3. Screening and Testing Applicants

Screen the resumes for skill set matches. Look for accomplishments and increases in responsibilities. Then skill assess those that you find. Assess skills before full interviews. Why waste valuable time interviewing individuals who have no skill set to do the job?

It doesn’t matter if you purchase assessment or create them; every position in the store should have some basic skill assessments. Do you really want someone who thinks they have the talent to be your next controller, but their skills are limited to processing 10 billion a year in accounts payable? Just because you processed large dollars in payables doesn’t mean you processed large quantities of transactions (like in every dealership) of that you can read a financial statement.

Think about the skills required to perform the job and look for screening methods to thin the applicants before the interview process. It will keep you from being “sold” on an unqualified individual. Too often I hear great dealers say “I want to give them a chance”, but they have been sold on the personality and not on the qualifications.

4. Interviews

Always request that a full employment application be completed. More than a few applicants along the way get testy over it, claiming all my information is on my resume. Totally untrue! A resume does not tell me why you left your previous employers, it doesn’t tell me if you are a convicted felon (some states are beginning to ban this box on the application, so check your state laws).

Applicants don’t offer that up on resumes, nor do they usually offer past earnings or professional references. An application also requires that the applicant acknowledge that everything they have provided is true and accurate and that they understand I may verify any of it.

Then comes the interview process, which begins with cross-checking the application with the resume and uncovering mismatched information, job gaps, and unrecorded jobs. Then cover the job history, which varies from applicant to applicant.

Last move to a set of standardized questions that will be asked of every applicant for this position. Use job specific questions based on real scenarios from your dealership

and ask how they would respond. You are looking for questions that will uncover any attitudes or bias that would interfere with the applicant’s ability to do the job.

The standardized questions are designed to allow an apple-to-apple comparison when job histories vary widely.

5. References and Additional Interviews

Many references aren’t worth the paper written on these days. They tend to be personal, not professional, and the reference has been coached on what to say. Verifying past employment is nearly impossible in many cases. The solution is to ask for professional references and to look for your own references.

Someone applying for a finance position should have been able to tell you which bank reps they worked with the most; you can reach out to the bank rep to see how clean their deals were. Most dealers are very active in their communities and can find someone who knows a local applicant.

If you have followed these five steps, you will have slowed down your hiring process to make better decisions and thereby lowered your future turnover rate.