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“Our competitive advantage is the quality of our people”

Manufacturing, logistics and consulting company Unipart Group knows that its people make the difference in its businesses. “Our competitive advantage is the quality of our people and how they work with and deliver results to clients,” explains John Greatrex, Unipart’s Group HR director.

John Greatrex

As a result, the group has thorough assessment processes to ensure that it is bringing the right people into the organisation. Some people originally joined as agency workers, becoming permanent employees once they had proved that they were the right fit with the company. “We spend a lot of time and effort on our How agency staff,” Greatrex explains. “They’re not treated as commodities.”

The graduate recruitment process involves prospective employees being given tools and techniques for business improvement and then being asked to use them in real-life scenarios. For example, they may be invited to find ways to improve Unipart’s restaurant by managing the queues, speeding up cash collection or changing the seating. “It’s a good way of seeing if they can take a tool or technique and apply it to improve something and if they can relate to other people.”

For new recruits to other levels of the organisation, Unipart Group uses a range of assessment methodologies including interviews, ability tests and psychometric tests. The group isn’t looking for individuals who fit a specific profile, Greatrex explains. “The question is: Are they people who want to work with us, want to do a good job in the long run, are customer-centric and are committed to improving and developing themselves?”

Naturally, Unipart Group appreciates that assessment is a two-way process. “The single most important piece of the assessment methodology is to show people how we work and to give them the opportunity to talk to our employees who are already doing that job,” Greatrex explains. “Showing that to people allows them to decide whether that’s the sort of environment they’re going to want to work in or not.” 

Jon Mannall Head of Sales

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.

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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