Patrick McGillycuddy, Škoda head of fleet looks at hiring and retaining the right people to stay ahead in the fleet sector.
Having the right team is critical to success and even more so in the fleet sector. These individuals are the most important communication channel for promoting a brand’s competitive proposition and product benefits to prospective fleet operators.
In order to build the very best fleet department in the industry, we look beyond a candidate’s past experience and skills because hiring for character and attitude is key. Our rigorous recruitment process tests the core skills of a potential applicant, but at the same time, it has been carefully designed to understand whether the individual has the right approach and personality to fit our company’s ethos and methodology. We also work closely with our retail partners so that they use the same approach when recruiting for ŠKODA’s Business Centres. This is to ensure that local business development managers have the skills and personality attributes that allow them to serve the specific needs of their customers effectively.
Having attractive incentives in place to keep the right people is another key consideration when looking to maintain a competitive edge. This is especially relevant when the economy is more buoyant, because retaining high quality staff becomes an even greater challenge. Aside from motivational initiatives, colleagues will also be driven to succeed when given a very clear direction with well-defined targets, whether this is monthly volumes, market share, or model mix. Actively empowering the team to make decisions for their area of the business, with the freedom to challenge the status quo and to bring innovative ideas to the table, not only gives a business an edge in the marketplace, but also allows colleagues to feel more engaged.
The continued professional development of staff is just as vital as it promotes loyalty and longer service. At ŠKODA, we challenge each member of the team to look at how they can develop themselves to be more effective now and in the future, whether through training courses or by becoming a mentor.
With all factors being taken into consideration, the calibre and attitude of people will always remain an influential factor in winning and retaining customers, which in turn, ultimately determines volume of sales and profitability - this is achieved through a well-honed approach to recruitment and retention. As Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple once said: “The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world."