You’ve just hired a new employee. You have no formal training program in place in the dealership for this position, just the basic new hire meeting. The new hire will begin work on Monday and a training class, specific to the job you are asking them to perform, is being offered next week, but not again for another 3 months. Do you send them for training now or do you wait for the next class?

I’ve heard these words from dealers over the years:

  • “I want to see what the new hire knows first.”
  • “I want to make sure it’s going to work.”
  • “I don’t want to waste my money if it doesn’t work out.”

Instead of sending them to training, these dealers will allow an employee to work for three months before they determine if they want to train the employee. These folks are all afraid of wasting money on a new hire.

I feel like a message should be coming over the public broadcast system about now. “We interrupt your regular programming for an important announcement” …

The waste of money isn’t on training the new hire; the waste of money is the lack of performance because you didn’t train them properly.

It is in the turnover you bring on yourself because either you or the new hire get frustrated that the job is not being done to your satisfaction.

Waiting allows bad habit to form

Why not send them to the appropriate training as soon as possible to improve their odds of success in your store? Waiting an extended period of time into their new position before providing training allows a lot of bad habits to form and often costs you money in the long run.

Think about it, if I hire an F&I manager, I have no assurance that they know the level of compliance I want in my store. Or what products are most important to me and why I want them sold. If I don’t train them, or provide training, I will get only what they have done in the past … and that might not be good enough. They might believe $400 PVR is a great number, while I believe anything less than $800 is unacceptable. How do you expect them to get to $800 without training?

What about your desk manager? Can he quickly select the right inventory and finance company for a subprime customer and desk the deal for maximum gross profit? Or is he just getting a deal done at subpar level profits? Knowing how to properly structure a subprime deal will significantly impact profits.

Every new hire needs training

No matter how inexperienced or experienced your new hire is, they need onboard training covering basic human resource (HR) policies and operational training as it relates to your dealership, which you have to provide. Then they need training for their specific position. Do you have that in place and is it being executed consistently with every new hire? Many stores struggle with the specific position aspect because it’s difficult to have a trainer on staff who can teach every position in the dealership. Instead, they must rely on a third party to teach the operational portion, but they often delay that.

If you provide position-specific training early on (in-house or provided by a third party in the industry), you are providing your new hires with the best chance for success. More importantly, since they won’t be learning through trial and error, which is the slowest method of education, you will see a larger and much faster return on your investment of the new hire.

What are you waiting for?

So why are you waiting? Either provide the training needed immediately upon hire in your store, or get the new hire set up to get the necessary training from a third party as soon as it’s available. Otherwise, you are just wasting money on a new hire.