What the current recruitment market means for MHC Mobility

Beata Ulijasz, Head of HR in Central Eastern Europe, and Katherina Biesterfeld, Head of HR in Germany, discuss the post-COVID recruitment market and what it means for MHC Mobility.

Post COVID, the recruitment environment across Europe has changed dramatically. The so-called ‘Great Resignation’ means that individuals are looking at their roles and reassessing what they want – whether that be more flexibility and working from home, purpose and pride in their work, or appreciation from colleagues and leadership – individuals are expecting more from the workplace.

In an interesting and difficult time for many companies, we spoke to HR leads at MHC Mobility, Beata Ulijasz, Head of HR in Central Eastern Europe, and Katherina Biesterfeld, Head of HR in Germany, to get a sense of how the company is adapting to the new market, and what it’s offering to recruits and employees.

People are looking for purpose

Both Beata and Katherina agreed that purpose was a key element of what people were looking for on a day-to-day basis. With MHC Mobility working in an exciting sector and its green fleet growing every day, the company stands in good stead for offering employees this sense of purpose.

For Katherina, “The future of movement and electric mobility is a growing topic, so it’s definitely an exciting place to be. As a company, MHC Mobility is in the drivers’ seat, and this focus on sustainability and electric mobility is something we find recruits really buy into”.

As Beata noted, “Sustainability is something many people are passionate about. Our product offering means we can offer employees electric cars – or when Spring comes, e-bikes or scooters – particularly in the cities like Warsaw. I have used an EV and I loved it!”

Company culture is key

While salary is always going to be a priority, softer offerings from employers are more important now than ever before, especially for the younger generation coming into employment. Both HR leads stated that the current recruitment environment is the trickiest they’ve ever seen, and so making MHC Mobility’s values clear to candidates is central to their role.

While it’s important to keep an eye on trends, ultimately trends do not account for individual needs and differences. Each candidate comes with their own individual priorities. “While one individual might want to be in the office a lot more, with fruit and snacks available, the flexibility to be at home might be more important for another”.

Finding that balance is really important for us

Team integration is a central part of MHC Mobility’s culture. The teams in Poland recently had a ski trip which was attended by over 95% of staff. Initiatives like these ensure team members have a chance to interact and get along with each other. Spring socials, including barbeques and drinks, have also happened across many European locations, allowing people to network.

Regular team building activities include senior leadership, to facilitate integration across all levels. “I recently had a conversation with a member of the leadership team who told me he’d put what we learnt on our two-day leadership away day into practice – it’s always good to hear that these initiatives are making a difference!”

Retention over recruitment

Katherina noticed that in some locations across Germany, it was very much the candidates’ market. Employment rates are very high in the country, with the only movement in the market happening when people leave jobs; there isn’t a large pool of unemployed candidates to choose from. In this environment, retention is just as important – if not more so – than recruitment.

Ensuring that employees feel valued and appreciated is therefore a central aspect of both Beata and Katherina’s roles. In Central Europe, any new employees have a meeting with the company’s Board, to learn about the business’s values, direction and strategy, as well as to get to know the Board, and vice versa. “We also set up induction meetings for new starters with a Board member or member of the senior management team, to create cross-functional groups and so individuals get to know each other in a more relaxed setting, are comfortable asking questions and feel a part of the business”.

Training forms a key part of retention. “As such an international business, language skills are pretty central to our ethos, especially at a senior level”, Beata said. “That’s why we offer English lessons to anyone who comes through our door, as well as any training that they feel will help them with their roles. For us, upskilling is vital”.

Making an impact

As Katherina told us, all MHC Mobility subsidiaries across Europe are currently in a very exciting moment of change. With the mobility market growing so substantially, employees and potential employees have a real chance to make an impact that goes further than just the company.

We’re not a top-down organisation – our values must feel authentic to every single MHC Mobility employee, otherwise they’re not our values. That’s why we’re working with people at all levels of the business to create a culture that is grounded in our history, with our Japanese roots at the heart, whilst very much focused on future growth