Mercedes-Benz BeLux is looking for talent to drive its future
“The war for talent continues unabated and, standing at the threshold of a revolution in our industry, we can’t afford not to join in the fight. The only way to stay at the top in a highly competitive environment is to source the best talent, wherever it is.” Erik Van den Heuvel, Press & Corporate Communication Director at Mercedes-Benz BeLux, explains why his organisation recently entered into a Talent Partnership with us.
All change ahead
The automotive sector has become truly challenging. “I’d say we’re about to enter an era of enormous change. Safety and environmental concerns have spurred a shift towards more energy-efficient vehicles and alternative drive systems, such as hybrid or electric engines, fuel cells and biofuels.
“Our sales function, too, will continue to change. Already it’s a far cry from what it used to be. For one thing, cars have become much more complex. And then there’s the internet. Most of the time customers will have already specced their car online, so the showroom negotiations are about everything but the car – after sales, insurance, finance, etc. Also, about 70% of cars sold are company cars, so our sales reps often have to deal with fleet managers rather than consumers.”
Mix and match
Not only do products and services change; the way in which we approach mobility is fundamentally changing as well, as Erik explains: “Mobility is no longer exclusively associated with owning a car. People start thinking in terms of mobility services. They take into account the complete range of transport solutions to meet their mobility needs.”
He points to the role of smartphone technology and the proliferation of social networks: “These make it easier to combine different modes of transport – air, rail and road – and they will continue to play an important part in how we deal with mobility.
“So, we need people who have an affinity with the philosophy and principles behind this paradigm shift, to help bed in this new mind-set with our customers and to make sure it takes hold throughout our whole organisation.”
What profiles are they looking for? “Actually, there are hardly any profiles we couldn’t use at Daimler (worldwide). We welcome engineers, architects, even doctors and psychologists. People with international aspirations can contact us and we’ll put them in touch with Stuttgart headquarters.
“I’ve just enjoyed my first taste of one-on-one meetings with Vlerick students. Some of them had rather unexpected profiles, but were keen to work in our industry. It shows they can think outside the box.” Erik believes this is typical of our students and it’s one of the reasons why Mercedes-Benz BeLux signed up for the Talent Partnership. “Vlerick has an excellent reputation, but what’s more, its students have learned to think creatively. They’re open to change and new ideas. We’ve noticed this in the graduates who’ve already joined us. They also tend to have had a more practice-based education than people with a strictly academic degree. Not that I disapprove of academic degrees; it’s just that they’re not always attuned to the requirements of business.”
Like us, Mercedes-Benz believes you never stop learning. “I’ve just completed an in-depth course on company car taxation. Anyone joining us will have ample opportunity to continue developing their skills!”
About Mercedes-Benz BeLux
Mercedes-Benz BeLux is a 100% subsidiary of Daimler, responsible for the marketing, sales and service of Daimler brands, including Mercedes-Benz, Smart and AMG. The Daimler Group is one of the major producers of premium cars and the world’s biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles with a global reach.