After an 11-month period in which mass layoffs were followed by a near-equal hiring surge, many U.S. dealerships are nearing pre-pandemic staffing levels as they continue to scout for new talent.
It's a striking rebound from the early days of the coronavirus crisis last spring when dealerships laid off or furloughed hundreds of thousands of employees. While many dealerships are hiring again — and even recruiting from industries hit harder by the pandemic than automotive retailing — they remain careful about the number of jobs they're adding back.
Dahl Automotive of La Crosse, Wis., with six stores in Wisconsin and Minnesota, cut jobs early in the pandemic and is now hiring — but cautiously.
"We did have that opportunity to right-size," Heather Ladwig, Dahl's vice president of human resources, told Automotive News. "We don't want to get ourselves too far ahead of the game. But obviously we want to be adequately staffed for the business level."