Most people working within the Car Park industry will admit that they quite probably stumbled into a role in this arena rather than actively seeking it out as a career choice. Once working in it however what is it about parking that makes it so interesting?
As you would find with most operational roles within a service based industry the words such as dynamic, multi-faceted, challenging and client facing can be applied. The car parking industry is a commercial one and you can enjoy the same degree of P&L/financial control and man-management challenges that you would face in most service led roles. Typically one finds that the backgrounds of those that have found a career in Car Parking, have been within retail management or facilities management.
Within the car parking sector you have a range of organisations from landlords to operators all with different models of how they go about their business be that profit led, customer service led or asset value led and the strategy for managing a Shopping Centre car park compared to that of a town centre car park would be quite different. When you start to break down the different elements that are involved within car park management – or equally enforcement – it becomes surprising as to how diverse a career in this industry can be. For example; when looking at the management of a shopping centre car park the following have to be considered; tariff management, marketing/commercialisation opportunities, cleanliness, security, operation of parking equipment, customer service standards of parking attendants, signage, design and layout, cash collection, subcontractor management etc.
For any owner/landlord of a car park, this is commercially a fantastic revenue generation opportunity. Some businesses choose to manage these operations internally, whilst others outsource this responsibility by way of management agreements to car parking operators (APCOA, NCP, Vinci Park, QPark, Euro Car Parks etc.). Car park operators generally have a mixed portfolio of owned sites, leased sites and management sites.
The parking industry is heavily supported by the British Parking Association (BPA) however its membership seems to be biased towards the Public sector rather than the private sector. When it comes to recruiting, trying to find individuals to service private sector clients such as airports, shopping centres and railway stations, can prove to be difficult. Our research indicates that there is a lack of awareness surrounding careers in car park management, however this is an area that we are seeing a rise in demand form our clients. If you are currently working within retail management or facilities management with experience of P&L responsibility, client interaction, customer service delivery and management of large teams, then we would like to speak with you.
It is important to note that a car park is often the first and last impression that someone holds about a train station, shopping centre or town centre. This lasting impression can largely influence repeat business. As such, individuals that might consider a career in this industry must be very customer focussed and possess strong relationship management skills.