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“Our reputation has to be earned every day”

“In a business-to-business world like ours, where we are dealing with blue-chip clients, our reputation has to be earned every day through the actions and commitment of our people,” explains John Greatrex, Group HR Director of Unipart Group.

John GreatrexThe manufacturing, logistics and consulting group, which was once part of state-owned conglomerate British Leyland, recognises that the nature of its services mean that its people are the most powerful ambassadors of its brand.

“We have spent nearly 30 years developing innovative ways to unlock the talents of our people and to motivate them to go the extra mile for our clients. We call it The Unipart Way,” Greatrex explains. “Our point of differentiation in the market is that we transfer that way of working – and its benefits -- to clients. It’s not just something we know the theory about, it’s something that we actually do ourselves.”

Since the group’s brand is based on being authentic – it does what it advises its clients to do – Unipart seeks to recruit people who want to adopt its preferred way of working, which includes devolving accountability to the lowest level possible. “We provide opportunities for everybody in the organisation to take ownership of his or her own work,” says Greatrex. “Everybody in the organisation has a development plan and our people are trained in the tools and techniques that allow them to take control over their own work.”

Each year, the practices and standards that Unipart Group follows with regard to its stakeholders are independently assessed by Business in the Community, a business-led charity that supports corporate social responsibility (CSR). Greatrex describes this process as “a very comprehensive and exacting way of ensuring that we’re continuously improving”.

The importance of market reputation cannot be underestimated, Greatrex concludes. “While having a good reputation and a very effective CSR agenda aren’t going to close a deal, they are prerequisites that many clients will want to see in place before they even begin commercial discussions.” 

Jon Mannall

Jon Mannall
Global Head of Sales, Solutions and Innovation, Hays Talent Solutions
Jonathan is the Global Head of Sales, Solution and Innovation for Hays Talent Solutions, having joined Hays in 2011. Previous roles held at Hays included Client Director, Service Delivery Director and Head of Sales for the UK. He is now responsible for leading the approach to engaging and securing new clients and to ensuring that the products and services offered by Hays Talent Solutions continue to meet the changing needs of our global, regional and local customers. For more information about Hays Talent Solutions, visit our website

Prior to joining Hays, and after completing his Masters in Philosophy and Management, Jon worked in the RPO and MSP sector for 10 years with a range of Financial Services, Public Sector, IT & Telecommunications, and Insurance clients in Sales and Operations Director roles.

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