This exclusive interview with Victoria Anthony of one of London’s highest-profile developers, Galliard Homes, takes us through what the company does in recruitment and training to attract and retain the best possible team.
Hi Victoria, please tell us a little about yourself, Galliard Homes, and your role there.
I’ve been with Galliard Homes for just over three years and am employed as the group human resources director, responsible for delivering the whole spectrum of HR, recruitment and L&D [learning and development] related activities and initiatives. Employing around 700 people across multiple sites and a portfolio worth of over £4.2bn currently under construction; Galliard is London’s leading private developer of residential, hospitality and mixed-use properties.
How many apprentices/graduates does the company take on, and for what sort of roles?
Galliard currently has four graduates on a rotational scheme and 10 apprentices. They are employed across a variety of disciplines ranging from IT and finance through to site management, carpentry and plumbing. We are currently accepting applications for our 2018 Elevate graduate intake and are hoping to appoint in the region of 10 across all disciplines and will advertise both our Engage and Evolve work experience and apprenticeship schemes in the spring.
What’s the typical balance between on-site work and more formal training/courses?
It depends on the discipline but all of our graduates and apprentices are working towards either professional accreditation or NVQs funded by the company whilst working alongside more experienced members of the team. All are supported by a mentor and are invited to participate in any group-wide learning and development activities.
Are there essential qualifications that applicants need?
For our apprentices there are minimum standards that need to be met and we like all of our appointments to have a strong academic record; however, we also look for people with ambition and drive. Team spirit, professionalism and commitment are also key criteria for us.
Are you experiencing a shortfall in the kind of candidates you’re looking for?
It is a very competitive marketplace and there are certain roles that we do find more difficult to recruit for but we are confident in our abilities to attract, develop and retain high-calibre candidates.
Are there advantages to training people from the start and keeping them on board?
It is always rewarding to be able to support your employees in their development and observe their achievements. Our Learning Academy offers a wide range of learning interventions, from e-learning and webinars through to classroom-based training and facilitated workshops. Listening to the individual needs of your employees allows us to design and deliver bespoke training which ultimately assists the group in moving forward to achieve improved performance.
What can be done to encourage more women into housebuilding?
We employee a number of women across the group in both corporate functions and on the construction side of the business. We are a corporate partner of Women into Construction and also support a number of schools and colleges with youth programmes. We are hoping in 2018 to launch our own STEM programme in conjunction with our partner schools in the communities in which we work and develop.
Is there a Galliard Homes approach that might distinguish it from the opposition?
Galliard is one of the only places I have worked where you can see our values in action. This makes our workplace unique for me. To be integrated from day one into the Galliard family, to be given the autonomy and support to develop and be recognised for your contributions as the business goes from strength to strength does set us apart from many others.