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Communication, creativity and reliability

Jumeirah on putting the ‘H’ in HR

There are always challenges facing employers. Attracting top talent, retaining that talent and developing the skills of employees are just some of the issues which require constant review. Just because your recruitment strategy was fruitful for one season, doesn’t mean it will continue to be so. The demands of your workforce will change and you need to change with them.

One employer who understands this need to adapt is Jumeirah London. Already having walked away with the Rewards & Benefits accolade at the 2016 People Awards, Jumeirah London picked up the double with a more than impressive showing, to win the award for HR Team.

With three properties in London, culture plays a big part in life at Jumeirah and recruitment is always undertaken with this in mind. Dawn Vermeire, Director of Human Resources at Jumeirah said, “We see the importance of hiring the right people into our organisation, that are aligned with the culture of our organisation, particularly our Hallmarks which are three core behaviours expected of all colleagues; our Guiding Principles, six behaviours that guide colleagues in their journey with Jumeirah and our Vision, the identity and mission of Jumeirah.”

In a skills-short market, working hard to maximise retention of talent is as important now as it’s ever been. “We need to ensure we retain our motivated, engaged and value-adding talent,” said Dawn. “In an employment market in which there is high competition amongst our competitors for top talent, retention can be achieved to a large extent by ensuring our workforce are engaged. We see our role in HR as critical to supporting the business with this objective, and providing the support our line managers require.”

As part of their recruitment process, Jumeirah’s HR Team ensured effective selection of candidates by compiling bespoke competency based interview questions that match role requirements and Jumeirah culture. Once offered, candidates are sent a personalised email from the hotel GM to welcome them. Jumeirah have also written and delivered workshops to management, thus ensuring that Hiring Managers all follow this process. In addition, Jumeirah conducts Quarterly HR meetings where the London HR team can identify current roles that can be filled through internal colleagues or through links within their networks, formalising this process. Similarly, the HR VP conducts regular calls with international HR Directors within the company to identify where talent from European properties can be relocated.

Dawn Vermeire feels that the recruitment and development of a multi-skilled workforce is a win-win for both colleagues and business. “Colleagues are able to learn and grow in their roles, whilst offering flexibility that provides improved service and efficiencies. Additionally our staff turnover has reduced as we are able to retain these engaged colleagues, motivated by growth opportunities.” Jumeirah works hard to create a family feel at the workplace. “We play a key role in Internal Communications, particularly around the sharing of our wider business objectives. We feel that communication, creativity and reliability are the elements that make a great HR Team.”

Over the last 12 months, across their London properties, Jumeirah have made 13 appointments through their internal networking programme with four of these being at Management level helping with a significant recruitment cost saving. There have also been 84 internal promotions, which accounts for 16% of the company’s workforce.

In 2015, 109 Jumeirah employees celebrated Long Service. The average length of service is six years, which is two years above the national average. This retention of top talent plays a huge part in the delivery of the company’s guest service and high scores in satisfaction surveys. In internal employee surveys, 94% “tell others great things about working at Jumeirah”, which is an increase of 1% year on year.  85% at Jumeirah Carlton Towers and 95% at Jumeirah Lowdes Hotel said that “My Manager recognises my efforts and results” and 94% of colleagues said that “Jumeirah is a socially and environmentally responsible employer.”

On winning the HR Team award, Dawn Vermeire said, “We are all very creative individuals who seek to do things differently in HR and this win has made us all extremely proud and excited about the future.”

Entering the 2017 People Awards is simple. It’s free and you can enter as many categories as you wish. Make sure your entries reach us by 3rd July 2017. The shortlist will be announced in August. The glamorous awards ceremony will take place on 5th October 2017 at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge. 

Don’t hesitate to contact our People Awards team with any questions at