What it does: Sells fuel
Staff stats: 3500
The good bits: Supportive senior leaders
The not so good bits: Big-organisation bureaucracy
The Caltex story
In 1936 the Texas Company (which later became Texaco) and the California-based Standard Oil (which later became Chevron Corp) formed a joint venture called the California Texas Oil Company. The business was initially formed to sell oil imported from Saudi Arabian oilfields. In 1968, the name of the joint venture was shortened to Caltex Petroleum Corp. In 2001, Chevron and Texaco merged, forming a company called ChevronTexaco, which was soon shortened to just Chevron.
Until 2015, Caltex Petroleum Australia Pty Ltd, commonly known as just Caltex, was jointly owned by Chevron and Australian shareholders. Chevron has now sold out of the business, making Caltex an Australian-owned, ASX-listed company. (While the Caltex brand name is used in a number of other nations, these businesses are separate entities from Caltex Petroleum Australia.)
Caltex, which absorbed the Golden Fleece chain of service stations in 1981 and Ampol in 1995, still operates the largest oil company retail network in Australia. However, the entry of Woolworths and Coles into the (discount) fuel-selling game means the company no longer enjoys the market share it once did. In 2003, Caltex entered into a joint venture with Woolworths. This saw Woolworths’ ‘Plus Petrol’ service stations and some of Caltex’s service stations rebranded as ‘Caltex Woolworths’ service stations.
Caltex and Caltex Woolworths service stations sell fuel (petrol, diesel and autogas) as well vehicle-related products, such as lubricants and motor oil. They also function as convenience stores selling hot food, baked goods, coffee, packaged foods and newspapers. Depending on their size, the convenience-store sections of Caltex service stations are known as Star Marts, Star Shops or Woolworths.
Caltex used to operate two petroleum refineries in Australia in Lytton, Brisbane and Kurnell, Sydney. The Kurnell refinery ceased operations in 2014. In 2016, Caltex sold 16 billion litres of fuel and made a $610 million profit.
Caltex proclaims, “We’re big on diversity and believe that including people from all walks of life can help grow our company.” Perhaps surprisingly for what many would assume to be a blokey industry, women are well-represented at Caltex. They make up 37 per cent of the company’s senior leaders and 37.5 per cent of its executive team. Research has also found there is a negligible (1.1 per cent) gender pay differential on a like-for-like basis between male and female staff.
For the last two years, Caltex has been awarded an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. Since 2012, the company has offered a ‘BabyCare’ package that delivers “practical support and flexibility” to staff who are new parents. In 2016, the company launched an ‘Indigenous Employment Strategy’. This aims to “make a meaningful difference to the lives of Indigenous Australians through employment and development”.
Though its operations have an unavoidable environmental impact, Caltex is committed to “protecting the environments in which we work through full compliance with regulations and standards and robust operational management”.
The company’s corporate sponsorship program leverages the Caltex network in the service of, and provides financial support to, to organisations making “a real difference across Australia”. Caltex sponsors the Australian Road Safety Foundation, Motorvation (which encourages young drivers to drive safely), the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Clontarf Foundation (which helps young Indigenous men). Caltex also has a workplace giving program, ‘Fuelling Change’. This has made donations to many charities and community organisations. At various times, the company has also sponsored motor racing and rugby league teams.
The recruitment process
As Australia’s “leading transport fuel supplier and convenience retailer”, Caltex offers roles in areas such as: B2B and consumer sales; engineering; health, safety and environment; HR; IT; marketing and supply chain operations. While Caltex doesn’t specify this, you can assume you’ll need a relevant degree to work in more technical areas such as supply chain or OHS. There may be more flexibility with grad positions in areas such as sales.
The company looks for success-orientated, agile and innovative thinkers. You should also be the type who takes pride in your work and aspires to be part of a high-performance team.
The recruitment process for any role at Caltex starts by joining its ‘Talent Community’, which involves filling out a short online form. Caltex doesn’t provide much public information about the subsequent steps of the process. According to those who’ve experienced it, you can expect to go through the standard funnel of an online assessment/first-round (behaviourally based) interviews/ individual and group exercises at an assessment centre/final-round interviews with senior staff.
Caltex’s grad program goes for two years and involves four six-month rotations. The program is designed to “develop and grow the next generation of leaders by offering exciting, challenging and rewarding opportunities”. Grads “gain exposure across our value chain from supply chain operations, brand and product, property and network, consumer and pricing”.
Caltex claims to have “highly competitive pay, bonus and reward structures that are sure to motivate you to perform at your best”. Grad salaries are reported to be above average. You’ll also have access to discounted fuel.
Caltex promises that “every employee can learn and develop within their current role or experience a different role within the business”. Caltex prioritises fostering an “open culture”. One that gives all staff, and particularly grads, “access to senior management and key decision makers” and therefore the opportunity to influence the direction of the company. The “supportive leadership team” is also expected to help grads “develop and achieve [their] goals”.
The vibe of the place
Caltex may not be the most glamorous of employers but, by most accounts, it treats its people well. If you get a grad role there, you can expect reasonable job security, friendly co-workers, exceptionally encouraging managers, good pay and conditions, the opportunity to have a real say in how the company operates and access to flexible work arrangements.
If all that sounds appealing and you're the type that “likes to get things done [and] make a real difference”, you’ll be a good fit at Caltex.
Star Rating: 4.4 stars
From the Employer:
"When it comes to Australian fuel and convenience networks, it doesn’t get much bigger, or exciting than Caltex. We are the leading transport fuel supplier in Australia and the only Australian owned, ASX listed fuel company. Our business value chain serves a diverse range of Australia’s fuel transportation needs through supply, refining, logistics and marketing.
Our Graduate Program is designed to develop and grow the next generation of leaders by offering exciting, challenging and rewarding opportunities across our highly capable organisation. You will gain exposure across our value chain from supply chain operations, brand and product, property and network, consumer and pricing, providing you a platform to grow your career as we continue to grow our business.
You will have the opportunity to collaborate with a driven team and make a real impact on the company, all while working in a flexible and diverse environment. We value innovative and agile thinkers who thrive on success as we know it’s our people who make us different!
So no matter where your talents lie, put your career in motion with Caltex.
The Women’s Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) is a leading practice recognition program that aims to encourage, recognise and promote active commitment to achieving gender equality in Australian workplaces. In 2016 Caltex are proud, for the second consecutive year, to receive EOCGE citation from the WGEA."