11 December 2015
Tournaire: an ambitious human resources policy to remain continually abreast of client expectations
Tournaire is the expert in the processing and protection of natural raw materials. The company has been able, for almost two centuries, to offer innovative solutions at the leading edge of technology, because it invests massively in research and development and is always on the watch for new processes and materials.
But also because for many years the company has implemented an ambitious human resources policy, to recruit and train the profiles that clients need.
A review with Gaëlle Cascailh, the company’s Human Resources Manager.
What is your role in the company?
- I have been Human Resources Manager since September 2012. As such I’m in charge, in particular, of supporting the acquisition and development of skills by our employees. From this point of view my role as HRM could be considered ‘traditional’. But my mission is more complex than that because of our sectors of activity: both the Equipment Division and the Packaging Division operate in highly competitive environments and above all with technologies and processes that are constantly evolving. That means I have to be permanently in touch with our teams to know how our job profile needs are changing and anticipate future requirements.
Do you have any concrete example in mind?
- There are lots! For example, early in 2015 the people in the Packaging Division asked me to recruit a new profile that hadn’t previously existed in Tournaire: an industrial IT engineer, to work in the Methods department on production support. The aim is to improve industrial performance on all the production lines, which are becoming more and more automated and robotized. This should lead to improved productivity and also the setting up of ever-stricter quality controls to meet changes in standards and legislation.
- Alongside questions of new profiles we also have to adapt to significant changes in existing job requirements. Of course Tournaire will always need machine operatives, metalworkers and maintenance technicians. But if we look at that last job the needs today are more diversified, because as well as the basic skills we need expertise in automation systems and electrical engineering. There are similar changes in the support functions: finance, accounting, budget control, KPI monitoring, etc.
Is it easy for a company like Tournaire to recruit
- Not always! On one hand because of these unceasing technological changes that we’ve already mentioned; on the other hand because we have a number of specialties that are, as we say, “under pressure”: that means that for these jobs it’s not easy to recruit, either because ‘traditional’ training no longer exists (for example, for the job of finishing grinder operative), or the technological profiles required are not available in our region. So we have to broaden the scope of our research and look for the necessary skills elsewhere. Another alternative which we have developed considerably is in-house training, taking into account the specific features of our specialties. This is done in particular in our company academy that was founded in 2009 with as a priority the handing-on of know-how from an expert employee to younger colleagues. For us this is an essential condition if we are to keep up with the pack and identify, for our clients, the most experienced teams who can find an answer to all the problems of a market that is forever changing.
- Difficulty in recruiting stems in certain cases from the very nature of our business and our unceasing quest for excellence in every field. Take the example of the Packaging Division: we design and manufacture our own machines, so in our design office we have a team dedicated to the mechanical design of these machines and then workshops that produce all the necessary parts; today we are the only company in the market that works in this way. This too is what enables us to offer our clients the solution that perfectly matches their needs in every respect. The same is true of the Equipment Division: once we have understood and analyzed a client’s request we look for the solution that will satisfy their expectations; we assemble it and then test it in our own workshops before installing it in the client’s plant. This is not mass production but made-to-measure – a bit like the Hermes leather-worker who never produces two identical items!
In addition to the in-house training you can offer young people who join Tournaire, what are your main sources for identifying suitable profiles ?
- We have quite a few young people on sandwich courses, after two years of higher education or an engineering degree. At present, in Tournaire, we have 6 young people in this situation. As from the autumn of 2015 we expect to have 8 sandwich course students on our payroll. If young people want to learn and progress, if they are attracted by the idea of excellence and being good at a job, we will have an opening for them at the end of their course. We are also in close contact with schools in the region and we regularly take part in industry weeks. Finally, in view of our reputation in the region and beyond, we receive quite a few unsolicited applications for jobs or internships.
What jobs are available in the company at the moment?
- At present we are looking for a sales engineer for the natural extracts market; a technical service salesperson for the natural extracts market; a Maintenance Technician; a Methods Technician; a trainee for an internship in the management control and information systems department.
- Offers can be consulted on our web site: http://www.tournaire.fr/carrieres/les-offres/. Candidates can apply on line.