Shire Hotels

29 November 2005
Shire Hotels

About the company Shire Hotels has a 25-year track record of building and operating first-class hotels for both the business and leisure guest. Each of the 9 UK locations has a character and style of its own, and is given the freedom to express this through its day-to-day operation.

This small but perfectly formed collection of mainly 4 star hotels is the only operator to be awarded the AA Hotel Group of the Year and RAC Hotel Group of the Year in successive years. The friendly, unstuffy yet professional service in all areas of the hotels, plus a very clear commitment to invest in the properties to maintain high standards were cited as the main factors for both awards.

Shire Hotels is a wholly owned subsidiary of Daniel Thwaites plc, a family-controlled Blackburn-based brewery celebrating 250 years in 2007. There is a long-established tradition of investing for the future, sacrificing a short-term gain for the longer-term benefit of the company. Good examples of this are the strategy to build new hotels, rather then grow in size through acquisitions. A new build hotel means that Shire can ensure that all the elements of the hotel are in the right place for the team to operate the hotel, which in turn means a better guest experience. It also allows Shire to incorporate some of their newer concepts, such as spa treatment rooms and the unique conference café.

Shire's strength though ultimately is down to its people, and under the guidance of a single Managing Director, the group has developed a very strong ‘family' culture, where everyone takes responsibility for the company's success. Six core values drive the business processes and in true Shire fashion these were agreed through a series of working parties tasked to identify ‘What makes Shire Hotels a great place to work'.

These are:

  • We are passionate about the way we treat our customers
  • We use every customer contact as an opportunity to sell by delivering our traditional hospitality and service
  • We are proud of our hotels and we will work hard to uphold our differentiation
  • We respect each other and work as a team upholding our family values
  • We approach everything that we do with our future success in mind

People, with ambition to join Shire Hotels, would be expected to exhibit these core values and would need to show evidence of these characteristics at interview.

About you and working for Shire Hotels Once a member of the team, you will have a structured development programme, that meets your career aspirations, and there will be regular reviews with your line manager so you know how you're doing. There is both on and off job training to support your development, and a 'coaching' style throughout the company that rewards good performance. We recognise that it's not just about monetary rewards but also regular appreciation, someone saying 'thank you' and 'well done'. We're proud that each year we recognise about 30 to 40 more of the staff with 5 and 10 years service pins (and the extra weeks holiday that comes with it). But we also recognise that promotions need to be based on merit, using performance and ability as the measures.

The evidence of our approach can be seen at every hotel, in every department. Can you believe that over 70% of Shire Hotels General Managers - running £5m businesses each - started life with us as graduate trainee or staff member.

We actively encourage internal transfers and promotions within the group, advertising these on all notice boards and the e-recruitment site, and in the event of a new opening would aim for 50% of the HOD positions to be internal promotions and transfers.

We are convinced that if you enjoy your work it will show in your performance - so being part of a team is important. Good teams draw on all ages, backgrounds, skills, nationalities and abilities and our equal opportunities policies ensure that our teams work instinctively together to make a difference for our guests and each other.

Shire Hotels believe that work should be fun and staff at each hotel regularly organise events and outings for all those that want to join in. In addition, there are company-wide get-togethers where healthy competition is encouraged - for example, the annual football and rounders competition. Coaches from each hotel ferry the teams to a central venue where, once the serious part of the competition is over and the medals have been awarded, everyone can let their hair down with a disco and supper. It's a great day out - but we always feel sorry for those who cannot attend because of work commitments!

We are always looking at new initiatives to make us better employers, and because we do listen to our teams many of them come from our employees. Shire Hotels' have been given IIP accreditation since 1998, with 2 successful reassessments in 2000 and 2004 with a further assessment due to take place at the end of 2005 against the revised standards.

But don't just take our word for it - Shire Hotels is a great place to work - here are a few comments from some of the team for the most recent IIP assessment.

*"The job chat is really good, I know how well I've done and I also get my chance to have my say as well"

"It's like being part of a happy family working here"

"There are a lot of hotels around - we want to give that extra bit - that 1% extra that makes us the best"

"The training I have had since I started has given me the confidence to do my job well"

"My manager is brilliant - they will help me in any way they can"*

If you like the sound of life with the Shire Hotels - why not contact us via the website on or call Kelly Topping on 01282 833622.

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