Empowering Branch Managers with ATS Technology and Strengthening the Euro Car Parts Employer Brand

By Sophie Bond, Head of HR Business Partnering, Euro Car Parts Ltd

Sophie Bond, Head of HR Business Partnering, Euro Car Parts Ltd

In recent years, myself and the wider People function have seen Euro Car Parts become the largest automotive aftermarket specialist in the UK. With more than 12,000 employees and 350 branches nationwide, we are one of the UK’s biggest entrepreneurial success stories of recent times. This has obviously raised our profile as the employer of choice in the automotive aftermarket.

Due to the growth and success of our business, the cultural shift our management population has experienced has been fast-paced and challenging at times. As an HR team, we have had to constantly adapt to these changes and support our people to do the same.

Historically our People function was split across a team of ER specialists and a field-based team of Recruitment and Talent Specialists which had evolved to meet the needs of a national organisation that was once privately owned.

At the end of 2019, we re-organised the two separate parts of the People Function to create a generalist HRBP function. This function would support the Branch Network, Central Support and our Logistics teams across the full range of people processes, ER disciplines and employee development opportunities. This meant that our traditional network-wide internal recruitment support would eventually be phased out of the network’s support functions.

As a team, we had to react, and we needed a plan. Branch Managers across the network had relied so heavily on internal recruitment support in the past, and we couldn’t just immediately take the support away. We had to come up with a solution that not only trained and informed them of the company best practice around attraction and employer brand standards, recruitment and onboarding but also enforced GDPR and HMRC compliance.

To do this we needed to increase the functionality of our ATS system, so we utilised our provider to come up with a solution that worked for the entire network of 350 branches, to support them with local recruitment across all roles in each location. This also timed well with the launch of Euro Car Parts’ new corporate website that needed to be built to house the ATS and the increased capability regarding local branch-based recruitment.

The development period incorporated the build of the corporate site and the careers page, the ATS provider and our own corporate comms team’s input, plus support from our IT design and functionality specialists. Eventually, we had a solution for all managers to gain controlled portal access locally at a branch level. As part of their new recruitment responsibilities, they will now be able to post roles and manage the entire process prior to the offer stage within their own remit. The HRBPs would still control budgeted FTE approval and the final offer process.

The People function have supported this transition further by rolling out a bespoke and standardised recruitment guide and detailed training around SOPs for recruitment, onboarding and subsequent succession planning.

The success of this project will not only empower our managers and strengthen our employer brand but will also enable my team of HRBPs to execute their new role in its entirety as we continue with our business partnering strategy this year.

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