-in, then the method loses effectiveness.

Why is an Advanced Hiring System so Important?

An advanced hiring system allows companies in the automotive industry to match a candidate's assessment to the company culture.

When you have visual data that measures the candidate's thinking patterns, you can correlate these thinking patterns to various employment dimensions. Here are some benefits Mike cited on the podcast:

  • Positively impact CSI
  • Help lower theft
  • Lower lost time due to injury, accidents, or worker's comp claims
  • Increase sales revenue

This also helps establish cultural fit, which is vital for dealerships. Not only can dealerships compare candidates to top performers in their job category but they can also find trends in the thinking patterns or competencies that work well in their culture.

For example, companies might discover that candidates or employees who have a low score in the competency of self-expectations correlates to high turnover and other workplace issues.

The competency of self-expectations is essentially the inner rudder that guides our thought processes. A candidate who does not have that internal guide is more likely to be part of workplace issues that lower productivity.

Finding a cultural fit in addition to whether a candidate is competent for the role has become an important tool in the advanced hiring process. These culture benchmarks can help reduce turnover by discovering whether a candidate does or does not display a competency that dealerships need in their employees.

How Do You Discover Core Competencies in Candidates?

The backbone of an advanced hiring training process is the behavioral interview. When hiring managers are trained to ask the right questions, they can obtain information about the candidate's past behavior as a predictor of future results in your company.

As Mike pointed out on the podcast, these questions follow the essential STAR method of asking about specific events to understand the competency of the candidate.

  • Situation: Ask the candidate to identify a specific situation related to your job opening from their previous workplace.
  • Task: What task was required in the situation?
  • Action: What action did you take to achieve the task?
  • Result: What was the result of your action?

Hiring managers should be trying to discover whether the candidate can do the job. And, it's not based on irrelevant stories, conjecture, or whether you like the person. It's about measuring whether the candidate has the makeup and core competencies that best fit the position, reducing the risk of turnover.

By the end of the advanced hiring process, you should be able to answer three questions about the candidate to determine fit:

  • Technical Skills or Abilities: Can the person do the job?
  • Fit: Will the person do the job?
  • Cultural aspect: Can we stand the person?

When hiring managers are trained on the advanced hiring process, they can visually look at the data to determine if a candidate is a match for the job and culture.

When everyone involved in the hiring process is aligned toward the common goal of finding the best candidate using measurable data, the advanced training program works.

How to Retain the Top Candidates?

It's one thing to identify top talent, hire them, and go through the onboarding process. Now, how do you retain top talent?

Mike pointed out during the podcast that one of the keys is understanding the mindset of the younger generation entering the workforce. That requires not buying into many of the myths associated with millennials, such as wanting to play ping pong at the office.

Instead, research shows the real way to reach millennials is through team-building, strong leadership, coaching and mentoring, and building trust.

Many employees leave a manager, not a company. They end up with a similar job at a different company just to have a different manager who better understands or relates to them.

So, companies need to emphasize team-building and relationships that add value to the workplace experience. Other key ways to retain employees is through flexible hours and a benefits package. This has proven to positively impact turnover.

Finally, post-hire developmental programs are vital to retain employees. Through advanced hiring programs, dealerships can offer emotional intelligence training programs to help employees master their strengths and improve in areas where they have blind spots.

This helps build communication and shows the employee that your dealership cares about their overall growth and improvement as a worker.

These elements that improve employee engagement and retention can be found in an advanced hiring program such as the ZERORISK Hiring System. Consider implementing this HR technology into your automotive dealership to reduce the risk of turnover and improve productivity.

You can also listen to Mike's full discussion of HR Technology and advanced hiring trends in the automotive industry with Pat Clark of Hyrell and host Chris Saraceno on the DealerElite podcast.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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