Leading regional housebuilder Weston Homes has announced that it will be recruiting 350 new staff over the next 18 to 24 months to keep up with its ambitious expansion plans.
The company has a pipeline of 7,500 new homes, with a total completion value of £2bn, and will need to increase its workforce significantly to meet its targets. The new jobs cross a number of disciplines, including planning, design, commercial and construction, engineering and technical, and there will be opportunities for people with different levels of experience.
Around one third of the new roles will be site-based roles, and the rest based at the company’s head office. Weston Homes builds homes in the Home Counties, the South East and Greater London, and is based in Takeley, near Stansted Airport in Essex. It has its own in-house divisions which cover design, planning, manufacturing and construction and in order to accelerate its rate of building while maintaining quality, it plans to open a new distribution centre in November.
This will take in raw materials and manufactured parts, and assemble them into kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, tiling and other parts of new homes before they are delivered to building sites. The high-tech centre will alone need 45 staff.
Weston’s chairman and CEO Bob Weston says: “Whilst stamp duty may have slowed the super-prime sector (homes priced above £10m) of the housing market, our core business, which focuses on starter and family homes for domestic purchasers is booming. Weston Homes has £297m of forward sales and we have a 7,500 unit pipeline in order to keep up with demand. For homes priced from £300 to £800 per sq ft, which is our operating area, the housing market is buoyant, with demand outstripping supply. One of the biggest challenges facing us and the wider construction industry at present is finding new staff, hence the huge recruitment drive and nationwide campaign we are rolling out over the coming months.”
The company is proud of its success in recruitment and staff retention. It offers employees a range of benefits: a pension with up to 10% employer contribution level; private health care for employee, partner and dependants; gym access; subsidised staff restaurant; and a range of staff events that it pays for in full, covering family fun days, sports and an annual summer ball. There is also a company car or car allowance (dependant on role), enhanced maternity/paternity pay, celebration vouchers, a retirement gratuity for 10 years or more service) and discounted home purchase.
Jane Stock, human resources director at Weston Homes, says: “Alongside recruiting for these 350 roles our key focus is on developing, rewarding and challenging our people in order to retain them and help ensure they have fulfilling careers with Weston Homes. In order to facilitate this, we are focused on developing our people internally. We currently have 35 staff employees on day release college or university courses. We have a dedicated Learning Academy with a full-time learning and development consultant focused purely on developing our people. We offer a comprehensive range of internal development courses including leadership development, management development, together with a suite of personal effectiveness programmes including time management, conflict resolution and an introduction to coaching/mentoring.”
The housebuilder is offering existing employees a referral fee of up to £2,500 if they recommend a friend/contact to the company who is then successfully recruited.