Putting the human back into HR



One of the key success factors for high performing service providers, is consistently enhancing their ‘product’, by putting their people first, with efficient and effective HR strategies.

There are many different types of HR strategies, but at their heart, they all start with the same foundation: to create a work environment that’s synonymous with engaged, productive and loyal staff. Consistently and long term.

Our overriding objective is to create value through our team. In developing their skills and competencies, in sourcing talent (internally and externally), and maintaining the high-performance culture that has reduced staff turnover every year since 2017, despite huge growth in the organisation.

Metro have continued business expansion throughout the pandemic, supported by our industry-leading training and building the future of the business, by retaining knowledge/building expertise for the future.

Our headcount is now 180 at HQ, having grown 20% in full-time employees already in 2021, with roles filled including logistics graduates, transport planners, brokerage support, air and ocean operators. A diverse group of new colleagues with creative ideas across all departments.

Recruitment is a constant feature and we are always on the lookout for ambitious and driven individuals, at any stage in their career, with preference given to recommendation or a direct applicant.

We monitor the percentage of new hires successfully completing probation, but overall staff retention is our most critical metric.

Training and personal development is a critical HR strategy and our industry-leading training portfolio begins with a two weeks induction programme, for inexperienced staff, providing a full background into the company, key people and values through to system training.

New staff members have support meetings every 30 days to review progress, provide additional support and guidance for continuing development.

Ongoing formal and informal appraisals encourage individuals to realise their potential, though career development, professional accreditations and external courses where desired and beneficial to role/development.

Range of personal skills training include management development, customer service, time management and recent additions including running efficient (virtual) meetings and a modular cyber security programme.

Over the past 12 months 35 graduates have joined Metro, as part of a committed investment in young people and the future of Metro in The Midlands, the UK and globally.

Moving around the business, to experience all aspects of our service delivery, people and processes, the latest graduate trainee cohort have already amassed 2,625 formal training hours.

First-hand learning of what we do, our customers and the industry is invaluable, particularly for those that joined our Brokerage team and having gained first-hand experience of customs declarations post-Brexit, can take their new knowledge and add value to other departments, as they move onto the next stage of their journeys.

All our people have the opportunity to be trained by the best, given responsibility early on and add personal value to their team and our customers. Their career aspirations are our future success – put simply.

We are a company where ‘size matters’ – big enough to work on some large scale accounts, with market-leading technology and benefit from the variety of expertise – but still small enough to count as an individual and stand out from the crowd. Given the right ability and attitude, there are endless possibilities to reach out for different experiences, mentors and guidance.

Succession planning and internal appointments are a key focus and we are currently looking internally for Customs Supervisor, European Overland Manager and Air Export Clerk (LHR).

We look forward to announcing the promotions of three to four staff into supervisory/management positions over the next few months, a result of the informal development work that has continued in the background despite the pandemic.

For further information on any of the points raised here, or to express interest in a position with Metro, contact Paul Moss, who heads our HR function.