CMETRICS are not data points on a chart. I won’t be boring you with big data or complex theories. The CMETRICS I’m talking about are specific things that you should be looking for when attempting to find your next hire. CMETRICS is simply an acronym to help you remember the following things you need to look for in your hire:

Mission Motivator
Solution Driven

These are the individuals you want as managers in your store. Let’s look at these individually, and how to uncover them in the interview process.

C = Competent

Competence is the root of every good hire, the foundation that everything else is built upon, the first piece of the puzzle. If you don’t hire competent individuals, you wind up with inept, unqualified, unsuitable hires that will not do the job but they will also frustrate you and the rest of your team.

What you need are individuals who have a track record of success. This doesn’t mean it must be an automotive track record. Although many dealers prefer to hire only those with automotive experience for management positions, there are individuals in other industries that have transferable skills and proven track records. When you have no training program in your store to grow your employees and rely only on those that have the automotive specific experience you limit the pool of applicants to choose from, in some markets you limit it to worn out retreads. So, what does competent mean? It means having the necessary ability, knowledge, or skill to do something successfully.

How do you assess competency in the screening and interviewing process?

Skill assessments can be fabulous tools, but they must be directly related to the skills needed for the job. For example, at DealerStrong we have a specific assessment for automotive accounting and we have a special finance skills assessment that helps us determine baseline understanding.  After giving those assessments hundreds and hundreds of times, I know what top performer scores are. Without this, I would be hesitant to consider a controller outside automotive. With it, I’ve been able to successfully transition non-automotive controllers into automotive space. But vital information can also come during an interview if you ask the right questions to uncover the depths of the individual’s competency while also evaluating their past accomplishments. The best questions are drawn straight from your job expectations. If you are unclear as to what job expectations are, that’s another article.

Questions you can ask:

For a sales manager a question might be, “A 3-year veteran salesperson has gone 7 days without a sale, what do you do?” How does the response show competence in the role of a manager?

Another question – “A customer, who purchased a used vehicle from you 40 days ago, has just had the vehicle in the service department and they are standing in the showroom complaining about the bill.” What do you do? Does the candidate have a sound process from beginning to end, or do they skip straight to “I’d make the customer happy.”?

For the F&I Manager it might be, “F&I profits are currently $300 under goals, what will you do to improve them?” Is there depth to the answer that shows competence?

You can ask about accomplishments, you ask about work they are proud of, do they highlight anything that you would consider showcasing their competence?

What changes did you make in your last position that resulted in positive improvements and how did you measure it?

Finding questions based on skills and competency are easy to find if you ask more than superficial questions. You need to spend considerable time making sure you feel confident this individual has the competence level for the position. Make sure a good portion of your questions tie directly to duties as well as the job expectations. And make sure you are evaluating their level of competence and confidence, and in that order!

If you can’t find a candidate to clear this first hurdle, don’t settle! Remember this is the foundation you build upon. Next week I’ll discuss the Mission Motivator and why dealers need them. If you missed last week’s post on the Most Common Poor Recruiting, Screening, Hiring, and Onboarding Practices, click here to catch up!