Chippenham based Mazda talent programme aims to Defy Convention

By Anita Jaynes on 16 April, 2015

A ground-breaking new programme to attract and retain the very best people has been launched across Mazda’s UK dealership network with the aim to be the ‘go to’ brand within the automotive industry within five years.

Mazda has recognised that there is a major issue with staff turnover across all brands and dealers with some experiencing staff turnover as high as 60%.  This is an embedded part of the culture of the motor industry as a whole.  Unfortunately there seems to be a real lack of emphasis put on recruitment and development of staff and Mazda wants to break this cycle.

Talent@Mazda is a resource available to all dealers within the Mazda network to help support and enhance the recruitment and retention of talented staff.  This service is available to them either via a dedicated consultant who will work with the dealers on a bespoke basis identifying what issues they face and putting in place a tailored solution or via the new Talent Toolkit which is full of hints and tips and is available as an eBook for all dealers.

The programme supports the dealers from their initial decision to recruit someone including what behaviours they need, writing the job advert, where to advertise all the way through to how they can help to nurture and retain the best talent.

It gives dealership managers the tools they need to ensure the right people apply and are put in post, who are passionate about the brand, who want to become brand advocates and who want to develop their careers with Mazda.

The Mazda Academy, run by Chippenham-based learning and development agency RTS Group, is delivering the programme, which is being offered right across the manufacturer’s UK network of more than 130 dealerships.

“Mazda likes to ‘defy convention’ but to do so we need people who share our passion and who want to make a difference,” said Stephen Casey, Mazda Network Talent Consultant. “To help the dealerships find, appoint and retain those people, we’ve developed Talent@Mazda which gives them the tools they need. “Talent@Mazda has only just been launched but feedback so far from the dealerships has been very positive.”

One dealer which has used Talent@Mazda techniques to help run an assessment day is Coventry Motor Company. Its group aftersales director, Adam Dodds, said: “This has changed the way Coventry Motor Company look at recruiting new staff, to give us more of a professional look to our business with any future employees.”

Alex Goddard, Field Programmes and Training Manager for Mazda Motors UK, said: “We are already seeing the impact that Talent@Mazda is having within the network from our dealers changing their whole recruitment processes. One of the biggest successes to date is through the growth of our apprenticeship programme which has increased by over 100 per cent as our dealers are now recognising the huge benefit in growing their own talent and a lot of this is down to the coaching they have received via the Talent@Mazda programme.”

Talent@Mazda complements the company’s other high profile and very successful programmes: People@Mazda, aimed at developing management teams, and New to Mazda, for all new customer-facing dealership staff. The programmes form part of a joined-up approach to developing the people within Mazda dealerships across the UK, and making them part of the Mazda family.

Stephen Casey added: “There are a number of challenges to overcome but we are in this for the long haul and will support each dealer on their own unique journey to ensure we achieve the shared targets that we have set ourselves.”