What it does: International property and infrastructure group
Staff stats: Globally, around 12,000
The good bits: Helping construct iconic buildings, lots of opportunities
The not so good bits: Red tape, silo mentality
Hiring grads with degrees in: Property & Built Environment; Engineering, Maths, IT & Computer Sciences; Finance, Accounting, Economics & Business Administration
The Lendlease story
Lendlease is one of the great migrant success stories of post-WWII Australia. In 1951 Dick Dusseldorp was sent to Australia to look for business opportunities for the Dutch housebuilding company he was then a construction manager for. Dusseldorp decided to start a business – Civil and Civic. In 1958, he created a financing arm for that construction company, which he called Lend Lease Corporation. To cut a convoluted story short, Lend Lease Corporation purchased Civil and Civic in 1961. The company, which is now known as Lendlease, subsequently purchased other large construction industry players such as P&O’s Global Project Management Company Bovis and Valemus Australia.
By 1970, Dick’s company had expanded into the US market. In 1991 it started operating in Europe. Nowadays, the business is headquartered in Sydney, has regional head offices in New York, Singapore and London and is undertaking projects in 10 countries. In Australia, Lendlease has been involved in pioneering projects such as the Sydney Opera House, Australia Square, Blue Point Tower, Brisbane Showgrounds and Barangaroo.
While the construction game might be seen as unreconstructedly blokey, Lendlease borders on obsessive in its commitment to diversity. It has partnered with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Diversity Council Australia, Australian Human Resources Institute, Australian Network on Disability and National Association of Women in Construction. It has one global and several regional councils, as well as lots of Employee Resource Groups, to advocate for diversity issues. Staff are offered flexible working hours, including the option to go part time or job share. The company does everything possible to ensure its “processes, policies and opportunities are fair and equitable for all”. In 2011 it adopted a Reconciliation Action Plan. This has resulted in thousands of Lendlease employees receiving cultural awareness training. The company has also provided mentoring support for thousands of Indigenous Australian students and joined Supply Nation, which facilitates companies incorporating Indigenous businesses in their supply chain.
Lendlease is also an industry leader in green building. In the 2015-16 financial year, 98 per cent of its development pipeline had either achieved or was targeting green certification.
Dick Dusseldorp became increasingly focused on making a social contribution as Lendlease prospered. He set up the Lendlease Foundation in 1983. The foundation’s objective is to nurture the wellbeing of employees in general and, in particular, support their involvement in charitable and community affairs. Over the last couple of decades alone, the Lendlease Foundation has volunteered the equivalent of 65 years to community projects around the world. The Community 365 initiative provides staff with the opportunity to participate in a range of skilled volunteering opportunities.
The recruitment process
Lendlease has the following grad programs: Building (Construction and design); Property; Services (Infrastructure); Engineering (Civil infrastructure) and Corporate Functions (Business). All the programs last two years. All involve rotating through different areas of the business, undertaking a structured learning and development program, doing on the job assignments, as well as taking part in networking events and more informal social activities. By the end of a program you should have developed strong relationships with both your fellow grads and senior leaders. You’ll also be able to apply to work on international projects.
The recruitment process of the grad programs seems to vary. However, you should expect to have to register your interest via an online application then do a phone interview. Following that, you may be required to attend an assessment centre to take part in group and individual exercises and interviews. Alternatively, you may just be asked to attend an interview with one or more Lendlease staff. You’ll need the appropriate qualifications to undertake the grad program you’re applying for, but Lendlease likes to employ well-rounded individuals. So, make sure to draw attention to your extra-curricular activities.
Graduates report their salaries range from average to above average. Depending on how you and the business perform, you may get an annual bonus. If you need to relocate, your moving and initial accommodation costs will be covered. There is also a well-stocked office kitchen, discounted gym memberships and health insurance, taxi vouchers if you work late and three extra ‘lifestyle days’ added to your annual leave.
These vary depending on what area you’re in though you should expect to pay your dues for several years before the promotions start flowing. Lendlease staff tend to hang around and there is a culture of promoting from within. There are a couple of year-long talent development programs – Aspire and Inspire – aimed at, respectively, developing future leaders and preparing mid-level managers for senior executive roles. You’ll need to both work and network hard if you want to rise to the pointy end of the org chart.
The vibe of the place
This will partly depend on which part of Lendlease’s sprawling global empire you end up in. While Dick Dusseldorp has long since departed, his passion for creating a fair workplace and a happy workforce lives on. Senior managers are accessible and colleagues are supportive. You’ll be expected to work hard, especially if deadlines are looming, but the work-life balance isn’t too bad.
Star Rating: 3.9 stars
From the Employer:
"We’re very proud to say that every day people around the world live, work, shop or play in an asset we have created. We create life-changing healthcare facilities and hospitals; highways, bridges, tunnels and train lines that connect people. We create retail centres that support businesses and provide employment opportunities and residential communities where homes are established and families are cherished. We shape city skylines, create iconic structures, breathe life into forgotten precincts and design places and spaces for generations to enjoy.
With nearly 60 years of property and infrastructure experience, we are proud to offer our clients and investors the ability to leverage our expertise across the full property and infrastructure spectrum – from funding and managing projects and properties, right through to design, development and construction.
Headquartered in Sydney we operate in four key global regions – Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas – with a presence in 10 countries and circa 12,000 employees.
We pride ourselves on a track record of creating the best places; but the best places are far more than bricks and mortar, it’s the people that make a place – our bold thinkers, go-getters, creators with purpose – they’re the heart of our success.
Our Graduate Program
With opportunities nationally, the Lendlease Graduate Program spans two years and includes rotations, a formal learning pathway, networking sessions and the opportunity to build relationships with our senior leadership teams.
Graduates are our future leaders. We are looking for people with the right combination of skills and values to drive our vision and strategy across our diverse business. Our commitment to you is a two year structured program designed to prepare you for a successful and enduring career with us. Creating a better future for our people is at the heart of our vision to create the best places.
With opportunities nationally across multiple areas of our diverse business, for our 2018 Graduate Program we will be recruiting Graduates from the following disciplines;
- Construction Management
- Cost Planning & Quantity Surveying
- Design & Architecture
- Property Development
- Accounting & Finance
- Human Resources
- Information Technology
Visit our graduate website for more information and stay connected by joining us on Facebook."