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How to Find and Retain Top Talent

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How to Find and Retain Top Talent

Warren Henry Auto Group, which includes 13 brands, is consistently ranked on lists of the top dealerships for which to work. It’s employees agree, as the group has a near perfect score on Glassdoor, a site where employees rank their workplaces, with 4.3 out of 5 stars.  In fact, one of the reviews calls it out as the “Best company to work for!” Other reviews call out the culture and the fact that it’s a company that cares.

Achieving notiariaty for being a top company to work for does not come by accident.

Warren Henry Auto Group achieves this by finding the best possible people to hire and, once it has them, works hard to provide a desirable culture in order to keep them there. The company prides itself on retaining employees for over a decade and watching them rise through the ranks throughout the years.

“It’s not just about hiring top talent; it’s about what we continue to do once they are here,” Barbara Exposito, human resources director for Warren Henry Auto Group, says.

Exposito specializes in enhancing corporate culture and improving engagement among employees. Exposito credits the dealership group’s continued success in hiring to its ability to maintain its family feel, despite its growth. Exposito shares keys to retaining top talent.


Keep employees happy.

Exposito says that Warren Henry Auto Group always looks for ways to give back to its employees, whether it’s through extra vacation, summer hours, allowing flexibility, or a number of other perks.

“We strive for our employees to take time off from work—enjoy time with their family and friends,” Exposito says.

One way Warren Henry does this is with “Summer Fridays,” where its employees get to leave at noon during the summer months one Friday per month.  

Allow upward mobility.

“As an organization, what we love the most is hiring really motivated people and watching them grow within the organization,” Exposito says.

The HR team works closely with managers and employees to get a pulse for opportunities company wide.

“Our HR team is a strategic business partner for our leadership and managers, ensuring that we are coaching and growing talent from within,” Exposito says. “There is a sea of opportunity internally and we are proud of our internal success stories.

Exposito says that the general sales manager at Warren Henry’s Infiniti store started as a vehicle detailer and now, thanks to expressing his interest in identifying opportunities for process improvement and developing his skills, quickly rose in the ranks.

 “We have always been proud of the internal mobility and growth our employees have access to within our organization,” Exposito says. “As they grow, we grow. It’s a win for us all.”


Create a career path.

A little drive goes a long way. Discover how Warren Henry can take you wherever you want to go.

This is how Warren Henry’s Career Track page online opens. The site outlines different positions and qualities that people need to have in order to master those positions. It then shows where you can take that career, from entry level to leadership level. At the bottom, there is a link to click on to search current employment opportunities.

“To us, each job is a role you play in the overall business, a role that evolves and grows right along with you,” Exposito says. “Each job is a journey and we want to help our employees go further than they ever imagined they could.”

Exposito says that Warren Henry always considers promotion from within when possible and that the leadership team coaches both employees and managers throughout their career journeys. The HR team communicates with employees about their career paths and also offers the opportunity to transfer to other locations and affiliates, if that’s the route they’d like to take.

“Warren Henry offers real opportunities for advancement, and we’re proud to have so many long term employees who have made their career with us,” Exposito says.


Provide feedback.

Coaching is a valuable resource, Exposito says.

“We’ve found that honesty is the best approach and feedback ensures that everyone knows where they are tracking against their performance and expectations,” Exposito says.

Warren Henry Auto Group emphasizes the importance of providing feedback and coaching its employees to success. Warren Henry encourages its managers to have those types of conversations with their employees so they can reach their career aspirations.

“This approach ensures that both the manager and employee are working toward the same goal,” Exposito says.

Managers at Warren Henry provide real time feedback and coaching to continue to grow its employees. During the feedback, both managers and employees are participants.

“This way managers have a holistic view on their employee and how they interact with other employees outside of their specific locations,” Exposito says. 


The Numbers 

High employee turnover plagues many car dealerships, yet NADA data shows that top performers had turnover rates that were 17 percentage points lower than those of dealers in the bottom quartile (54 percent versus 71 percent, respectively). The reasons? Top dealerships were more likely to indicate that they used formal, consistent talent management practices, such as structured recruiting processes with a number of interviews for each candidate. Likewise, top dealerships were more likely to provide formal training to their employees (57 percent versus 40 percent of the poor performers) and to use long-term incentives to retain top talent. By contrast, high-ranking managers at average- and poorly performing dealers focused less attention on recruitment and frequently weren't even directly involved in hiring decisions. 

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