Employer of the Year, sponsored by social landlord The Luminus Group

A SOFTWARE company, one of Huntingdon s most luxurious hotels and a transport and motor engineering firm, which has recently resumed full activities after a disastrous fire, will be trying to convince the judges that they are the best employers in Hunting

A SOFTWARE company, one of Huntingdon's most luxurious hotels and a transport and motor engineering firm, which has recently resumed full activities after a disastrous fire, will be trying to convince the judges that they are the best employers in Huntingdonshire.

They will need to impress the panel on the working conditions they offer, how they offer staff working flexibility and non-salary benefits, and look after their training and development needs.

Finalists in this category are Universally Speaking of St Neots, the Huntingdon Marriott Hotel and Tackwood Transport of Eaton Socon.

Many readers may unknowingly be using games software on their Playstations, X-boxes or Wiis created in part by Universally Speaking. The firm specialises in making local language versions of games, quality assurance and audio service, such as voice-overs. It has worked on games such as The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Little Big Planet.


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Just three years old, the company has increased staff numbers fivefold in that period, now employing 24 staff and turning over more than £1million a year.

The four-star Huntingdon Marriott needs little introduction to most people in the district - even those who cannot afford to patronise it. Nor is it a stranger to The Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Business Awards, having been a winner in 2006 and again last year.

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The group's strategy is based on the philosophy that, if it looks after its employees - they are called "associates" - properly, they in turn will look after their guests. The success of that plan depends on a robust process of recruitment, induction, training, development and measurement to ensure employees are happy and the hotel's business aspirations are delivered.

Tackwood Transport has been a family business since its formation in 1971, expanding further after the founders' children joined the business. Turnover trebled between 2004 and 2007, and the workforce grew to 17.

But disaster struck in February this year when the building and all its contents were destroyed by fire. Remarkably, in the eight months it took to get back to the previous level of activity, Tackwood managed to keep on all its employees.

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