Question of the day
What department in your dealership is the most difficult to staff adequately: service technicians, F&I personnel, sales personnel, other?
Jenell Ross, dealer principal of Bob Ross Auto Group in Centerville, Ohio: "It has been very hard to locate and hire qualified salespeople. It is hard to find salespeople that are self-motivated, that are productive, that aren't looking to settle in their comfort zones. We're looking for people who want a career in the auto industry, not saying necessarily that they have to stay in sales."
Jay Rosario, dealer principal of Wesley Chapel Nissan in Wesley Chapel, Fla.: "I would say Internet. It takes a different type of person; it's not your traditional salesperson. This person has to be comfortable doing 90 percent of the transaction over the phone, through e-mails and text messages. It's about building relationships and doing it quickly. It's about getting the right person, but you don't really know if they are the right person until they are on the job."
Dan Roseland, president of Sonoma Chevrolet in Sonoma, Calif.: I'm a small dealer with 22 employees. First, it's the service manager and service writer because it is a difficult job. And No. 2, it is high-quality, trained service technicians. There are a lot of people who can do brakes but it's hard to find people who can fix the difficult jobs and in high volume."
Scott LaRiche, owner of Lou LaRiche Chevrolet in Plymouth, Mich.: "Sales personnel. It's hard to find qualified people right now. We want to add four new-car salespeople."
Jim Snell, owner of Land Rover Dallas in Dallas; Jaguar Land Rover Austin in Austin, Texas; and Land Rover Frisco in Frisco, Texas: "I'd say technicians. It's an industrywide problem. My personal opinion is that cars are so difficult to work on now. Twenty years ago a lot of guys grew up working on cars like hot rods and stuff. But people can't really work on their cars so much because they're so complicated. So younger people are not really interested in working on cars."
Christine Alicandro, owner of Marty's Buick-GMC and Isuzu Trucks, in Kingston, Mass.: "I'd say the parts department. That's what I see as my biggest fear because we're not building that as an analytical job. I don't see young people interested in it and when I look at the median age of my parts department it's my oldest department and that worries me."