Big brand recruiters compare notes
How has the crisis affected recruitment among FMCG heavyweights? What sort of profiles are they after? And what is young talent looking for in an employer today?
hw_s10_1These were just some of the questions posed to sector experts at a recent METRO roundtable including Pierre Leman, HR Account Manager at Henkel, Gaëlle Helsmoortel, Recruitment Director  from  L’Oréal Belgilux, Roel Lambrichts, responsible  for  Talent Acquisition Europe at Coca- Cola, and Nicolas Goffaux, who  leads  A H E A D ’ s consumer practice.

According to Roel Lambrichts, of course it’s an advantage to have a worldwide brand like Coca-Cola. But paradoxically, few people really know them as an employer. Surprisingly, some candidates assume that the brand is too big and important for them, and that they only hire the crème de la crème. They may assume that they have no chance of a job there, so don’t even apply.

Meanwhile people think of L’ Oréal as a glamorous brand, but it still needs people in non-glamourous roles like engineers and pharmacists. Gaëlle Helsmoortel explains that L’ Oréal has a very entrepreneurial culture that believes in talent and tries to hire people with the most potential. That’s why they don’t have formal job descriptions which can be limiting – instead, they favour job guidelines with some key words encouraging a creative and entrepreneurial approach.

‘We are often in the role of ambassador for our clients, and I note that the candidates we welcome ask a lot of questions about company culture. So we really need to know that well.’ explains AHEAD’s Nicolas Goffaux. ‘Candidates discuss a lot amongst themselves and relate their experiences, both positive and negative,’ says Nicolas. ‘The perception they have can prove vital in their decision making.’

At Henkel the link between their company name and their products is not obvious, so recruiters need to work at that. Interestingly they also use social network sites like Facebook or Twitter to interface with ‘generation Y’ candidates. HR has needed to adapt and be inventive.

For more details of the published article, simply contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

AHEAD is a leading search firm specialising in high achievers. Headquartered in Brussels, we were formerly YESS International Brussels, created in 1990 by Egon Zehnder International.  Today AHEAD forms part of the extensive network covering Europe and beyond.
To receive more information, please do not hesitate to contact us via T. +32 (0) 2 223 23 90, or email us via CONTACT. It would be a pleasure to hear from you.

If you have recently changed your position or contact details, please be kind enough to inform us of any changes via CONTACT
or telephone +32 2 223 23 90. Or if you are not the original addressee, or would like to be added to our mailing list, please do let us know.