Huf UK embrace the future with forward thinking succession planning

Huf UK needed to strengthen their team and had previously sought to attract more seasoned professionals with limited success. After understanding the value of recruiting and developing graduates as part of a long-term growth and succession plan strategy, Huf realised they needed to invoke drastic change within the UK branch to facilitate this. As Huf UK had never recruited graduates before, they applied a rigorous process to identify leading external expertise to help them undertake graduate recruitment properly. Discovery, experts in Graduate recruitment and development, were selected to partner with Huf UK to build a campaign that would attract the high-potential talent Huf required, as well as building their profile as a graduate employer.

The challenge

With the average age of their workforce exceeding 40+ years, Huf UK recognised that they needed to enforce radical change by recruiting graduates as part of a long-term growth and succession-proofing strategy.

Based in the heart of the Black Country, an area renowned for manufacturing, competition for top graduate talent was rife. Despite being an international organisation, Huf only has one UK base and had never recruited & developed graduates before. As a result, they required external expertise to better understand how employing graduates aids succession planning and helps to build a strong talent pipeline.

Founded in 1908 in Velbert, Germany, Huf develop and produce mechanical and electrical locking systems, tire pressure monitoring systems and telematic systems for the automotive industry worldwide.

Today, Huf has approximately 7,800 employees located in 14 countries worldwide. Some of Huf’s customers include Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar and Rolls-Royce.

The Process

Due to the ‘self-sufficient’ nature of the business, the suitable candidates would need to be able to demonstrate the ability to think on their feet, make quick but calculated decisions, show potential for great leadership skills and have a high speed of learning (fluid intelligence). However, Discovery identified that Huf UK were lacking an established employer brand – a key element in attracting the high-calibre talent required.

Huf also faced the challenge of developing their graduates; they had no scheme in place, but recognised this development was critical for their graduates’ progression. Discovery’s Early Careers OPEN Programme helped Huf facilitate this, as the programme enables organisations to develop their graduates without the expense of building an entire programme, particularly if they are looking to recruit a small number of graduates.

To achieve an effective graduate journey, Discovery worked closely with Huf UK stakeholders to create a tailored ten-stage process, including talent attraction, assessment, selection and development. Huf UK successfully raised their employer profile, enabling them to compete for the best candidates and find the right graduates, both in terms of their skill set and cultural fit.

“In the highly competitive West Midlands engineering sector, it is difficult enough to attract talent especially when you are not well known as a graduate recruiter. Discovery have delivered excellent results, enabling us to attract and develop graduate talent. We value the unique offering of the OPEN Programme that provides a structured approach to support our graduates and allows us to compete with the very best.”

Julian Dawes, Managing Director, HUF UK

The Solution

By using ‘The Discovery Way’ to strengthen their workforce, Huf UK raised their profile as a graduate employer, attracting the high-potential talent required to build a strong talent pipeline and aid their long-term succession plan. Alongside this, Huf were able to reduce their overall cost of recruitment through economies of scale, by recruiting for a number of roles at the same time.

After securing high-calibre graduate talent, the unique offering of Discovery’s Early Careers OPEN Programme, gave Huf an opportunity to provide invaluable development opportunities for their graduates, without the expense of building an entire programme. This increased the value that the graduates brought to the roles and fast-tracked the transition into the working world.