A major catering company is to increase its HR team by almost a third next month, after its HR chief stressed the department’s importance during the economic downturn.
Elior, which employs 12,000 people in the UK, will boost the team after HR director Paul Reynolds provided a business case that outshone proposals to put the money into operations and quality assurance roles.
He will gain an extra three full-time workers as well as a part-timer this September, taking the team to 17.5 full-time equivalents. Two of the newly created posts will be made business partners to help reduce costs and improve customer service.
“Long term, the worst thing a company can do is start taking out HR [jobs] because of the recession,” said Reynolds. “The message it sends to the business at large if they move HR is that the business is not interested in its people.”
Reynolds added that with the current economic climate affecting employees’ cost of living, he wanted staff to feel engaged more than ever before.
“I’m bringing in more business partners to give the business more of what it wants,” he said. “If a company director has a team meeting, a business partner needs to be there to voice people issues.”
Last year, Elior made one in six head office employees redundant following a major restructure to better align itself to the marketplace.