Automotive HR and Health & Safety-company DealerPILOT has substantially expanded its mobile app as a strategy to increase employee engagement and to reduce the amount of time management spends on non-essential tasks.
The move, explained regional manager Michael Stassen, sought to increase transparency and empowerment for basic HR functions – viewing time sheets and shift scheduling, vacation day monitoring, attendance, etc. – in the hands of employees.
Making the job for management even easier, he stressed, is the addition of an outbound alert system that will employees and/or management with issues it has flagged as problematic.
“One of the downsides of a dashboard is that you actually have to login and look at it,” Stassen said.
“DealerPILOT does all the worrying and the system can automatically reach out to users through an alert, email or Outlook calendar invite when there are problems that require attention. That way, users don’t need to stare at a dashboard to watch a problem unfold as the system will start alerting them before the problem gets serious.”
And imagine making an amendment to a company policy, he said. Instead of printing off hundreds of pages and lining up staff to acknowledge and sign-off on the change, the system can simply send that notification to the employees’ smartphones and thewhole store can be compliant in a matter of hours, not days or weeks.
DealerPILOTs full web based solution hit the market back in 2014. Specializing in “people management” solutions for automotive dealerships, the company has found success offering human resources, health and safety and legislative compliance for dealerships and dealership groups across Canada.
Though it has had an app version for over a year in addition to its core desktop web solution, the expanded app hit the market this spring and is already running in approximately 30 dealerships.
He said its success rests with the fact employees want a solution that manages how they engage with their employer in an easy, mobile-first format.
The initial stores using the app have already seen traditional computer use go down in favour of the tablet/smartphone option due to the convenience and availability of these devices.
Stassen said business has been strong despite the growing consolidation in ownership and the emergence of larger dealership groups.
Even though some of these 20-store groups might do well at selling cars and building their brands, he confirmed more than a few are running shoestring HR departments.
“One group we know of has over 1,000 employees and one fulltime HR person,” he explained. “Think of the basic HR functions that are being missed. This makes tasks such as talent acquisition, coaching and engagement very difficult with so few HR resources available. Since this industry is so competitive it is very focused on the next sale and at times that means that they haven’t focused on the people side, even though, ironically, it’s the very people that have kept them afloat.”
He noted that with the automotive sector’s national turnover rate as high as 25 per cent, organized HR functions are key to embedding proper culture and creating an organization for which someone wants to work.
“We believe our app will engage the labour force, increase communication and allow the organization to manage that talent through the entire employment life cycle much easier,” he said.
Costs are dependent on the size of the operation and the number of active users. For more information, email Michael at