The challenge we faced:
Our client is a global Tier One manufacturer within the automotive industry, turnover in excess of $25 billion annually and they design, manufacture and test a diverse range of automotive systems, assemblies and components for the OEM market and have over 250 sites manufacturing globally as well as many R&D and development sites.
One of the groups UK site had been loss making for a number of years and had picked up a bad reputation within the automotive sector as being a “revolving door,” with new employees coming in and leaving quite swiftly. This didn’t reflect the ethos of the company, or other sites. A change of management and site culture was needed.
Senior directors from the company came over to the UK to look at the site and to consider all options for its future. They quickly realised the potential the site had and truly believed they could turn it around to become profitable. They noticed that some processes and behaviors within the site needed to be changed and a new senior management team was required to make this happen. The most important things needed for the new team were structure, process, and a background within the automotive industry; individuals that had turned non profitable sites into profit making sites and sustaining that change. A belief in the culture and ethos of the group was essential. They consider themselves to have a very dynamic and employee led culture.
The difficult thing the client acknowledged was going to be the issue of trying to sell opportunities to potential individuals in the sector as they would probably be aware of the problems at the site, and would likely be stable within their current positions. The obvious concern was that candidates could view moving to a company that had a bad reputation and perceived job insecurity, and the potential that the site might not being there in the next 12-18 months very negatively. This would need to be carefully addressed and the genuine future plans, resources and commitment of the client effectively communicated at the very earliest stages of the search.
After a further meeting with the senior directors, we set up a plan of action and prioritised the positions they were looking to recruit, with the General Manager being paramount. We took details briefs from the directors to understand each of the roles in more depth, as well as the company culture. We then went to the market to find relevant individuals for them. We used the Antal four way methodology to full affect, as we knew we would have to approach the passive market to find the right people. Once we had identified a long list of potential candidates through our research team, our consultants then contacted them confidentially and headhunted the relevant individuals, qualifying them against the roles in great detail. Within a couple of weeks a short list of thoroughly vetted candidates was presented to the client; after a round of interviews the General Manager was hired, with other key individuals added to the team over the next couple of months.
As part of our engagement we also helped the company draw up organisation charts, establish future vacancy requirements and to implement a structured recruitment process. For a short spell one of our consultants spent a day each week with the company to help embed these processes and concepts.
The client was exceptionally happy with the quality of the candidates we provided, and the manner in which we worked. They particularly commented on the professionalism and the discreet way we handled the process, separating the ‘wheat from the chaff’ and the way in which we positioned the client’s plans and objectives. With the new senior management team in place, the site quickly moved to profitability, the first time in twelve years, and staff attrition rates dropped dramatically. We are very proud of our involvement with the site and were very excited to learn that the GM we placed had been promoted to a wider more responsible role with the company and we wish him very well for the future.
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