Fire Them Before You Hire Them

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by George Dans - Also by this author

Have you ever hired a manager and wished you hadn’t? What did that cost you in lost time and lost income? Too costly to even think about, isn’t it? Have you reviewed your hiring practices lately? If you are having problems finding good managers, then it might be time to rethink your hiring practices. Did you go to school to learn how to hire people? Where did you learn how to hire people? I hope it wasn’t that old experience method. Was it like this: So, where have you worked before? How long did you work there? Why did you leave there? What are your expectations here? Good, you’re hired. Too bad, and then you find out 60 days later they won’t be able to fit in your culture. The results are terrible, aren’t they? Bad attitudes, lost income, loss of energy, loss of synergy and loss of teamwork.

When hiring any new department manager, there are rules and guidelines that need to be adhered to. It’s not all about running an ad, collecting resumes or job posting on the Internet and then making a choice. Your objective as a dealer or manager is to find the BEST candidate for the job. It’s not settling on someone who might work out. Fire them before you hire them if you have that attitude. When hiring a new manager, make sure you check with your local laws of what questions can be asked. We live in a litigation society and saying or writing down the wrong notes on even a resume can be very costly (always check local laws). Let’s look at the qualities that you would like to have in a manager.

  • Positive mental attitude – at all times
  • Enthusiasm – that can be transferred to the team
  • Successful track record – they say your past predicts your future
  • Courage – to make decisions
  • Optimism – even when you’re losing
  • Drive – to be number one
  • Determination – to succeed
  • PHD – Poor, Hungry Driven
  • Vision – to reach your goals
  • Goal Oriented – high achiever; not under achiever
  • Detail Oriented – to finish what they start; quit these stop and start programs
  • Finisher

Now, look at your current staff, do they possess these qualities? If they don’t have them, then how can you expect them to lead your staff? Can’t give what you don’t have. It might be time to retrain some of those people who once had it and have lost it or never even had it. Don’t be blinded by those old dumb car guys who give you the line, “Experience is the way to learn around here, boy.” Yeah right…

Now, let’s find out how to find the best candidate for the job. There is a saying at the Harvard School Of Business: “First-class managers hire first-class managers, second-class managers hire fifth-class managers.” Slow down your hiring practices; here are some guidelines:

Create your manager position profile on personality and objectives, not subjective reasoning.

Do at least three to four interviews with each candidate, and have at least two to three people in for the interview

All the people in the meeting must unanimously agree in their decision to hire.

Figure out what you don’t like about them, and see if you can live with that.

Check all business and personal references before you decide.

Check your employment laws to see if the candidate can bring in a current W–2. If you don’t have the time to train a plow horse to win the Kentucky Derby, give up now please

Negotiate the final compensation for the position.

Do a post hiring follow-up interview with the new manager within 30 days to ensure success.

As I close this article, please be careful about hiring your top salesperson as the new manager. Have you ever thought how much it will cost you to do this? Just because they sell 20 or more a month, doesn’t mean they will be a good manager. Look at pro sports; some of the best players couldn’t coach a kindergarten team. There is a different skill set when it comes to managing people. It is hard to enough to manage one’s own attitude and activities, and now we expect them to manage a team of people’s attitudes and activities. What a recipe for disaster this is going to be. Won’t they need new skills to do this? The basics of management are as follows:


The ability to implement and enforce standard operating procedures.

Prospect for new people, so you can build your team

Train them to sell - track them to improve them, set goals for them and help them achieve them.

Motivate your team through effective one-on-one coaching.

Develop a team atmosphere.Reach your dealership goals.

Look around at your coaches; do they have the resources to win? Did you train them to be able to be a great coach? Is it time to send or resend some of your managers to one of our leading How to be a Great Manager Today classes? Will the people you currently have bring you to your dealership goals? Do some of those people need to go away – Oops, how did that make this in this article?

Before you blow out anyone, please make sure you have given him or her the best chance to win. Until then, see you next time.

Vol 2, Issue 1

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