Are you a recent graduate looking for a position or are you wanting to prepare early for when you finish university? Have you thought about giving Unilever a try? You might have seen their logo on your cleaning supplies around the house but they offer a whole load of graduate jobs and internship opportunities for a variety of disciplines. Have a read as we give you the lowdown on how it all works and everything you’ll need to know about the graduate scheme.
What is Unilever?
Unilever is a multinational consumer goods company that began in the UK. They make a whole range of different products, from food, vitamins/supplements, beauty and self-care products and cleaning agents. They split their products into three distinct categories: Food/Refreshments, Homecare and Beauty/Personal care. They just so happen to be the world’s biggest producer of soap! It’s very likely you’ll have come across some of their big-name brands in the supermarket, from Dove and Lynx to Lipton and Walls, there’s very little they don’t make. Though they’re a British company, they operate all over the world with research facilities in China, The United States, Brazil and Argentina.
What kind of jobs do they offer?
As a consumer goods company, Unilever hires people for a wide range of positions. Often when people think of them as a corporation manufacturing, development and research of products come to mind, but they also have teams who look at customer development, finance, marketing, legal affairs and communications. Though what they produce is largely rooted in science, there are opportunities if that isn’t your chosen field.
It’s important when you’re looking into their positions that you are aware of the different opportunities they can offer-whilst a lot of what is on their careers site is about finding jobs, they have internship and apprentice opportunities as well which means that you can never be too early to apply. They’ve also got the ‘Future Leaders Programme’ which endeavours to offer valuable work experience as well as a whole host of benefits and a basic salary. Competition for positions is often tough, so let us break down their recruitment strategy for you.
As you’d expect with so many discipline areas, there’s plenty of types of jobs to go around. Coming out of university, you’d be expected to start in one of their entry-level positions, where you’d be looking at a salary that averages at £18-24k a year. Wages do vary across which department you’re in, but in every discipline, there is room to advance your career and find promotions and new opportunities.
The scheme then is a very useful jumping platform to get yourself onto the adult career ladder and gives you a good head start opportunity to progress. Entry-level positions are predominately assistant and associate-based roles, but a few call for more leadership and management; in the UK, for example, they are currently hiring an audit finance manager.
There’s lots of great bonuses about the scheme, which make it worthwhile giving a try. All the salaries are considered competitive but depending on where you are working there are also annual bonuses. Staff members are treated well, there are complimentary gyms associated with the offices as well as discounts and that all-important pension programme. The business prides itself on being family-friendly, and their values and treatment of staff reflect that.
The Recruitment Process
Unilever has four stages to their recruitment, and across all 4, it is vital that you try to demonstrate that you have the skills and characteristics that would make for an ideal employee. Once you have found a position you are interested in, you begin by registering in their job portal and filling in an online application. This is a fairly standard practice across all industries, so hopefully should hold no nasty surprises. Make sure you apply in plenty of time as this will help to boost your chances. If you get through that stage, company policy dictates that you pass a couple of psychometric aptitude tests.
These, most of the time, will come in two, a numerical reasoning test and a logical reasoning test. No one likes being tested for a job, but this is the main way they work out who is suitable for a position, so it is important you take the time to do the tests as best as you can. There are a few online resources that offer guidance about what to expect, but really it’s just to ensure you have a basic understanding of maths and reason.
After that is a video interview that will give you more of an opportunity to talk about who you are and give a more in-depth demonstration of why you’d make a good candidate. If you make it all the way to the final stage, you get to go on what is called a Unilever Discovery Day. This is the chance to meet employees, your potential management team and get a real sense of the job. It’s a tough process, but the end results are incredibly worthwhile.