Interview with Hannah Lawler, Resourcing Business Partner at CH&CO (for recruiters)

06 Mar 2023

06 Mar 2023

The amazing Hannah Lawler, Resourcing Business Partner at CH&CO talks career progression, staff benefits, and her best experiences of working in the hospitality industry.

What do you offer your employees to help them develop skills and progress their careers?

Our people are everything and our inclusive culture focuses on supporting and developing everyone; from the chefs and on-site teams serving our customers to our people at our offices in operations management, HR, finance, communications and marketing, procurement, and IT departments, to name but a few.

We want our people to grow with our exciting business. So, we nurture and support our people to develop with us, building their confidence, growing their skills and, most importantly, making sure they’re happy. Everyone is different and our flexible approach recognises this. We’re here to empower our people to find the best way to develop professionally and personally and to have fun along the way.

Our wonderful Learning & Development team provides many opportunities for all our people to learn and grow their skills and knowledge through our #GrowWithUs initiative. This includes training online and in person, an internal intranet which covers all things L&D, apprenticeship academies, personal growth plans, career pathways and ‘Bespoke to you’ development pathways.

What type of person do you try and attract to work in your business?

We are inquisitive, inclusive and uplifting. We look for people who love what they do and have fun. Hospitality is an exciting and creative place to be. The incredible choice of roles and career paths means there’s something to ignite the fire in everyone. All that’s needed is the right attitude, energy and determination.

What additional benefits do you offer your staff?

People are at the heart of everything we do, so we've developed a range of benefits that, wherever possible, go far beyond the statutory minimum to keep our people happy which include:

  • A discovery induction that turbo-charges your first 12 weeks
  • Accessible and inclusive career pathways for everyone, with regular talent and performance reviews
  • Ongoing learning and development that meets everyone’s needs, including:
    • Apprenticeship Academies
    • Leadership Management Development
    • Work-based training
    • Coaching and mentoring
    • Access to over 100 e-learning courses
  • Flexibility to experience other areas of the business and even change career direction
  • Wellbeing and community support, focusing on physical, mental, financial, digital and social wellbeing
  • Opportunities for all to work at famous, high-profile events
  • Paid time off for voluntary work
  • Workplace pension scheme and life assurance
  • Discounts at well-known retailers
  • Plenty of holiday days throughout the year

How many employees do you look after?  

We have 9,000 employees in the UK & Ireland.

What’s your biggest frustration in your role?

Time and timing in every sense of the word! Working in such a large and versatile business is amazing but it also means that it takes time to create and implement change. Timing also plays a huge factor with scheduling of interviews right through to offer stage.

Would you recommend any technology that helps you in your day-to-day role?  

We work with a brilliant Applicant Tracking System provider who have simplified our recruitment process and improved our candidate experience. We also use a communication tool called Yapster which has been fantastic in enabling us to communicate with all our people. It provides a centralised app where our people can access their benefits, policies, procedures, training materials, company updates, latest vacancies and people systems at the click of a button!

What’s your worst vs best experience working in hospitality?

I absolutely love helping people to secure their new roles and nothing is more rewarding than seeing people succeed in their positions and still working with those companies years later.

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