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Record UK employment means dealers may struggle to recruit

Karl Davis, managing director of Coachworks

Car retailers could find recruitment much tougher as UK employment reaches a record high, Coachwork Consulting has warned.

The automotive retail consultancy accused dealers of having a “reckless” approach to employing new staff, giving the motor retail sector a 36% staff turnover rate – much higher than other sectors.

Figures published this week by the Office for National Statistics show only 3.9% of those over 16 years of age are out of work, making filling vacancies and finding the best candidates difficult.

With more people in work, dealers are being advised that finding new staff members will be more challenging and should therefore think more carefully before hiring.

Karl Davis, managing director of Coachworks (pictured), said: “The need to make good appointments is understood by just about everyone we work with, but there’s a real polarity between the best and the rest when it comes to the approach taken to assess candidate suitability for roles.

"In too many instances we’re seeing poor recruitment decisions being made, often due to a lack of commitment to the process, which is contributing to high staff churn.

“With new car sales down and margins under pressure, there’s even more reason to mitigate the risk of making poor appointments by getting serious about the approach that is being taken right now.

"The cost of getting it wrong is colossal and not just with regards to being able to satisfy customer demand, but also to the long-term trust and integrity of the employer brand, as high team morale and the ability to attract the best candidates become even more difficult to achieve."

Coachworks advocates the use of assessment centres when hiring, maintaining they offer the best way for candidates to showcase what they would bring to a role, and for identifying the gaps in ability or cultural fit that would need to be thought through carefully before making an offer.  

“We facilitate assessment centres for clients as they provide a cost-effective way of gaining, training and retaining the best people. The thoroughness of the process gives potential candidates the belief that the onboarding process will be equally as wholesome and it usually is," said Davis.

“The most progressive retailers are comfortable with outsourcing this support, as they understand that the cost of doing so is far less expensive than getting a key appointment wrong. Whilst we work with some of the largest groups in the UK, a business of any size can outsource for single or multiple candidates.  It’s not rocket science, it just needs a well thought out approach and the time to facilitate the delivery properly."

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