Salford car leasing business Leasing Options has added 12 new employees to its workforce after taking part in a special workforce development programme run by Business Growth Hub.
The company, which is based in Worsley, was established in 1990 and proudly boasts a five-star Trust Pilot rating for its services which include personal, business and van leasing plans for over 9,000 vehicles from over 30 manufacturers.
In the last few years, the company has enjoyed the upward trend within the car leasing sector, and has even experienced a 15% higher growth than many competitors.
But, despite its success, in 2015, the company identified a need to overhaul its human resources and employee management strategy with a view to developing a more employee-focused culture. They also wanted to identify ways to potentially increase the number of employees, then at around 45, and develop more opportunities for young people from the local area.
Having previously worked with Business Growth Hub, part of the Manchester Growth Company, Leasing Options again turned to the Hub for advice on its employee development, recruitment and HR strategy.
As a result, they accessed support from the Hub’s Workforce Development team (WFD) and spent time with specialist Hub advisers to assess where improvements, efficiencies and more employee development policies could be introduced to help drive growth and more create jobs.
Following support from the WFD team, Leasing Options saw the potential to both improve the capacity of its existing workforce as well as expand it. Subsequently, they have recruited an additional 10 full-time employees and two new apprenticeships, with nearly all the new employees coming from either Worsley itself or from other parts of Salford.
One of the apprentices taken on last year, Conor Hill, has already secured a full-time role with the company as a finance administrator.
Connor, from Worsley, said: “I’ve always wanted a job involving cars and here I get to work with a fleet of thousands of top quality vehicles from the world’s best manufacturers. The job is also just a few minutes from where I was born and brought up, and the atmosphere throughout the company is friendly and positive.
“I’m really grateful to Leasing Options for giving me an opportunity to develop a career through the apprenticeship route, and I’ve had lots of support and encouragement along the way from everyone.”
Andy Houston, sales director at Leasing Options, said: “Business Growth Hub’s workforce development team left few stones unturned. We accessed a tailored package of support that has revolutionised the people management within our business and has helped us grow our workforce by over 20% in the last 12 months. We’ve also increased our employee retention levels and have experienced a boost in morale across our team.
“We’re looking to continue to develop and increase our market share, but our bigger goal is to become the employer of choice within the sector, and a business that offers a dynamic, supportive and people-centred place to work. Equipped with the tools and expertise gained via the Hub we are now very well placed to do this.”
Janine Richardson, workforce development advisor at the Business Growth Hub, said:
“Despite being a long established and highly successful business, Leasing Options had never had the opportunity to take a step back and look carefully at its employment structure, HR procedures and its employee development programme.
“By engaging with the Hub, we were able to help Andy and his team spot areas where they could become more employee-focused and where they might be able to create more jobs and apprenticeship opportunities. It’s fantastic that this process has led to them taking on 12 new employees, most of who are from Salford itself.”
Leasing Options, which recently became a major sponsor of Lancashire County Cricket Club, is now exploring working to recognised quality standards to drive further development and growth − and will continue to work with the Hub to help improve and expand its business going forward.
Businesses looking to access specialist support can visit www.businessgrowthhub.com for more information about our extensive range of services. This and other Business Growth Hub projects are part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the GM Business Growth Hub project designed to help ambitious SME businesses achieve growth and increase employment in Greater Manchester.