Digital-savvy, mobile workforce makes dream vacations a reality

KPMG helped an owner of luxury resorts implement an integrated suite of Workday Cloud HR tools to transform the way it manages a dynamic, global workforce.

A global resort owner
Transportation and leisure
Human resources transformation
  • Client challenge
  • Benefits to client
  • Approach
  • KPMG insights

Client challenge

Whether it’s a get-away to a tropical island, an Alpine ski retreat or an exotic adventure, this resort owner offers dream vacations to individuals, couples and families. Following the acquisition by a venture capital group, this leader of premier seasonal resorts initiated an ambitious global expansion plan identifying Asia as a key growth region. They then set out to upgrade its outdated HR systems to better support rapid growth. 

The company needed a centralized, easy-to-use digital solution that could be delivered on a computer, tablet or smartphone for its largely young, technology-savvy employees and managers. Equally important, they needed to change the way it worked to better identify, onboard and train the talent who would stay and grow with the company.

Benefits to client

This client’s global human resource (HR) platform provides a fully integrated, digital suite of HR tools available in the Workday Cloud to serve more than 23,000 employees in 70 resorts in 40 countries. The new system:

  • is intuitive and easy to use
  • reduces time-intensive administrative tasks
  • incorporates talent recuitment and retention, onboarding processes, and self-guided training and career development in one integrated, cloud-based solution
  • provides greater transparency for better interation between managers and staff.

When fully operational, managers will no longer have to juggle multiple HR and payroll systems and Excel spreadsheets when filling 15,000 seasonal jobs every year. Instead, a hiring manager will easily access employee profiles from around the world. Three tailor-made positions will be pushed directly to the mobile phone of ideal candidates, who can reply with one click if they would like to be considered, enabling the hiring manager to assemble the best team possible in significantly less time. Potential candidates benefit too because they can subscribe to job openings on the go.


At the client's request, KPMG teamed with Workday to create and implement a comprehensive global HR transformation in record time. Because speed was critical, we employed the KPMG Powered Enterprise for HR solution to accelerate Workday implementation, reduce risk and deliver faster ROI. Instead of designing a solution from scratch, we collaborated with Workday to validate that the pre-built models worked for the company’s unique culture.

In our client’s world, their employees work seasonally on fixed contracts, ending their employment in a beach resort only to resume working in a ski resort two weeks later. Even though they are seasonal workers, many employees stay with the business for years, eventually working in back-office functions and then climbing into leadership ranks.

This singular combination of near-instant turnover and retention puts a premium on customizing the HR platform to identify and retain the right talent, onboard it seamlessly and provide the training opportunities that optimize career development. Another nuance: though most employees are 18 to 25 years old with high social-media savvy (to the point where they use Workplace by Facebook rather than email as their internal communications vehicle), our client is a user-centric culture.

The ease of deploying Workday’s highly digital platform was optimal because it fostered simplification and transparency of HR processes encouraging cooperation among managers and staff. At the same time, mobility is critical for a younger employee population bent on high growth, so we made sure our solution could be delivered on a computer, tablet or smartphone. KPMG’s team of two dozen professionals hit the ground running in May 2017. The team comprised professionals primarily from France, with support from the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Singapore, the growth markets the owners were targeting.

Implementation of the new HR platform delivered by KPMG Powered Enterprise enabled by Workday occurred in waves to better manage the massive global and technical complexities and multiple languages involved.

The first wave occurred in China for overall human capital management and recruitment. The implementation necessitated building a new Workday interface to accommodate WeChat – the preferred social network, messaging, and mobile payments platform used in China – so that jobs can be posted directly to the site. Despite the challenges, the combined KPMG-Workday team implemented the new HR platform in only four months, half the normal time, collaborating with our client on the best ways to streamline the KPMG Powered Enterprise for HR solution to achieve the client’s goals.

The second wave – involving employees in global offices spanning more than 30 countries and multiple languages – encompassed recruiting, compensation and benefits, talent management, learning, payroll integration, absence management, time tracking and expenses. This wave, too, was implemented in four months, half the normal time. The final wave will go live in November 2018 in 13 different languages for employees in the rest of the resorts worldwide.

KPMG insights

Go global but know local

For a project of this magnitude, it’s important to take a global approach from the beginning. Kick off the project with specialists from around the world to establish global processes and ways of working with those who know and value the culture. Then dive deeply into local requirements.

Know your users and adapt to their style

Our client’s managers and employees are incredibly savvy users of social media in their daily work and personal lives, so when it comes to HR transformation, a fully integrated user-friendly tool fit their needs. Ease of use  encourages acceptance and adoption of a new system. Less time spent on administrative tasks allows more time to focus on skills development, career paths and retention.

This client's managers will no longer have to juggle multiple HR and payroll systems and Excel spreadsheets when filling 15,000 seasonal jobs every year.