Hermès Employees

What truly sets Hermès apart is its commitment to its people. I first noted this in my 2012 Forbes article, “On the Cultural Fight of Hermès and Building a Luxury Brand.” Over a decade later, it’s refreshing to see nothing has changed.

Hermès’ brand philosophy is best encapsulated by former CEO Jean-Louis Dumas’s words:

“We don’t have a policy of image, we have a policy of product.”

So with this, let’s now look at how their products are made by Hermès employees who are the key to the company’s legendary quality.

Hermès Employees: Belonging to a Heritage

Hermès employees  are considered them vital to the company’ssuccess. The company champions creating skilled jobs in France, promoting social inclusion and valuing workforce diversity as a key driver of creativity and innovation. Hermès’ employee commitment extends to profit-sharing and incentive agreements, as well as education and training in key craftsmanship métiers. This philosophy enriches the brand’s heritage and ensures ongoing excellence and quality of its products.

Hermès employee well-being and satisfaction is valued above all, providing excellent working conditions to allow artisans to excel in their craft. This familial working culture has created Hermès employees who have remained dedicated for decades.

The Coveted Hermès Employee Apprenticeship

Hermès places a strong emphasis on employee training and skill development. Prospective artisans, often young and diverse individuals with little to no prior experience in leatherwork or other crafts, are carefully selected to undergo intensive training as an apprentice in one of the brand’s many manufacturing facilities. Apprenticeships at Hermès are highly sought after, with candidates undergoing a rigorous selection process.

In 2021, Hermès received accreditation from the French Ministry of Education to confer degrees, enabling trainees who successfully complete the intensive 18-month program to obtain a two-year trade school certificate from its training centers.

Once accepted, apprentices start with basic tasks, gradually progressing to more complex techniques as they gain experience and proficiency.  Each eventually masters techniques for saddle-stitching, leather cutting, and hand-painting while becoming instilled with a keen eye for detail. Hermès employees are taught how to identify imperfections, along with the subtle nuances that distinguish Hermès products — from the precision of stitching to the choice of materials, ensuring every product meets Hermès’ exacting quality criteria.

Apprentices work closely with experienced artisans, who serve as mentors guiding them through the intricacies of crafting Hermès products. The mentor-apprentice relationship is crucial in passing down the brand’s heritage and techniques amongst Hermès employees.

Training is an ongoing process for Hermès employees

The initial phase of training for Hermès employees typically lasts several months to a year before progressing to more advanced skills, extending the training for another year or more. Achieving mastery in a specific craft may take several years. Artisans who create highly intricate and specialized products, such as Hermès handbags, may undergo extended training to ensure they meet the brand’s exacting standards.

Training never truly ends for Hermès employees. Even after completing formal apprenticeships and becoming full-fledged artisans, employees continue to refine their skills and stay updated on new techniques and innovations.

A Human-Centered Workforce in a Comfortable Artisanal Environment

Hermès has a total of 31 manufacturing facilities in France, located in various regions of the country. The brand limits the number of Hermès employees working at each facility to no more than 250 at any given time.  By capping the workforce accordingly, Hermès maintains a sense of human scale and community within each facility. This creates a more personalized and close-knit working environment.

This also allows for a more hands-on and artisanal approach to production, allowing each artisan to focus on creating high-quality products with incredible attention to detail. This makes quality control standards easier to maintain as each product can be closely inspected to meet Hermès’ strict criteria.

Working at Hermès has been engineered to be a comfortable affair, conducive to producing high-quality luxury goods. Each building is structured to maximize natural light for a pleasant and well-lit working environment and provides Hermès employees with ergonomically-designed workstations for comfort and reduced physical strain. The culture is one of dedication, excellence, and a sense of purpose, contributing to the brand’s reputation for exceptional craftsmanship.

As Hermès aims for a 7 percent to 8 percent annual volume increase, after already achieving unprecedented growth in recent years, the company is expanding its workshop network. In 2023, Hermès inaugurated two new French workshops and outlined plans to open an additional four by 2027.

The Artisan’s Touch in Every Hermès Product

What sets the company apart is the deep sense of purpose and meaningful endeavor offered to Hermès employees. Products are crafted with such care and precision that customers can feel the presence of the artisan in every piece. This profound connection between craftsmanship and humanity is what keeps employees motivated and fosters their long-term commitment to the brand.

As an oasis of culture, craftsmanship, and respect for employees who are the lifeforce of the brand, Hermès employees stay with the company for decades, defying today’s workforce trend of job-hopping. The sense of belonging to a family, the company’s rich heritage, and the opportunity to create products that bring joy to people’s lives are all contributing factors.

The brand’s values, which emphasize authenticity, honesty, and a commitment to humanist principles, combined with artisans who are respected, celebrated and encouraged to take pride in their craft, make Hermès objects desirable simply because they embody the essence of humanity.

A handbag or scarf connects customers to the artisans who crafted them, evoking a sense of pleasure through tactile, visual and olfactory senses and creating moments of pure lightness and grace for the Hermès customer.


  1. A Commitment to Hermès Employees: Hermès places a strong emphasis on the well-being and satisfaction of its employees. This commitment includes providing excellent working conditions and respecting artisans, which has led to a dedicated and long-serving workforce.
  2. Coveted Apprenticeship: Hermès values training and skill development, especially for its artisans. Prospective Hermès employees go through intensive training as apprentices, with the brand’s apprenticeships highly sought after. The mentor-apprentice relationship is crucial for passing down the brand’s heritage and techniques.
  3. Ongoing Training: Training is an ongoing process at Hermès. Even after completing formal apprenticeships, Hermès employees continue to refine their skills and stay updated on new techniques and innovations.
  4. Human-Centered Workforce: Hermès maintains a sense of human scale and community within its manufacturing facilities by limiting the number of workers at each location. This approach fosters a personalized and close-knit working environment, allowing for a hands-on and artisanal approach to production.
  5. Excellent Working Conditions: The brand provides excellent working conditions in its facilities, with a focus on maximizing natural light and ergonomic workstations for Hermès employees. This comfortable working environment contributes to the reputation for exceptional craftsmanship.
  6. Artisan’s Touch: Hermès products are crafted with care and precision, creating a deep connection between craftsmanship and humanity. This connection keeps employees motivated and committed to the brand. Hermès values authenticity, honesty, and humanist principles, making its products desirable for embodying the essence of humanity.
  7. Long-Term Commitment: Hermès employees often stay with the company for decades, defying the trend of job-hopping in today’s workforce. This loyalty is driven by a sense of belonging to a family, appreciation of the brand’s rich heritage, and the opportunity to create products that bring joy to people’s lives.

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