O’Regan’s Kia Halifax
Halifax , NS
Location: Halifax, N.S.
Dealer principal: Patrick O’Regan
Dealership group: O’Regan’s Automotive Group
Number of employees: 27
2018 new-vehicle sales: 466, up 1%
2018 used-vehicle sales: 288, up 22%
General Sales Manager Kim Coneita on steps taken to address the shortage of skilled workers: We recognized several years ago the shortage of skilled workers was becoming an increasing challenge for our growing business. As a result, we created O’Regan’s Apprenticeship Academy. It is a 12-week, earn-whileyou-learn program with $3,000 worth of tools. Our program was approved and recognized in 2016 by the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency and our graduating students can challenge their Level 1 Exam for Red Seal certification. Because we are selecting top-quality candidates, and because we combine classroom and practical experience under the supervision of a licenced technician at our dealerships, students can complete our program in 12 weeks versus 10 months at the community college.
Coneita on how staff requirements have changed: The technical skills required for sales and service continue to increase. For example, on the sales side the ability to communicate with clients in their preferred method of communication [social media, chat, text, email, phone or mail] is important. Also, the number of communication tools and portals required for the sales and service positions continue to increase. Centralized departments are more common, particularly since our dealership is part of a dealer group. We are able to take advantage of economies of scale in our centralized business development centre, marketing department, reconditioning centre, human resources and training.
Coneita on steps taken to ensure the dealership reflects the community’s demographics and cultural diversity: We are constantly looking to attract top talent and believe in the power of diversity. We have several women on the team including our general sales manager, sales manager, two financial services managers, a service adviser and our administrative assistant.