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‘Re-evaluate pay, hours and benefits to attract the best people’

BDO Steve Le Bas

Dealers need to 're-evaluate the workplace from hours to benefits and pay structure in order to attract the best people.

Steve Le Bas, partner at accountants and business advisers BDO LLP will give this message to delegates at the AM and IMI People Conference.

BDO's recent Motor Salary Survey indicated automotive retail employees are now paid more and are likely to make even greater gains this year. However, Le Bas will put the case for a different approach to meet the needs of employees whose attitude to work are changing.

Le Bas (pictured) said: "Attracting and keeping good people is now far more about the fringe benefits such as flexible working."

The conference takes place at the Riverbank Plaza in London on June 16 and once again precedes the prestigious AM100 Dinner.

"Millennials and now even Gen Z (those born from the late 90s to around 2006) are changing the dynamic in the workforce. Typically they place just as much importance on their work-life balance as they do on their pay packet. These days people don't want to work 60 hours a week, they want to have a nice life. Additionally, older, experienced staff may be looking to stay in the workplace but reduce their hours."

However, the traditional long hours culture together with low basic salary and high commission continues to dominate in showrooms up and down the country.

"Whilst the future of the salary structure for the sales team is discussed widely, our research shows no indication of anything new being adopted on a significant scale. Dealers want to keep their best people who expect to earn a high commission, but they do need to start to innovate to encourage the right people to the industry. There are some progressive dealers who are implementing new pay structures but most are keeping to the traditional model."

According to the fifth BDO Motor Salary Survey, the average remuneration package increased from £38,000 in 2014 to £39,000 in 2015, a rise of 2.6%.

The figures exclude chief executives which showed their salaries increased for the first time since the survey began.

If dealers are to attract and retain both high calibre candidates and young people with potential, they will need to look at introducing new packages which appeal to today's breed of worker and flexibility to keep experienced older staff.

"With most car buyers undertaking the vast majority of the purchase journey online, questions are being raised about the need to evolve the sales role completely. But whilst there's much talk, we have seen very little evidence of this translating into practice on the ground. If the sector continues to dig its heels in, we will continue to hear cries of how difficult it is to find the best people to fill their vacancies," said Le Bas.

The survey also looks at other areas impacting the payroll such as changes to the way P111D is administered and how the process is becoming completely digital.



Tickets are available to dealers and manufacturers, with a limited number of supplier tickets on sale. To book, please contact Paige Phillips on 01733 395133, email or visit   

Venue: Riverbank Plaza in London

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  • chenners - 02/06/2016 13:25

    I am sorry, but this is a load of drivel by someone who has never sold a car in a dealership!!!! A waste of breath I'm afraid. You see, dealerships are so scared of losing one single sale/opportunity, that they will still open at 8.30 AND will remain open during the week until 7PM. Dealership management have no real consideration for their sales staff. They just replace you. The industry is still in the dark ages. It always will be. I have never sold a car before 9.30 am. AND never done one at 7pm. People tend to be at home with their families. Like we should be. Its panic stations from the moment we open to the moment we go home. Morning meetings (or should I say, beatings) are still very much present. The General Manager offering nothing but DE motivational speeches. The Motor Industry is screwed. It is not the place that it once was, and I will always do my best to try and put someone off from joining it. Once a sales man become a manager, they forget their past and become the most smug, arrogant individual on the planet. Customers are more demanding. We should be controlling them, not the other way round. But now we all have to be customer centric and PC, and all the other stupid ridiculous phrases that were coined by some pathetic corporate bod. The trade is on its knees. It does not care about its staff. It never will do

  • T2 - 02/06/2016 17:57

    You are bang on Chenners. The article was right in one respect though. Many Millennials and Gen Z do not want to put in the hours or the work unless they have a drug habit to feed. Trying to recruit decent staff on the sales side is becoming extremely difficult and it will get worse because it is such an unfulfilling job now. Money can be made but for most of us its not worth the grief. Those that do have "the right stuff" do not stay any length of time because they do not have to put up with all the rubbish thrown at them by horrendous managers. They can move on to better things. The rot though starts right at the top. Having done this for 30 years the "processes" expected are now verging on insanity. I spend more time ticking boxes for idiots than I do doing the actual job. The manufacturers are no better with their expectations. The reality is that the whole buying experience that customers are exposed to in many establishments is horrendous. I hear the stories every day.

  • Mark Oldfield. - 02/06/2016 19:52

    cheeners,I rather think that is the point he is making.The motor trade needs to evolve,not doing the same old things.Look at any dealership which has a very low sales staff turnover and that will be because of good management practise.Good management need not be "Motor Trade" anymore,it`s predominantly about people,you need management that understand people.Happy staff equals happy customers.

  • So True - 14/06/2016 14:26

    The comments already written are so true of the Motor Trade it is the only business in the world that the dealer buys millions of pounds worth of product and has no power over the supplier what so ever ,as long as this is case things will never change.Dealer Principles ,Business Managers are and will always be a waste of Space and Money. They never never takes responsibility of there own actions.These are two jobs which you really don't need in a business ,but guess what the Manufacturers in most cases will argue this point surprise surprise.