Page 1: Introduction
Nestlé UK has been trading as a business since the 1860s. Today, Nestlé is the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company. It is a major player within the UK and Irish food industry, employing over 8,000 people across 23 sites. Nestlé produces some of Britain’s best loved brands, such as KIT KAT®, NESCAFÉ®, SMARTIES®, FELIX®, BUXTON MINERAL WATER® and SHREDDIES®.
‘The Academy creates a great world of support for all those involved, graduates and apprentices alike.’
– Mark Thompson, Engineering Apprentice
The food and drinks sector is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK. To ensure the industry attracts outstanding young talent, Nestlé established its own Academy. The Academy provides flexible entry points to enable people at all levels to build a rewarding career at Nestlé.
This year the Academy will play a big part in Nestlé’s European Youth Employment Initiative. Over the next 3 years, Nestlé have committed to offer 20,000 employment opportunities for young people across Europe under the age of 30, with 1,900 of these opportunities based in the UK and Ireland.
The Academy focuses on creating flexible entry points into the business, enabling people to develop functional expertise and leadership skills to drive the business forward and grow a sustainable pipeline of talent for the future.
This is achieved by offering a lifetime of learning from apprenticeships to graduate and school leaver programmes, to work experience and on-the-job training across all disciplines from engineering to finance, manufacturing to marketing, as well as a range international opportunities.
Nestlé, along with many UK businesses, found that there can often be a difference between the skills gained in education and those needed in the workplace. The shortage of candidates with the skill set required to help develop the business created a challenge for Nestlé. To overcome this, Nestlé ran employability skills workshops for young people, both on campus with potential university candidates, and also on site with local young unemployed people. Nestlé also recognized the challenges young people face in traditional interview situations, due to their lack of work experience and being able to provide meaningful examples to traditional interview questioning techniques. Nestlé needed a new approach to be able to differentiate between their entry level applications so adopted a new recruitment methodology.
This case study looks at how Nestlé has developed its 'strengths-based' approach which focuses on strengths rather than competencies to recruit young talent.
‘The Nestlé Academy has provided me with the opportunity and support to learn, develop and excel in the career I want.’