ATLANTA — Cox Automotive has released its 2019 Dealership Staffing Study, revealing an “optimistic” forecast based on younger generations showing a greater interest in dealership jobs than older generations, analysts said.
Approximately 20% of all dealership staff are likely to look for another job in the next six months, with one-third of non-management employees feeling neutral or unsatisfied with their jobs. These figures indicate high-risk potential for dealerships to lose a portion of their sales staff, which has an estimated 80% turnover rate, yet remains the group most likely to influence car buyer satisfaction, according to the Cox Automotive 2019 Car Buyer Journey Study.
“The good news is that dealerships have an opportunity to reverse this trend,” said Isabelle Helms, vice president, research and market intelligence, Cox Automotive. “A new generation is entering the workforce and bringing with them a renewed interest in working at a dealership. To attract and retain employees in this highly competitive job market, dealerships should understand which benefits and cultural attributes employees value most and take action to effect positive changes within their store.”
Among Gen Z and younger millennials, more than 30% are interested in working for a dealership, even higher when roles other than sales are presented to them, according to the study. This interest is nearly 10 percentage points higher than interest shown by older millennials and members of Gen X.
With approximately 61 million members of Gen Z starting to enter the U.S. workforce, dealerships have a chance to build a culture that attracts and retains this younger, tech-savvy talent. However, if they want to win over this next generation, dealerships must address significant gaps in today’s auto retail workplace culture, analysts said.
“Dealers can’t afford to take their eyes off their employees’ needs,” said Bob Kostkan, senior director with Cox Automotive University. “With record high dealership turnover and a low unemployment rate of 3.7% as of June 2019, it’s critical that dealership leaders improve productivity while also enhancing employee engagement and retention. These are controllable issues that must be addressed to maximize customer experience and profitability.”
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