Cirque Du Soleil's Human Resource Management Practices

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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB103
Case Length : 13 Pages
Period : 1985-2007
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Cirque Du Soleil
Industry : Circus Entertainment
Countries : Canada

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Introduction Contd...

Cirque had changed the face of circus with its innovative practices. As of 2007, 3,000 people, with average age of 35 years, from more than 40 countries were employed with Cirque. To manage such a diverse workforce, it had a dynamic HR team which had to be 'constantly on the move'.

Talking about how difficult the HR task at Cirque was at times, Gagnon said, “Guy Laliberte (Cirque du Soleil's founder) says that we reinvented the circus. But sometimes you have to reinvent HR.”5

In a span of over two decades, Cirque which began as a small company with 73 performers, had spread its operations across the world. The company had two regional offices at Amsterdam and Las Vegas in addition to the headquarters in Montreal.

As the company grew, Cirque had to undergo a complete paradigm shift when it came to recruitment, training, and even planning out HR policies for its employees.

For instance, in early 2005, Sylvain Carrier (Carrier), Director – Compensation, Benefits, and HR Systems, and his team reviewed and revamped Cirque's group insurance system. For this purpose, they had to measure the liabilities and risks of general insurance and human capital.

They wanted a consistent insurance policy and insurance provider for all employees of the company. However, this was very difficult to achieve because of the global spread of the Cirque employees and so the company decided to differentiate its insurance coverage on the basis of four geographical locations – the International Headquarters in Montreal, the Las Vegas office, the Amsterdam office, and the touring shows (all tours grouped as one location).

Such a policy ensured that the performers got satisfactory coverage, wherever they were located in the world. Cirque was quite clear that it wanted only the best talent as its performers...

Excerpts >>

5] Cindy Waxer, “Cirque Du Soleil's Balancing Act,”, January 2005.


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