Hagerty Gears Up for an Impressive 2021
Correction, 2/12/2021: A previous version of this article stated that Hagerty plans to double its employee group. Hagerty, however, will be doubling its Ohio employee group of 75 employees, not its total employee group.
With its Drivers Club memberships, car valuation tools, magazine, media operation Hagerty Media, and partnership with Collectors’ Car Garage rebranded as Hagerty Garage and Social, which launched in 2019, collector car insurance company turned automotive lifestyle brand Hagerty has made a powerful shift outside of just specialty insurance.
Now, the lifestyle brand finally gets set to relocate its Columbus operations to Bridge Park in Dublin, a move announced in late 2019 but pushed back because of the pandemic.
Like a lot of companies, last spring saw Hagerty transition a majority of employees to working from home. But the company has not had to lay any employees off, in part because of a program called One Team Hagerty, where employees in roles that were not needed at the time, such as those needed when events were still frequently taking place, were retrained to fill positions elsewhere within the company.
Laura Charney, vice president of Columbus operations at Hagerty, said like many companies during this time, Hagerty is trying to figure out what culture means in the era of quarantine, both internally and externally.
The company has created “virtual drives” that allow friends and families to spend time together while social distancing, and given back to small businesses, including its Gratitude Drive and Restore the Roar campaigns, the latter of which led to a $500,000 grant to small automotive businesses.
“I think that was a way that we were really able to maintain our culture and the brand [during the pandemic],” said Charney.
Cameron Poupard, director of Columbus operations at Hagerty, said the company hasn’t seen a considerable disruption during the pandemic. Despite not being able to be as prevalent in the community as they would like, the company has still managed to fill positions.
Hagerty is on track to add the same amount of full-time jobs as planned before the pandemic. The company started the year with 75 Ohio employees and expects to double that by the end of 2021.
“We’re here to serve our communities. And when I say our communities,” said Charney, adding that as the company hires more people who are remote, they’re able to serve communities, “not only where we have offices, but where people live.”
The company has had to think differently about how it recruits employees during the pandemic. Charney explains that remote hiring can be a viable way of attaining employees, and your company can still thrive.
“I think this last year has reinforced [that] we can do this, our company’s thriving with us not going into the office,” said Charney, who worked remotely for Hagerty before relocating to Columbus just months before the pandemic. “I think there’s a lot of benefits in it. And I don’t ever foresee our offices going away.”
“This person has talent and they don’t live that close, but we can still include them,” she said.
With new talent, Hagerty has focused on building “good humans.” Their training has less to do with selling the consult ideas and products, and more with giving employees the right resources to be successful in their roles.
From investing in their team’s skills around hospitality and problem solving to preparing for skills needed in the future, Poupard said their investment in future leaders has been critical for Hagerty’s success.
“Things that are going to stay with you and take you to your next career, whether it’s here or somewhere else. I’ve been able to take advantage of a lot that will personally grow who I am on a resume,” Charney added.
Poupard said even despite the “work-from-home social experiment,” the level of teamwork and patience from their team has been amazing to see. But Hagerty will eventually move back into its office in Bridge Park, which is nearing completion, sometime in 2021. The company is focusing on finding a timeline that makes the most sense for employee safety.
When it comes to Bridge Park, Charney said the area is vibrant and community-focused, and that Hagerty is eager to be a part of that.
“I really see us aligning with that group and bringing some Hagerty-specific, fun, car-related activities to that community,” she said.
Poupard said he and Charney have been able to witness local businesses at Bridge Park come together and demonstrate the level of camaraderie that already exists there.
“When we saw how Bridge Park came together during a really disruptive time…and how they can help each other navigate that territory,” he said. “I mean, that’s the sweet spot that we really want to find ourselves in.”
For more information on Hagerty, visit www.hagerty.com.
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