Fast growth and a commitment to people
Here’s how HSS make it a brilliant place to work
Power drills, floor sanders, ladders, steam cleaners... for many people, that’s where the tool hire industry starts - and stops. But for a company like HSS, it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what they’ve achieved and how exciting their plans for the future are.
In fact, the last few years have easily been HSS’ most exciting, which is no mean feat. Their awe-inspiring journey brought tool hire to the high street and launched a whole new industry; a story which only began in 1957 when Bert Taylor lent his sister a ladder, decided it could be a great business opportunity, and opened his first shop in Kensington.
Today, HSS Group consists of a number of high- performing UK businesses. Tool and equipment hire is still at the heart of what they do but they also offer a range of specialist services including HSS Training, UK Platforms Powered Access, ABird Power Solutions, Reintec, TecServ and HSS One Call, to name a few. And with a further 50 HSS Hire stores opened in key locations across the UK in the last 12 months alone, they are currently putting even more exciting plans into action as we speak.
So, tons of history, an unrivalled reputation, and an even bigger and brighter future to aspire to. It sounds like the kind of business that anyone would be proud to be part of. But what does it really mean for the HSSers - the people who keep the business ticking over - in all those branches, depots and other locations across the country? Let’s find out...
It’s not just customers who are a priority - HSSers are too
A lot of businesses insist that their customers are their number one priority. And while HSS are just as committed to customer service as anyone, they also believe that their people are a priority, too.
That’s why the company dedicates a large slice of its time and resources to keeping their HSSers happy, beginning with the company’s culture.
At the heart of that culture is what the company calls ‘HSSness’. Everyone lives and breathes it, it defines the way all of the individual teams work, and it helps set the company apart from the rest of the tool hire industry.
On paper, HSSness is about having a unique mix of grit, determination, can-do attitude, skills, values and ambitions. It means being able to keep calm under pressure in what can sometimes be a tough and fast moving environment, staying patient in the face of problems, and going the extra mile to make sure every job is done well as part of a team.
As one colleague puts it, “it’s hard to put it into words. You’ve either got HSSness or you haven’t, and you can definitely spot it when someone’s got it!”
An exciting vision - for the company and for their people
What also sets HSS apart - and keeps those HSSers even happier - is the company’s commitment to further development by building, strengthening and growing their position as a market leader and by continually investing in their people.
In fact, ‘working your way up’ through the company is fast becoming the norm thanks to a commitment to investing in people at every stage of a colleague’s career, with excellent in- house training and development opportunities. Promoting from within is a key company mantra, and anyone who can quickly build their knowledge, grow their skills, and earn their stripes, can progress faster than you might think.
Fantastic development opportunities and generous benefits complete the package
Given the commitment HSS demonstrate to their people, it’s easy to think that the rewards for being part of the company would be pretty good. And you’d be right. The culture means everyone’s hard work is rewarded with a fantastic package of development opportunities and benefits that can be tailored to almost any individual need.
Everyone has the option to take advantage of an extended range of family-friendly benefits including Life Assurance and Healthcare, enhanced Maternity, Paternity, and Adoption pay, Childcare Vouchers, a company pension, and more.
Then, there’s a range of cycle to work, car lease, holiday buying, charitable giving, and other schemes, together with high quality uniforms and other kit, generous long service awards, and enticing ‘refer a friend’ bonuses.
And finally, there’s the built-in perks of working for a company like HSS, such as free staff hire on core products plus discounts on other services - all of which are unmissable if you’re a DIYer, or you’re into home improvements.
If you’ve ever wondered about what goes on behind the scenes of a busy hire operation, you won’t be surprised to discover that HSS branches are switched on and ready earlier than you think. Just ask Scott, manager of the HSS store in Altrincham...
“I’m usually opening up at 6am on the dot,” says Scott. “We need to be ready for any large contractors who might need tools and kit urgently for that day. We also have a steady stream of DIYers throughout the morning too, and sometimes they’ll need a quick bit of training in how to use the equipment they’re hiring before they take it away for the day.”
“For the rest of the day, you’ll usually find me focused on growing our branch sales by emailing potential customers, making outbound sales calls, and visiting my portfolio of existing customers.”
“I’m also responsible for coaching and mentoring my team of sales consultants, helping them develop their product knowledge, training them on how to use our systems, and encouraging them to deliver the brilliant customer service we’re known for.”
“And when it comes to my career, there’s lots of support available to me, and I still feel like I get to learn something new every day. The atmosphere is great, it’s fast paced, and it’s just like working for a big family - I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!”
Whatever job you do, it’s often the people you work with that can make or break your career. And Maria Maughan, Sales Consultant at the HSS store in Bury, thinks she’s one of the lucky ones who’ve definitely made it.
“My job is all about making customers’ days better, from the moment they walk in through the door,” she explains. “I’m responsible for dealing with enquiries, making outbound sales calls, helping customers find what they need, giving valuable health and safety advice, and making sure all admin tasks, like invoices and orders, are accurate and completed on time.”
“We aim to make every visit a great experience for our customers, but I think every day is also a great experience for me too, thanks to the rest of my team. The company itself has a really good ethos in terms of looking after us and helping us develop, but the bottom line is that we’re all just a really good bunch of people to work with!”
Do you have the right amount of HSSness to fit in?
What it all means is that HSS have worked hard to create a brilliant place to work. It’s the kind of environment where anyone can achieve their professional or personal ambitions if they roll their sleeves up and get stuck in. They’re also recruiting too, so if being part of a business like this would mean a lot to you, it might be a good idea to discover whether you’d fit in - and whether you have just the right amount of HSSness yourself!
Head to hsscareers.co.uk to find out more.
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