How To Hire The Right F&I Manager For Your Car Dealership

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With the economy starting to pick up, car dealerships are busy as consumers take out car loans to buy new vehicles.

The dealership’s finance and insurance manager is at the core of these car selling operations. These professionals act as middle people, connecting financial institutions such as banks and auto insurance companies.

If you’re running or opening a car dealership, it’s crucial to hire the right people to grow your business, finance and insurance manager included. Here are some tips to spot a diamond in the rough.

1. Know The Career Path For F& I Manager

As a critical team member in a car dealership, the F&I manager checks and monitors car loan applications by reviewing a borrower’s qualifications, including credit scores. These professionals also work with lending institutions to accurately structure a client’s loan. Besides these, a finance and insurance manager assists the customers, and dealership sales staff find the best financing options for the former. With these primary responsibilities, the F&I manager has to know the statutes applicable to vehicle selling and the financing and leasing options offered by multiple companies on the market.

To hire the right candidate, it’s essential to understand what an F&I manager’s career path looks like. Considering the responsibilities an F&I manager has, it won’t be surprising for them to take on additional tasks and get promoted as the car dealership’s Sales Manager or General Manager.

That’s why it’s a good practice to inform existing employees of the opening, as familiarity with your business operations is an advantage when hiring. Finding an excellent internal candidate isn’t enough, though, so don’t hesitate to consider hiring more experienced and adequately trained external applicants.

2. Establish Must-Haves For A Candidate

Before posting your job announcement, car dealership executives must meet to discuss an ideal candidate’s must- and nice-to-have qualities. Will you be strictly requiring candidates to have an F&I certificate and experience? If yes, how long should the work history be? Would you accept candidates from another state? These questions and a few others will have to be settled before uploading the job vacancy post.

Below, you’ll find the most common traits a finance and insurance manager must have to help grow your car dealership.

  • Knowledge and experience: An F&I course certification gives a candidate an edge against other applicants. More so if the candidate has had experience working in a car dealership for a considerable amount of time. Being an auto finance manager means one has to be familiar with the car selling and buying processes, including how the financial institutions work and fundamental laws that apply in running a car dealership.
  • Leadership: In some dealerships, a finance and insurance manager also leads the sales team. And as with all companies, the sales department must be able to surpass targets at a given period. The F&I manager will perform well with good leadership skills, whether individually or as a team leader—looking for ways to improve constantly.
  • Integrity: A candidate needs to possess honesty and integrity to represent your dealership. A car purchase is a substantial investment, so your F&I manager should be the type of person whom your customers can trust. This professional is the go-to person for car financing, insurance, and warranty options in your company. Hence, a manager must communicate honestly with your prospects and existing customers.
  • Impeccable PR skills: Besides clear communication skills, an F&I candidate must also possess excellent public relations skills to liaise with customers, lending institutions, and insurance companies. Besides being customer-centric, they must establish good relations with third-party partners to maintain smooth operations and avoid miscommunication.

Besides these qualities, a good candidate must also be motivated and passionate to do the job well despite challenging conditions.

Male arm in suit offer insurance form clipped to pad

3. Establish A Good Hiring And Screening Process

Check that your job announcement is clear and concise to avoid applications from non-qualified candidates. By posting your job announcement online or through traditional means, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience. Once the application period closes, you can now check on the submissions.

Screen the most qualified candidates, and don’t forget to conduct background checks by calling references and validating job histories. This allows your car dealership to validate the information provided.

Final Thoughts

Hiring the best people for your business is necessary to achieve business growth. Your human resources remain an essential driver for expansion, besides having the right tools, processes, and pieces of equipment.

In hiring a finance and insurance manager, check the main qualities above to increase your chances of getting the ideal candidate. Once hired, your company should provide the proper orientation and onboarding process, including reviewing job responsibilities and expectations as an employee and employer. Last but not least, companies must provide new hires with the resources they need to be more effective at their jobs.

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