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Weston Homes of Takeley to recruit 350 new staff for 7,500 new homes in the pipeline

By Paul Winspear

Weston Homes chairman and CEO Bob Weston
Weston Homes chairman and CEO Bob Weston

Takeley-based Weston Homes is recruiting 350 new staff over the next 18 months to two years - the largest recruitment drive registered in the construction industry for more than a decade.

Weston Homes HQ at Takeley
Weston Homes HQ at Takeley

And current employees can cash in on the 81% growth in the workforce because the company is offering them up to £2,500 if they recommend a friend or contact who is recruited.

The housebuilder, whose head office is at the Weston Group Business Centre in Parsonage Road, is undertaking a multi-million pound nationwide recruitment campaign in order to have the people required to meet the company's £2bn new homes development pipeline.

Established in 1987, Weston Homes currently employs more than 430 people and has a development pipeline of 7,500 new homes, with a completed value of £2bn.

As a result of this pipeline, the company is forecast to double in size over the next five years and needs to create 350 new roles across all disciplines in the business, including engineering, planning and design, technical, commercial and construction.

Weston Homes chairman and CEO Bob Weston
Weston Homes chairman and CEO Bob Weston

Weston Homes is looking for people with a variety of experience levels. It is rolling out a massive recruitment campaign, unprecedented in the construction industry for its scale, cost and depth.

Over the next six months it is undertaking a multi-million pound nationwide promotional campaign. This includes advertisements, recruitment videos, radio advertising, bus adverts, billboards, site hoardings, social media and recruitment fairs in Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol.

Weston Homes creates residential developments across outer London, the Home Counties and South East, focusing on rapidly growing hubs including Cambridge, Peterborough, Reading and Dartford. The company has in-house divisions covering design, planning, manufacturing and construction.

Around a third of the 350 roles will be site-based roles, with the balance based at the company's head office.

In November, Weston Homes is scheduled to open a 75,000 sq ft car industry-style distribution centre near its head office. The firm has invested heavily in the multi-million complex, which has state-of-the-art computer-monitored warehousing, assembly lines, robots and wire-guided forklift trucks.

Raw materials and parts are delivered to the centre and initially stored. Then the plant's innovative production-line workshop assembles kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, tiling and other home components before they are delivered to building sites.

Around 45 staff are required for this highly advanced and innovative complex, which will accelerate the company's build-off-site programme, and bring Jaguar car-like precision and technology into the home-building industry.

Bob Weston, chairman and chief executive of the company, 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."

Weston Homes has an enviable track record of employing and retaining good people, and offers a comprehensive list of employee benefits. These include company car or car allowance (dependant on role), pension with up to 10% employer contribution level, private health care for employee, partner and dependants aged up to 25, gym access, subsidised staff restaurant and all-inclusive staff events (annual summer ball, sporting challenges, family fun day and bowling evening).

Employees can also benefit from enhanced maternity/paternity pay, retirement gratuity (10 years+ service), discounted home purchase and vouchers to celebrate weddings or civil partnerships (£500) and birth of a child (£250).

To assist the recruitment campaign, Weston Homes is offering existing employees a referral fee of up to £2,500 if they recommend a friend or contact to the company who is then recruited. Given that there are 350 new roles, there is up to £875,000 available to staff who assist the business with the campaign.

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 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."

To register your interest, apply or obtain further information, visit www.weston-homes.com/future or email the Weston Homes recruitment team at recruitment@weston-homes.com

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