We are only as strong as our weakest link. With that said, the 2018 NADA Dealership Workforce Study is now open for enrollment and I encourage all dealers to participate and use this tool to your advantage. The nation's franchised auto dealers have been going strong for a century. But to meet the demands of the future, we must take a hard look at our most valuable resource: our employees.
I'm happy to report that dealer participation was incredible last year. The 2017 workforce study analyzed more than 451,000 payroll records from 2,350 new-car and -truck dealerships that participated. Let's triple our participation this year.
NADA's workforce study objectively measures the strengths of our businesses and helps us better compete in today's market. The study results will help you make informed decisions on pay plans, benefits and work schedules; take steps to reduce turnover and retain the best employees; and pinpoint demographic issues that your dealership may face.
Last year we identified important hallmarks of today's modern dealership. On average, dealership employees across the nation are earning nearly 24 percent more than the median weekly earnings of $832 for the U.S. private-sector workforce. We also found an interesting trend in new hires: Millennials made up 61 percent of all new dealership hires, and the rate is increasing. These are undoubtedly successful markers that we can all be proud of. However, we can also target areas of improvement such as employee turnover and inclusiveness in our individual operations.
The best part of the Workforce Study is that participation for new-car and -truck dealers is free. Enroll today; the study closes on April 30, 2018. NADA will provide you a complimentary custom report that compares your dealership to aggregated data from your peers across the nation and region—even down to dealerships selling your brand in your state or region.
Dealers today are facing myriad new issues including cybersecurity threats, increasingly complex vehicles and evolving customer expectations. The strength and competitiveness of every dealer rests in the quality of their team. Let's make sure that our links are stronger than ever.
Mark Scarpelli is 2017 NADA chairman and a multifranchise dealer near Chicago.