SMR Automotive Mirrors UK Ltd and Workshop Recruitment: From 25 temps a day to 100 in three months

SMR is the largest manufacturer of passenger vehicle rearview mirrors in the world and a pioneer for intelligent camera systems for automotive applications. Its UK base is in Porchester, Hampshire.

A new beginning

A new beginning

SMR had to find a new recruitment agency due to their current agency, which had a full-time permanent base at the company, giving notice of their contract ending.

Laurie Houkes, HR Director at SMR Automotive, needed a solution. Laurie said:

“We were in a situation where we needed to fulfil our customer orders quickly. And we needed staff to do that, so I needed an agency that was preferably local that could support the business,”

Laurie knew that finding competent local temporary labour on the shop floor was going to be challenging due to the peaks and troughs of their business, so they needed an agency that understood those requirements and could rise to the challenge, particularly when demand was extremely high.

No ordinary recruitment agency

No ordinary recruitment agency

Laurie was introduced to Workshop Recruitment and the relationship began.  She was impressed with the Directors understanding of the business and the requirements it had.

Workshop went from supplying SMR with 25 temps a day to 100 in just three months.

But they didn’t just supply them with temps and then leave them to it…

“With Workshop being very local to us, Clare and the team would be there to welcome new starters in the morning, and in the afternoon, which took away the need to have a full-time presence on-site.  They run weekly workshops on site too, so that if the temps have any questions or queries, they can sit down with the Workshop team and have those answered.”

Communication is key

Communication is key

Monthly newsletters are created in partnership with Workshop and SMR, “so that the temps can keep informed as it is really important to us that they feel part of SMR. We also want to make sure the temps do not feel they are missing out on anything, as they’re really important to the business”

Shifting from an agency permanently on site to using a local agency has been an adjustment but the team at Workshop Recruitment have made it seamless.

The monthly newsletters and weekly workshops have streamlined processes for the temps, who may have payroll or other queries.

“The comms the Workshop team send out greatly assist as our temps know who to contact and when to contact them,” Laurie said.

“Workshop have taken the time to understand our business, which is key. They are clearly experienced in what they do and they can and do provide feedback on what’s going on in the market place, which is important to us, particularly in terms of labour. It’s a very good working relationship.”

A perfect fit

A perfect fit

The open communication with Directors Daimion and Pete at Workshop allows Laurie to manage staff scheduling really well, meaning SMR can get the staff they need when they need them.

This benefits the temporary employees as well as SMR. Workshop know how many staff are needed for any upcoming work and exactly the kind of employees that would be the perfect fit.

Also working closely with Daimion and Pete made Laurie think about how they compete with other manufacturers in the area.

“It is important to SMR that we are as competitive as possible to ensure we attract the right type of temporary staff. We do this with input from both Daimion and Pete because they obviously know the market and trends, including what other local manufacturing employers are doing. So, we have improved our offering, based on their advice.”

“They understand our business and how it works, which is important when you’re trying to find a temp that’s going to fit into the company culture and environment.”

A collaborative approach

A collaborative approach

Workshops Director, Daimion Eastley states:

“We have a monthly and quarterly meeting to discuss our supply and these meetings generate honest and constructive feedback on both sides.  It helps us develop our services and SMR are fantastic in adapting anything internally to help support us and enhance our partnership”

Workshop also provide permanent staff to SMR and the relationship has gone from strength to strength.

Laurie states “Communication is key - when you need large numbers of temporary workers in a short period of time, you need to find a supplier that can deliver and Workshop Recruitment really have’

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