Evans considers Evans Toyota a fairly typical dealership when it comes to hiring and retention. The store's turnover numbers generally fit that description, slightly worse than the national average for dealerships.
Annual turnover at Evans Toyota has been about 50 percent for all positions and 75 percent for sales positions, Evans said. That compares to 40 percent for all positions and 67 percent for sales positions for all U.S. dealerships in 2015, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association's 2016 Dealership Workforce Study.
In recent years, Evans already had put into place tools aimed at improving the store's track record. Evans Toyota had a designated employee handling human resources. A strict process called for a minimum of two managers to interview a candidate before hiring. Evans himself would do a final interview when in town. New hires received two full weeks of training. And the store has a good reputation in the community, Evans said.
But the resulting turnover set off alarm bells that something was was wrong with the approach.
"We'd hire people, and I'd put them through the training and get them up and running, and they'd either quit or would get fired because they couldn't do the job," Evans said.
Evans knew he needed to do more: "The people in your store are the No. 1 most important asset the store can have."
In June, Evans Toyota launched a hiring approach guided by Hireology, a hiring software vendor and consultant. It includes a customized employment website that shows candidates a career path. Candidates can apply online, even via mobile devices. Applicants are screened via questionnaires. Evans has developed a list of reasons to work for Evans Toyota.