September '14

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48 • RV PRO • SEPTEMBER 2014 rv-pro.com excellent customer service. Chick-fil-A, Nordstrom's and Southwest Airlines are a few. If you walk in their places of busi- ness, the employees are happy and truly are doing the right things to provide excellent customer service. ey didn't get to this position by being lucky. Steps to Hiring Better Employees Here are the first three steps that they take, (and sadly, that most RV dealerships are not taking): Recruiting Program: ese companies recruit their employees. ey don't leave it up to want ads or Craigslist to attract their employees. One of the most common complaints that I hear is that there aren't any good people in their area. is is simply not true. Most – if not all – of the best candidates already have jobs. ese people don't read want ads or Craigslist. Want ads attract the weakest candidates. One of my favorite lines from "Up Your Business" by Dave Anderson is: "Wants ads bring in a combination of the frustrated, the curious and the confused and mystified; people barely doing enough somewhere else not to get fired and they want to test their options at your place." Entire books have been written on recruiting. e best one that I have read for recruiting salesmen is by Steve Suggs, "Can they Sell – Learn to Recruit the Best Salesmen". e purpose of this article is not to teach you how to recruit, but to stress that recruiting is absolutely vital if you want to improve the quality of your team. Screening: is means weed out the unsuitable candidates before you hire them. ere are three types of screening that I suggest using: a) Intelligence: One of the worst hires is someone who looks good, wants to do well, tries hard, but lacks the intelligence to get the job done. To prevent this, you need to screen candidates with an intelligence test. e Wonderlic Test is a 50-question test that is to be completed in a specific period of time. It takes some interpreta- tion, but if used properly, it will prevent a lot of mistakes. b) Personality: Another bad hire is someone who has personality traits that don't fit the job. To prevent this, you need to give candidates a personality test. ere are several companies that perform this service (Omnia works with many auto- mobile dealerships). I have had clients tell me that it is too expensive ($150 to $200 per test). My response is: It is too expensive not to do it. At a cost of $536,000 for a bad sales hire, you can buy around 3,000 person- ality tests. c) Drugs: Many employers prevent problem hires by screening for drugs. ere also is a fee involved, but many candidates will not show up if they are going to test positive. Personality screening does not guarantee that you will hire a successful employee. However, when the screening indicates that a candidate will be a failure in a position, it is almost never wrong. Interview Process: Develop a profes- sional interviewing process. Many man- agers have never been trained on how to interview. So they end up doing most of the talking and they find out very little about the candidate. The aforementioned book by Steve Suggs has an excellent section on how to interview. I picked up many ideas in his book, but here was one of my favorites: Instead of asking a candidate: "Tell me your strengths and weaknesses", instead try: "What would your last manager tell me are your strengths and weaknesses?" Many times prior employers are unwilling to discuss prior employees. However, by asking this type of question, the candidate will perceive that you will be calling or have already called. In conclusion, the single most impor- tant job for a dealer or manager is to choose who is "on" and who is "off" his team. My advice is that you need to improve your selection process. Here is my final quote from Dave Anderson: "e best use of a leader's time is invested in finding great people for the team. You have a choice of investing time in this or in spending pushing the wrong people to do the right thing."

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