Is Your Technology Attracting the Wrong Talent?

DMS expert asks the tough questions that could help determine whether you are basing your hiring and retention decisions on the wrong factors.

August 2017, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Sharon Kitzman

In my conversations with dealers, I like to point out that every employee has the opportunity to boost their company’s performance — some by staying and some by leaving. We’ve all experienced the renewed energy that comes with a new hire. The right employee acquisition can bring a fresh perspective and a new set of skills that provide lift to an entire team. Though it may sound harsh to say, a team can sometimes get a similar boost when the right employee leaves. That’s because many dealerships are making human resource decisions based on technology needs, causing them to attract and retain the wrong talent.

Dealers frequently make hiring and retention decisions based on how well candidates know and understand their legacy systems. The reverse is also true — many dealerships avoid upgrading technology because their employees are comfortable with current systems.

It’s not hard to see how this line of thinking can negatively impact a dealership’s performance. When legacy systems begin to dictate human resource decisions, you are no longer running your business — your technology is running it for you. To break the cycle and to find out if it’s time for a technology change, ask yourself the following three questions:

1. Is Your Technology Easy to Learn?

If your systems are difficult to learn, you are more likely to make hiring and retention decisions based on familiarity with those systems. In doing so, you may be missing out on entire groups of qualified prospective employees.

Dealers should carefully evaluate whether their systems include user-friendly interfaces that make it easy for new users to get up to speed. They should also expect their technology partners to provide opportunities to learn their platforms. If your employees are spending time training each other on the use of technology, you may want to consider switching to a provider that offers more helpful training resources. Vendor-provided trainings generally save time and teach skills more effectively when compared to peer training sessions.

2. Is Your Technology Easy to Use?

Even as they force you to hire and retain the wrong employees, your outdated technologies are making it nearly impossible to attract and keep fresh, young talent. Many young industry professionals are evaluating potential employers based on their technology offerings and are less likely to accept employment offers from dealerships using older systems.

Even those that you succeed in attracting may not stay long if they feel they’re being held back by inefficient solutions. Because technologies impact employee satisfaction on a daily basis, they affect turnover rates in a significant way.

3. Does Your Technology Provide Efficient Workflows?

In addition to improving employee satisfaction, easy-to-use technologies enhance productivity and save money when it comes to IT management. According to one source, “U.S. companies are wasting $2 trillion using outdated technology that limits employee productivity.” With modern technologies, employees waste less time on manual processes and unnecessary workarounds and require fewer training and support resources.

If your dealership is like most, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about technology and about human resources. Chances are, however, you’re not spending enough time considering how these two important elements of your business interact. Outdated technologies often force dealerships to hire and hang onto the wrong employees for too long, while missing out on entire groups of qualified candidates.

Sharon Kitzman is the vice president and general manager at Dealertrack DMS. Email her at

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