Human Resources: Behind the Scenes at Merchants Fleet

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Written By: Eric Goldfisher, Content Manager

Human Resources

With the mission of enabling the movement of people, goods, and services freely and responsibly, there is a lot that needs to go on behind the scenes at Merchants Fleet to make it happen. Walk the halls of our Hooksett, NH or Rosemont, IL headquarters and you’ll encounter bright minds and collaborative teams leading the charge at Merchants.

Every department plays a role in pushing Merchants to be a cutting-edge fleet services and technology provider. The Human Resources team, however, does everything they can to attract and retain the talent that makes up these departments. The employee-focused programs, services, and solutions they run make up a big reason as to why 90% of employees at Merchants say it’s a great place to work, compared to the national average of 57%.

To learn more about what Human Resources does behind the scenes at Merchants, I got the chance to talk with Meaghan Hull, Employee Experience Specialist at Merchants Fleet. She went into detail about all that HR does, how the department has grown to match the rapid growth of the company, and what’s to come with future programs.


Q: Hi Meaghan, I’ve been looking forward to this interview! When did you first start working at Merchants Fleet? 
A: I’ve been with Merchants for about nine years. I technically joined in 2014 but worked here as a temp starting in 2013. It’s a funny story, but I actually found the original job posting on Craigslist
Q: What position did you originally interview for when you started nearly 10 years ago? 
A: I started in the Transportation department as an associate where I dispatched teams of local drivers. I would also coordinate with trucking companies all over the country to get our vehicles moved.  I did this for about four years, and it was really nice getting to know these employees that don’t get a lot of face time with the rest of the company. Fun fact, our drivers are some of our most loyal employees and many have been with Merchants for a decade or more! 
Q: What made you want to make the move into HR? 
A: While I enjoyed working with the Transportation team, Human Resources aligned not only with where I wanted to go in my career but matched some of my experience prior to Merchants.
I got my foot in the door in HR at Merchants with the Talent Acquisition team, then later moved to HR Operations. Making the move to HR was the best thing I’ve ever done for my career. I love what I do, love our team, and the company. What more could someone want?  
Q: When I first started working at Merchants, the size of the HR department was one of the things that stood out. Could you break down some of the things our HR team does, at a high level?
A: HR handles a lot behind the scenes, from compensation and benefits to talent management (attracting, retaining, and developing employees). We also handle employee relations; performance management; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI); Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG); and management of employee records, policies, procedures, and federal/state compliance reporting. 
We have a really well-developed HR staff that can fully support our employees in-house. Some companies outsource their HR functions to a service center, some have a very small HR department, or even a department of one. I’m thankful that our executive leadership believes in the importance of having the right people in the right places, and the resources to support our company’s growth. 
Q: I think our HR team is a big part of why employee satisfaction is so high at Merchants. Was HR always a big company focus, or was this a shift that started in 2018 after Brendan P. Keegan took over as CEO?
A: Brendan sees the importance of HR having a seat at the table. This was especially important as we experienced our growth. We needed to be able to adapt and scale with the rest of the company to be able to properly support so many more employees.  
Another great thing to come out of our growth was the added resources for DEI, ESG, and learning and development. These have always been important to Merchants, but we were able to dedicate even more resources to building out our offerings. 
Q: As our Employee Experience Specialist, you’re the first Merchants employee that every employee meets on their first day. You do such a great job at the new hire orientation, wanted to know if this was your favorite part of the job?
A: Thank you, I love being the point person and being able to create an awesome environment for people on their first day. This is definitely one of my favorite parts of my job. I can make our new employees’ first couple of hours really great, which I think is so important since you really have no idea where they’re coming from or what’s going on in their personal life. 
Think about how nerve wracking it can be to start a new job and meet new people. This is a great chance to jump start their entire time here. Our HR team works really hard to continue making enhancements and improvements in our onboarding process.  
Q: Since you get to know pretty much every employee at Merchants, you must have some great stories. Do you have a favorite HR story you’d like to share?
A: A few years ago, we ran an innovation coaching academy to train different cohorts in innovation practices. There were about 16 of us in the 10-week program where each week we met for three hours to learn different techniques of thinking and acting differently in a useful way.  
The cohort culminated in a capstone project where smaller groups of four were tasked with solving a business problem or designing a new product or service. You had to present your idea to the leadership team, in whatever format. I am so proud of what our team did – We played out our idea with a skit that had Victor Chen (from PMO) driving into the education center on a kid's 4-wheeler.  

It was super challenging – one of the most difficult things I’ve done in my career for sure, but absolutely worth it. Also, in a close second place would be the Operations team parkour video from 2017 orchestrated by Jason Godek!
Q: Is the HR team working on any new or exciting programs this year that you can share? 
A: We are always working, growing and innovating. There is a reason we’re a great place to work, and in order to continue that trajectory we always need to be innovating to attract great employees and keep the amazing employees we already have.  
We do a lot of exercises on what's happening in the US – we look for cues within the HR industry or new mandates and laws. We try to identify trends we think could impact the future of work and what that means to our employees. A lot of those exercises – and the outcomes – are benefits that we have implemented at Merchants, like being able to have the company pick up 90% of medical premiums on average.
Q: I’m compiling a “Merchants Recommended” restaurants list. What recommendation could you give me for a great Hooksett, NH (or Manchester) area restaurant? 
A: I love the Copper Door, but Big Kahunas is great and owned by a family member of one of our own employees.
Q: What’s your favorite movie or TV show and have you watched anything good lately?
A: Anything related to The Lord of the Rings, so all of those movies and The Hobbit, too. I’m loving The Rings of Power, it has been great to revisit that universe with a new TV show. Another show that’s very well done is Poker Face with Natasha Lyonne, that‘s on Peacock.
Q: And finally, what is your favorite part about working at Merchants Fleet? 
Q: 100% it’s our people. Merchants has a unique culture that is different from anywhere else I've worked. There is something special about Merchants that is hard to find anywhere else. 

If you’re interested in joining the Merchants Fleet team, review open positions on our job board.

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