Answers to Your Most Common Hiring Questions

As you ramp up your hiring efforts to prepare for the 2022 boating season, here are tips and resources MRAA have developed to help you answer some of the common questions you ask us:

How many people do I need to hire and in which roles?
With the changes in consumer shopping behavior and expectations, the limited availability of new boat inventory, the potential for a surge in service business related to the boats you sold last year, the rise in gas prices and inflation, and the conflict in the Ukraine, you may be wondering what demands will be placed on your team in 2022 and how to staff accordingly.

While MRAA doesn’t have a crystal ball, we do recommend you review your dealership organizational chart, or if you don’t have one, develop it. To help, here is the MRAA Mini-Guide to the Org Chart. You might also want to watch (or rewatch) the MRAA e-learning course, Too Much ____ + Not Enough _____ = Service Stress to learn about hiring for the expeditor and coordinator roles as an alternative to trying to find skilled, experienced marine technicians to hire.

Do you have job descriptions for each of those roles?
If not, we have samples that can help. MRAA Members, check out the nearly 50 sample job descriptions in our database.

Do you have a compensation range in mind for each of those roles that is competitive in today’s market?
If you’re not sure, look at job ads for similar positions in your local area. You also can review the results of MRAA’s 2017 Compensation Study, available here. Stay tuned for the results of MRAA’s 2022 Compensation Study, to be released in May 2022.

Have the job descriptions been updated for changes in your dealership?
That might include changes in your organizational chart, changes in your processes or changes in the results you expect this person to deliver. Learn about including key result areas (KRAs) in your job descriptions and other ways to improve them in our free guide, Job Descriptions that Amp Up Productivity. Download it here.

Have you created an advertisement to promote the job opening?
Experts in recruitment often encourage companies to stay away from copying the job description and using it as their job advertisement. Rather, they recommend telling a story about the opportunity to work for your dealership. Pick up more job advertisement tips in this recent blog.

Is the ad written to appeal to the candidate you aim to hire?
When you advertise a job, you’re trying to sell your ideal candidate on coming to work for your dealership. Imagine who that candidate is and what they may be seeking. In your ad, be honest and sincere about the key benefits of the job and your culture — and about the qualities and experience you’re looking for in an employee.

Where do you plan to post the ad?
Be sure to share it internally and externally. Your employees will often know people with similar interests and values. In fact, some dealerships even encourage those referrals with a cash reward if they’re hired and stay for a certain amount of time.

What interview questions will you ask candidates?
At MRAA, we develop a hiring team for each position, each of whom uses a different group of questions during the interview process. Many of those questions were influenced by books like: “Topgrading,” “Up Your Business,” and “The Ideal Team Player” and then customized for the position.

How will you make a final decision about who to hire?
In the MRAA course, “Attract and Retain Techs” by Valerie Ziebron, she recommends you know the answers you want to hear from the interview questions you ask. That way, you’ll be more likely to make decisions based on the candidate’s fit with dealership goals and expectations for the position rather than the candidate’s interview skills. The best candidates aren’t always the best at being interviewed. MRAA Silver and Gold Members can access this course — part of the recently launched Training N Tactics (TNT) Series — and its resource-packed workbook for free when they log into MRAATraining.com.

What will you do if you don’t find a qualified candidate for the role?
One alternative to filling an open position through a traditional job posting is apprenticeship. It is a strategy with proven results for many dealers and their apprentices. To learn more about success with this strategy, check out our free Guide to Apprenticeship here.

In addition, you can learn about alternative strategies to Fill the Gaps in Your Dealership’s Workforce in this MRAATraining.com course from Gloria Sinclair Miller of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) or this course, Rethink How You Find Great Techs and Advisors, by Max Materne of Garage Composites.

If you do find a qualified candidate who accepts your offer, how will you prepare them for success?
Some dealerships have onboarding schedules that last several months, others only the first day or week. Regardless of where your business falls on that spectrum, a few fundamentals you may want to put into place include:

  • An Employee Handbook: If you don’t have one or want to improve yours, MRAA Members can check out our sample handbook for ideas, which includes more than 100 dealership policy templates. Learn more here.
  • An Onboarding Plan: During a Dealer Case Study at Dealer Week 2020, Alpin Haus shared several workforce best practices, including a handout with a Sample Boat Product Specialist Hiring Process, Training Process and Schedule. MRAA Silver and Gold Members can access the course by logging into MRAATraining.com.
  • A Training Plan and Template: For ideas on how to develop your team, including onboarding tips and a training template, download our free Guide to Dealership Improvement.