February 2, 2022

Mark Rader

How Wonderlic Helps Auto Dealers Hire and Reduce Turnover

How Wonderlic Helps Auto Dealers Hire and Reduce Turnover
Mark Rader

Recently we took some time to sit down with Wonderlic customer Chip Elliot, the Training, Recruiting, Process Development, and BDC Director for Champion Automotive Group in southeastern Michigan.  

Topics covered include the role that Wonderlic plays in helping Chip’s team hire the best people, regardless of their resume; keep their turnover rate at half the national average; and train new hires more efficiently. Check out some of the highlights below.

When has Wonderlic helped you make a smarter (and fairer) hiring decision?


So, kind of a cool story is that I had a woman apply for a Business Development Center position. She came in and I had her take the [WonScore] test. She killed it: I mean, cognitive ability was really high, personality, motivation was all high.

I did an interview with her, and she didn’t fit our initial mold.

Typically, when we’re looking for finance managers, we like to recruit right out of college or soon past college with like a finance degree and things like that.  

She happened to be an older woman that had some experience in the banking world as a teller. After I did the interview and the test and everything, I ended up hiring her as a finance manager. 

A lot of that had to do with the test that she took. And it worked out! She’s been with us for two plus years now and is one of our best finance managers, probably top 20% in the group.  

How does Wonderlic help you build better teams and dramatically reduce turnover?


The national average of turnover in automotive sales is right around 50-60% or higher across the country. Our numbers are below 30%.  

We think a lot of that just has to do with the culture, how we hire, who we hire. In this business, we always talk about “man, they interviewed well,” right? And here they are three weeks later, and I want to fire them because they weren’t the right fit.

So, we take that Wonderlic side of things, and not only to determine, do they have the ability, cognitive-wise, to perform? But what’s their personality like? What’s their motivating factors? Do they work well with others? And are they going to be that round peg for that round hole at that store? 

I’ve changed positions for people plenty of times. Like, they come in for one and I’ll move them to a different position because their assessment tells me that they’re not going to be satisfied in that job, they’re going to be satisfied in a different job. 

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During this labor shortage, have you ever considered skipping the Wonderlic assessment step?   


It’s not a good business plan for long-term. Short-term, [skipping an assessment step] might be a quick Band-Aid, fill the hole.  

But then you start getting back into that cycle of people leaving and you’re trying to find people and you never get that traction. So our deal is that you work a little bit smarter instead of harder kind of thing.  

I know there’s a desperation mode — a “we’ll take anybody” kind of thing. We won’t, we’re still selective in our business. 

How does Wonderlic help you train new hires better?

We had hired somebody, and that person was struggling in their in their training. It was a group environment training, so he was in there with you know, three, four, or five other new employees and he was really struggling with concentration and participation.  

Well, I went back and pulled up his profile and printed off how to manage this person—how to teach, coach, and train. And one of the things was that he doesn’t like to be trained in a group environment.  

So, we actually changed, and we trained that person as an individual, as opposed to with the four or five other people. He’s now having some success. He’s still with us, you know, six months later, and succeeding in the sales aspect of it.  

In most cases, we may not have known that or looked at that and just kept on trying to train him in that environment, and the next thing you know, he would have been gone. 

Trying to identify and hire top talent? Discover how Wonderlic’s WonScore assessment can help you hire with confidence based on objective data that reveals every candidate’s potential to succeed, regardless of their work history.

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