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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

Glen Callum Associates celebrates 25-year landmark, urging aftermarket to ‘embrace change’

Date: Thursday 19 October 2023

Glen Callum Associates (GCA) has marked its 25th anniversary serving the automotive aftermarket, with the team continuing on its mission to provide effective solutions to ever-changing recruitment challenges.

Founded in 1998, the aftermarket recruitment specialist has seen the industry evolve at rapid pace over the past two and a half decades and has continued to embrace the changes to ensure it can support businesses with their recruitment requirements.

The team regularly shares its honest assessment of the employment landscape and offers real-life solutions in what it terms, a ‘candidate-driven’ market.

With unemployment on the rise, GCA is advising that there has never been a better time to think ahead and adopt a creative recruitment strategy in order to attract top talent.

Kerrie Richards, GCA director, says:

“We’ve certainly seen a lot of change over the last quarter of a century in relation to market shifts, with new technologies bringing about an array of exciting opportunities, alongside key turning points affecting the industry such as Block Exemption Regulation, Brexit, and changes to MOT rules.
“However, during this time, we’ve also seen perceptions shift too. Candidates are currently in the driving seat and it’s therefore crucial that companies are open to change if they’re to appeal to potential talent. The strategies used to attract and engage candidates are ever-changing, so being flexible, and adopting the latest recruitment tools and know-how, are vital.”

Since its formation, the company has ridden the wave of change brought about by new technologies and industry advancements. In 2000, it launched its first website, moving away from traditional recruitment methods, and into the modern era, making it easier for candidates and hiring companies to search and advertise job roles.

Glen Shepherd, director, and who has headed up GCA since the very beginning, alongside Richards, also comments:

“25 years ago, recruitment in general, on initial glance, was all so very different. However, when you take a closer look, the process of introducing a career opportunity to a candidate remains the same, although we have some hi-tec tools to assist us these days that improve communication performance.
“Our organisation emerged just at the turning point and explosion of internet trading. So, in many ways we were lucky to embrace new technology as it evolved, integrating it into our recruitment process. Many things have changed, such as how most of the recruiter’s day revolved around telephone work – albeit it is still something that is an essential tool, the move from hardcopy adverts to utilising online marketing platforms, and the shift from ‘the little black-book solution’ to more digitalised databases to engage with candidates. However, it’s always important to remember, people still want to deal with people ultimately.”

The company’s reputation within the aftermarket has gone from strength to strength, from being the sole recruiter for the 1st Parts Programme from Vauxhall Trade Club in 2005, to offering a dedicated interview space for aftermarket clients at its Midlands premises at the Red House Glass Cone in 2011, and going one step further to make job hunting even easier by launching a dedicated automotive job app in 2013 and a simplified website registration for automotive job seekers in 2021.

And with the future looking bright for the sector with Industry 4.0 making its mark on manufacturing, autonomous vehicles on the horizon and artificial intelligence now very much a part of the present, GCA continues to offer regular recruitment advice, sharing key statistics and tips, while implementing new initiatives along the way.

Just last year, the company launched the ‘Aftermarket Talent Club’, designed to assist senior-level professionals uncover new and next-level career opportunities without compromise of identity.

GCA’s ‘Meet the Employer’ initiative has also been a huge success, offering the chance for employers and candidates to quickly connect in bite-sized, 15-minute interview sessions.

It is these initiatives that has gained GCA widespread praise throughout the aftermarket with Nick Aylward, country manager for Kent Europe commenting:

“Glen Callum Associates has assisted us in looking for raw talent to train and develop into Sales Demonstrator professionals. We have partnered with GCA for 20 years and the latest recruitment initiative that is working well is the ‘Meet the Employer video sessions’ allowing me to talk about the longer-term career prospects successful candidates can enjoy.”

Dale Terry, sales director at HGV Direct Ltd. adds:

“HGV Direct has been working with Kayleigh and the team at Glen Callum Associates since early 2023, and we have been particularly impressed with the consistent communication and high quality of candidates sent through. We hold weekly catch-up calls to review vacancies and progress on job roles and couldn’t ask for more from Kayleigh in this challenging candidate market. She has supported us in showcasing the strengths of our business, and the results speak for themselves.”

Kayleigh Bradley, senior recruitment consultant, concludes:

“We’re grateful that we’ve been able to work with many forward-thinking and prestigious companies on their long-term recruitment strategies over the past 25 years, as well as working closely with 1,000s of industry professionals to help place them in their desired roles.
“As we look ahead, we will continue to not only work alongside aftermarket businesses and people to support them with their recruitment needs, but we will also keep on sharing industry insights where possible such as ensuring their advertising is right from the get-go, the power of adopting an always-recruiting approach, the importance of embracing transferable skills and looking to allied sectors for talent, as well as the absolute necessity of constantly reviewing their offering to retain staff and attract staff. Here’s to the next 25 years!”

For more information on how to enhance your recruitment strategy, please get in touch with GCA here.