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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ampeopleconference.co.uk.
Venue: Riverbank Plaza in London