Training for the future

Training can support your business transformation. We asked Graeme Doyle, managing director at The Logistics Partnership, exactly how.

What’s the background to your recent business transformation?

In 2011, the Logistics Partnership was formed after a management buy-out. It was made up of four businesses – Forward Prospects, MVP Search & Selection, DriveLink Network and More Driving, all covering different sectors of supply chain recruitment.

We made things less hierarchical, more agile and more collaborative. But with five brands (including the parent company), all separate businesses in their own right, we never quite got them working together in the way we wanted.

Worse than that, gaps were emerging in our offering we couldn’t quite solve. And our more entrepreneurial-minded managers were limited by the specialisms the businesses dictated. Our structure was stifling creativity at a time when there are big changes going on in the industry and around the future of jobs.

So we consulted everyone in the business – starting off with a positioning paper highlighting the danger if we didn’t broaden our horizons. We got everyone’s views and the upshot was to turn four brands into two.  

In 2018, we merged Forward Prospects, DriveLink Network and More Driving to become TLP Recruitment, focusing on junior-mid level recruitment – permanent as well as temporary. And a few months ago, we rebranded MVP, keeping the focus on mid-senior level recruitment, and adding some new consultative services to expand and strengthen our offering.

Why did you choose to focus on training as part of the process?

Training was a huge part of it. I was very conscious we were changing a lot within the business. There was nervousness about how jobs would change and how people would be judged.

Most importantly, when we changed the orientation of the business and expanded the services we were offering, we needed to be able to do that credibly, coherently and from a place of knowledge. And while our people had the supply chain experience and knowledge already, they needed to feel confident and comfortable to be able to effectively sell and deliver these services.

Why approach the REC?

There’s a real value in having external support – it provides a confidence that is difficult to replicate if you’re sharing internal expertise. But there’s an awful lot of training out there and you’re never quite sure what you were going to get. As a member of the REC, and knowing our challenge was exactly the sort of thing you’d expect them to help with, we felt confident about the quality they would deliver.

I was upfront that I didn’t want something off the shelf, and I didn’t want something too theoretical. So I spent some time with our account manager, and Victoria, the head of training at the IRP, and talked a lot about what it was we were trying to achieve – from a cultural, not just a training perspective.

Prior to the course we spent time looking at individuals’ profiles and experience to work out what areas would be useful. We wanted to make sure everyone got something from what turned into a 2-day course, covering the new elements of their roles, the process behind the consultative sell, as well as the softer behavioural aspects. The IRP did the majority of the legwork putting it together.  

How did it go?

From a team building and confidence perspective, it went brilliantly. It calmed any apprehensions; it filled in knowledge gaps and even strengthened our existing offering through new information and a different perspective.  

How has it contributed to your business transformation?

We felt it was absolutely crucial for our business transformation – and it happened at exactly the right time. The final furlong of the process is the hardest part. You need everyone on board. It’s difficult to judge the impact if we’d done something differently. At best, we wouldn’t have made the progress we have done; at worst, we’d have done damage to our brand. Without question, I’d do the same again.

The Institute of Recruitment Professionals represents, educates, qualifies and supports the careers of individual recruitment professionals throughout the UK. Becoming a member of the IRP demonstrates your commitment to professionalism and best practice in recruitment and is signified by letters attached to your title.


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