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The increasing use of rental services has become an “irreversible trend”, said European Rental Association (ERA) president Pierre Boels, but realising the full potential of the market will require the industry to attract talented young people.

Mr Boels, who is CEO of Boels Rentals, was speaking at the ERA’s annual convention in Amsterdam, taking place alongside the International Rental Exhibition (IRE) and the APEX aerial platform show.

“As long as we provide our customers with reliable, simple and cost-effective solutions they are better off renting instead of owning”, said Mr Boels, “If we succeed in that, our potential for growth will be unquestioned.

“Having the right people on board will be a key-factor in harvesting this potential and establish further growth of our businesses. We have to participate in the ‘war for talent’.”

Attracting new talent to the industry was main convention theme, with several speakers and workshops on the topic.

“The rental industry is about equipment but, most of all, it is about services and, if the rental business doesn’t spend some time understanding how people are evolving and will evolve in the coming years, the chances are high that our sector will not be ready for the Future”, said Mr Boels.

“A better understanding of people will help to improve relations to customers but also will help securing talent for the rental industry.”

The ERA has produced an e-book containing case studies of recruitment best practices at some of Europe’s largest rental companies. See www.erarental.org for details.