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Plans to create jobs indicate franchised dealers' optimism

NFDA 30/11/2020

  • New NFDA HR Survey reveals insights from dealer groups employing over 50,000 people in total
  • Dealers plan to recruit in next three months, NFDA survey reveals
  • Technicians, sales executives and service advisors in highest demand

The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has launched a new ‘HR Survey’ to explore franchised dealers’ plans and views on a range of employment issues in the automotive retail sector including recruitment, employee engagement and the apprenticeship levy. The first edition of the NFDA survey was conducted in October and the results, published today (Monday 30 November), cover 919 franchised dealer sites and a total of 52,222 employees.


  • Recruitment: answering the question ‘do you plan to recruit in the next three months’ 63% said they are planning to recruit technicians, 53.8% of respondents said they are looking to recruit sales executives, 46.1% service advisors, 36.9% apprentice technicians and 26.1% call centre staff.
  • Employee engagement: more than 75% of dealers undertake employee engagement activities annually or more often
  • Appraisals and performance reviews: the majority of dealers (71.8%) undertake formal appraisals or performance development reviews at least once a year or more frequently
  • Apprenticeship levy: over 80% of dealers who responded to the survey plan to use the funds from the apprenticeship levy in the next 12 months with more than 50% planning on recruiting apprentice-based roles in the next three months. NFDA’s Drive My Career continues to support members by making young people aware of the career routes in the industry and driving them to dealers’ career pages with open vacancies*.

NFDA has lobbied the Government throughout the year to extend the time period in which our industry is able to use their year’s accrual of the levy but it positive to see that the majority of dealers intend to use the funds from the levy over the next twelve months.

The findings of the survey will allow NFDA to continue to provide the wider membership with advice, guidance and best practice.

In addition to the legal employment guidance available to members, NFDA has launched a new ‘HR Toolkit’ which will be updated regularly. Initially, it includes job descriptions and templates members can use when they recruit.

Sue Robinson, NFDA Chief Executive, commented: “It is extremely encouraging that the majority of franchised dealers are putting people at the core of recovery and growth and planning to create jobs and recruit new workforce in the next three months. NFDA continues to support members through the entire recruitment process thanks to Drive My Career as well as relevant documents and templates.

“Dealers’ recruitment plans indicate a degree of optimism and it is positive to see they are giving significant importance to regular performance reviews and employee engagement activities with their current staff. Businesses need to ensure that employees not only feel supported and engaged but are also developed and guided through their careers. Engagement is intrinsically linked to performance and it is important that employees’ voices are being heard and that management is listening and adapting to their needs.

“Focussing on bringing new talent into the industry has never been more important for the health of businesses and the whole economy”.

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About the RMI

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.