Slowing down interviewing and hiring is helping the Findlay Automotive Group solve the problems of job dissatisfaction and underachievement with its many sales staffs.
The Findlay Group has grown dramatically in the last 15 years, going from dealer and president Cliff Findlay's Oldsmobile store in Las Vegas to a multifranchise group representing 13 makes in three states.
"We currently have 890 employees," says Tyler Corder, general manager of the Las Vegas company. "The group currently has 13 dealerships in Nevada, Utah and Arizona - none more than about 120 miles from Las Vegas."
Corder says "mishires" on dealership sales staffs often are the result of haste.
"The selection varies from dealership to dealership, but we encourage managers to go slow," he says. "We have added background checks that include driving records and criminal investigations. They take at least three days."
The Findlay group also is refining its expectations of salespeople and what they are likely to encounter on the job.
Corder says 90 days usually is long enough to know if a new salesperson is going to succeed.
An ill-equipped, uncertain novice likely will drive away potential customers. Or if there is a sale, it may not be accompanied by a high satisfaction rating from the buyer.
"It's hard to know everything about products and financing," Corder says. "Rather than fumble for an answer, we'd prefer that the salesperson find a manager to assist.
"Our general managers meet once a month. We track sales staff longevity. My goal is to raise the managers' understanding of turnover."