Homegrown Talent at The Oxford Collection
At the heart of every business are its people, particularly in hospitality, where every intricate detail will play its part in leaving the guest with a memorable feeling… it’s something experiential that’s fulfilling to most, if not all, human senses.
At the heart of our business, are our collectives, who, with their positive energy and teamwork, create the eloquent workflow you’ll find behind the quintessential service across our five-star hotels and restaurants; Old Bank Hotel, Old Parsonage Hotel, Parsonage Grill, Gees and Quod Restaurant & Bar.
Gemma joined the Parsonage Grill team in 2011 as a waitress and has since progressed to her current role, Senior Restaurant Manager at Gees Restaurant & Bar. She beautifully puts into words what being a collective means to her personally:
“I admire Jeremy and Rebecca, they know the business so well, they have taught me a lot for which I am very grateful. Working in restaurants you have to remember you are always on show and play a huge part of the guest experience, most importantly we represent The Oxford Collection. I’m really proud to work for The Oxford Collection because I feel like we do offer the best venues in Oxford, we provide a unique experience and I come to work every day proud of where I work, what we stand for and the product that we offer. It’s really very rare to be able to have that kind of job satisfaction, to come to work and be proud of what you do, the food that you’re serving, the cocktails your team have created and the ambience they provide.”
Since the very beginning, with the first of its establishments being Gees Restaurant & Bar in 1989, The Oxford Collection has endeavoured to recruit the most promising candidates, continuously offering support, training, and development opportunities to help careers flourish. Over 30 years later, we continue to believe in the investment of each and every one of our collectives. As every collective is key to the success of our business and the happiness of our customers, we strive to create an environment that will equally benefit you as an individual as much as it does us as a collection.
In our pursuit of ‘promising candidates’, we don’t only focus on where you’ve worked, but you as a person; your attitude and how you engage with others, as well as values we also align with ourselves; family, diversity, excellence, and growth, to name a few.
Having won ‘Most Positive Attitude’ in our 2022 Team Awards, Gemma is one of our strongest ambassadors of this principle. She shares, “I feel like you can teach people to carry a tray, you can teach people to make coffee or to make a cocktail but what you can’t teach is attitude and their affinity with people.”
Gemma caught the hospitality bug during a ski season in France and a summer in Ibiza, where she ventured into the unknown, working in a restaurant with no prior experience:
“It was a very steep learning curve but it opened my eyes to hospitality… I think having that experience in another country, not speaking the language, sort of opened my eyes to people coming to Oxford that want to work. Perhaps they want to work in hospitality, and they might not speak English very well yet, but we can give them an opportunity and provide a supportive environment for them to learn. That’s how I’ve always built up my teams both here at Gees and in the past the Parsonage Grill. Even if people don’t have the initial skills, but they have the right attitude, then we invest our time in training them. Many of our team didn’t have any past restaurant experience, however I am very lucky to have some very experienced and knowledgeable waiters, bartenders and managers that are willing to invest their time in training them. It’s about building a little family, creating a teamwork environment, that’s how I’ve always looked at it – you should never forget how you felt on your first day and the journey you have been on!
We understand that personal growth is a core motivator in every employment – we are all humans and leaders of our own vocation, after all. This is why we also understand that the degree to which you’ll invest your positive energy towards our goals won’t purely stem from passion and commitment, but from our ability to match your needs to our goals, creating a situation in which we may both prosper.
As anyone who meets her would agree, Ramona, our Head Housekeeper at the Old Parsonage, is a natural leader who radiates positivity to her team. Ramona came to the UK from Romania in 2017 with the aspiration of progression and a change of scenery. With no prior experience in hospitality, but applying stellar personal qualities as a proactive and quick learner to her role, Ramona progressed to Housekeeping Supervisor within four months of joining the Parsonage team. Now, as Head Housekeeper five years later, she shares her ethos as a leader:
“I’ve learned how to lead the team, how to listen to them and be by their side. The best thing that works for me is leading by example… And also, being positive… In the morning when [the team] come in, I give them a smile and I say ‘oh hello shining star, how are you?’ they all smile, even if they’re tired.”
The door to progression is always open at The Oxford Collection… whether it be personal training and development opportunities, or working side by side on an important new project, we believe in fairness, trust and integrity amongst our collectives.
If you are looking for a new challenge that’ll elevate your skills and would like to become a collective, some of our current opportunities may excite you. We are recruiting for various roles across The Oxford Collection and would love to hear from you…