Thanks to a focus on employee satisfaction, a push to hire only the best and a belief that the workplace should always be inspiring and never boring, CarProof Vehicle History Reports, Canada’s leading provider of the most comprehensive used vehicle history report, has become a place where both management and staff thrive.
The London, Ont.-based company was recently recognized as a 2011 winner of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies program, an honour that the company doesn’t take lightly.
“When we heard that we won, we were very excited but also humbled to be on such a prestigious list. It’s really because our customers put their trust in us, that we ourselves are driven to be the best. Our employees are inspired by that, and it shows,” stated Paul Antony, CarProof’s CEO and president.
This award reaffirms the vision that the company’s founders established back when CarProof began in 2000. At that time, Antony was involved with importing and exporting vehicles through his car dealership in Ingersoll, Ont. The idea for the company was born when liens were discovered on some out-of-province vehicles after they were sold. At that time, no service existed for a cross-Canada lien search. The founders felt there had to be a better way to avoid these costly and difficult situations. They saw an opportunity to create a product that would revolutionize the used car industry by providing Canadians with the ability to buy and sell cars with full transparency, confidence and peace of mind.
Now in its 12th year of business, the company has grown to over 50 employees and offers several vehicle history products. In 2011, CarProof saw a staggering growth of 1,017 per cent, an achievement that won the company a spot on Deloitte’s 2011 Technology Fast 500TM and Fast 50TM lists. This rapid expansion has made the implementation of new management practices and processes crucial in order to continue to build on the company’s early achievements and successes. This includes robust human resource programs that range from employee recruitment and onboarding, to succession planning and performance management processes. “Everything that we’ve implemented has been done to create an empowering workplace,” said Heather Coy-Robinson, CarProof’s senior human resources generalist. “We have such great people and processes from the past so we just continue to add to that.”
Even back in the early days, the founders always knew that CarProof’s achievements could only be considered a success if the people behind the scenes believed in the product. Ownership at CarProof has focused on steady, consistent growth both from a company standpoint as well as from an employee point-of-view. From the start, Antony and his fellow founders have been open to bringing in outside consultants and training resources.
“A big part of our success comes from realizing we don’t know what we don’t know, and turning to professionals to help us out when it makes sense. For us, we quickly saw that our extreme rate of growth meant we not only had to think about what roles we needed in place today, but for tomorrow and beyond. We had help from some outside consultants in developing that structure, which meant we could focus on getting the right people on board and up to speed quickly,” said Antony.
In terms of CarProof’s working environment, the company embraces its family-style setting, where the office doors are always open, teamwork is integral and employees have input on CarProof’s current position and future direction. Monthly e-newsletters, scheduled town hall meetings and regular internal communication ensure that everyone is up-to-date with what’s happening in each department. Staff also takes part in social activities each quarter, at a minimum, and these events are a great opportunity for employees to network and mingle outside of the office’s daily activities.
As a result of the company’s new employee referral program, the staff at CarProof are actually encouraged and rewarded for recommending family and friends that could make for great new hires. “It’s absolutely the best way to attract new employees,” said Coy-Robinson. “When people enjoy working for a company then they want their friends to experience that same exciting working environment.”
In terms of what’s next for the company, CarProof continues to look to the future, focusing heavily on the company’s core purpose and corporate values – so much so that each employee has a card on their desk to remind them of these goals on a daily basis. It’s with this dedicated vision that CarProof has emerged from its early entrepreneurial roots and transitioned into a business that’s growing at a rapid rate with a staff that truly believes in the great product they provide.