Dexterity, the trade secret of talent ES | Hermès

WOMEN AND MEN

Dexterity, the trade secret of talent

Agile fingers dance with tools for cutting and table work in the leather workshops. Hermès welcomes diversity in backgrounds and ages. Here, dexterity, tested with the French Pôle emploi (Job Centre) prevails over initial training. This, along with respect for time, is the main secret of crafting objects.
A florist, a military parachutist, a hairdresser, a primary school teacher, a stone carver, a nursery assistant, a philosopher, a manager… this unlikely roll-call gives a glimpse of the atypical profiles that have enriched the leather métiers at Hermès in recent years. Practical tests have been introduced at a local level with Pôle emploi to open the métiers of cutting and table work to all candidates who want to work with their hands, regardless of identity, background or age. A person’s dexterity and ability to learn are what gives them their chance.
This method of recruitment by simulation (MRS) requires preliminary thought. Which skills are used and how? A pattern of essential know-how for Hermès in the relevant métiers has emerged from this reflection. Seven basic skills are measured over half a day. An aptitude for identifying and employing the natural faults in leather is tested in this way, as is the precision required for the art of creasing, an essential step in obtaining even edges on a bag. MRS, one of three or four stages of the selection process to join a Hermès leather workshop, highlights the saddler’s high standards and identifies future talent. 

 

Discover more

 
 
 
  • The golden filets of porcelain

    Of all the arts involved in glazing ceramics, that of painting a band, or filet, onto a piece of porcelain is one of the most intricate. In the Hermès workshops in Nontron, the artisans must juggle between bowls, large vases, plates, dishes and tureens. Eight gold-filet workers maintain this know-how, decorating the pieces by hand using a liner brush saturated with gold, platinum or colour.
     
  • Bodies fit for work

    Fifteen to twenty hours of work for a bag, twenty-five for a saddle: the gestures required to manufacture them are constraining. A number of simple habits help artisans keep mind and body fit for work.
     
  • Footsteps across the world collection

    Recognisable by their trademark white coats, which have earned them the nickname the Blouse Brothers, the Prudhomme brothers, Lionel and André, are supervisors at the Pantin leather workshop. But beyond their clothing, their skills honed by four decades with the house have given them the status of mentors, dispensing precious advice with a keen eye for the smallest detail. They pass on to their fellow leather craftsmen the secrets of flawless finishes and the requisites for a perfect bag.
  • Tandem,
    a decade of open-mindedness

    In late 2008, an artisan from the leather workshop in Sayat laid down his tools in Puy-de-Dôme to spend a week behind a counter with a sales associate at the faubourg Saint-Honoré store in Paris. It was the start of the Tandem exchanges. Bringing these two worlds together is not simply a matter of distance. It is an invitation to live somebody else’s life and introduce them to one’s own.