What it does: Makes cosmetics
Staff stats: Around 90,000 globally
The good bits: Lavish perks
The not so good bits: The fast pace can be stressful
The L’Oréal Australia story
L’Oréal started out as Société Française de Teintures Inoffensives pour Cheveux (roughly, ‘France’s Safe Hair Dye Company’. It was started in 1909 by Eugene Schuller, a French-German chemist who’d developed, well, a safe hair dye that he first sold to Parisian hairdressers and then throughout France. The company soon broadened its offering but grew slowly for the first 70 years of its existence.
It’s only in recent decades that L’Oréal has emerged as the world’s largest cosmetics company. It’s now an industry leader in hair care, hair colour, skin care, sun protection, make-up and perfume products, not to mention a cutting-edge innovator in fields such as biopharmaceuticals, dermatology, nanotechnology, tissue engineering and toxicology. (L’Oréal operates six well-funded R&D centres located in China, France, India, Japan and the US.)
Garnier, Lancôme, Maybelline and NYX Cosmetics are all subsidiaries of L’Oréal and in 2006 the company purchased The Body Shop for around US$750 million. In 2016, L’Oréal acquired IT Cosmetics for US$1.2 billion. In 2016, L’Oréal had revenues of €26 billion ($40 billion).
L'Oréal was an early adopter with inclusion. It signed on to a non-discriminatory Ethics Charter in 2000, a Global Compact in 2003 and was producing a ‘Diversity Balance Sheet’ by 2005. It currently employs staff hailing from 158 nations and speaking 58 different languages.
Now recognised as a world-leader in diversity, the company is working towards achieving the following goals:
- Diversifying its sources of recruitment to look for and acquire talents that represent greater cultural and social diversity
- Reducing the difference in salaries between men and women to the point that they disappear
- Nurturing the emergence of talents of women at the top level of the organisation
- Enabling and promoting the employment of people with disabilities
- Making L’Oréal products accessible to all consumers
- Practicing a responsible purchasing policy, especially one that acts against exclusion
L'Oréal is well on its way to achieving the sustainability goals it has set itself to reach by 2020.
These goals include having all its products provide a social or environmental benefit; reducing its environmental footprint by 60 per cent and empowering its customers to make sustainable consumption choices. The company has also invested large sums in developing alternatives to animal testing. Since 1998, L'Oréal has been partnering with UNESCO to recognise and provide financial support to outstanding female researchers who have made an impressive contribution to science. L'Oréal encourages staff across the world to volunteer as part of the company’s ‘Citizen Day’ activities and in 2016 330 L'Oréal Australia staff helped out at White Ribbon Australia, which campaigns to end male violence against women.
The recruitment process
L’Oréal Australia’s Management Trainee Program is open to citizens and permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand. It’s only offered at the Melbourne head office.
Those with any degree are welcome to apply. Apart from solid academic results, L’Oréal Australia looks for ambition, passion, an entrepreneurial mindset, a quick mind, communication skills and the ability to both work in a team and embrace leadership roles.
While it’s not essential, you’ll be better positioned to get into the Management Traineeship Program if you’ve previously done an internship. You can look for internships on the careers page of the company website.
Management Traineeship positions are also advertised on this career page. Candidates are expected to make an online application, which will include uploading an academic transcript and CV as well as a cover letter. If you make the shortlist, a recruiter will arrange a phone, video-conference or face-to-face interview to assess your skills.
The Management Traineeship program in Australia, as elsewhere around the world, is designed to produce the future leaders of the company. The program involves rotating through six-month-long assignments in different business divisions and functions; undertaking project-based work under the guidance of top performers; a structured learning and development program, as well as mentoring and support from the HR department. L’Oréal Australia says the program offers “hands-on experience of the inner workings of a successful, market-leading FMCG company, as you collaborate and learn from some of the most passionate, creative and intelligent people you'll ever meet”.
L’Oréal Australia doesn’t provide any public information about Management Trainee (or other) salaries. It appears to pay entry-level staff modestly, while providing plenty of opportunities for them to move to more senior and better-paid roles.
The company provides an impressive range of benefits. These include five weeks of annual leave, a profit-sharing scheme, early marks on Friday during the summer months, an onsite gym and café, flexible work arrangements, a product allowance, subsidised insurance, invitations to internal launches and events and overseas work placements.
L’Oréal is a company “where you get to advance quickly if you take initiative and push the boundaries while helping others shine along the way”. (L’Oréal’s current CEO started with the company as an intern in 1978.)
L’Oréal Australia’s erstwhile management trainees are now doing things such as “launching new brands… spearheading process improvement projects that will be implemented company-wide… and project managing e-commerce portal launches”. Many are “high-flying expats scattered throughout the world”.
The vibe of the place
L’Oréal’s “10 reasons to choose us” pitch to grads boils down to the following:
- You’ll be surrounded by a supportive team
- You’ll make an impact from day one
- You’ll be able to advance rapidly if you perform well
- You’ll be encouraged to reach your full potential
- You’ll have an enormous range of career paths to choose from
- You’ll have access to world-class training
- You’ll be well looked after (think profit-sharing schemes, generous leave arrangements and well-appointed offices)
- You’ll be encouraged to innovate
- You’ll get to do challenging and interesting work
- You’ll be encouraged to have fun (think bungee-jumping team-building exercises, office parties and Bring Your Kids to Work days)
If all that sounds attractive, L’Oréal Australia could be the employer for you.
From the Employer:
We are L’Oréal.
"L’Oréal Australia is part of the L’Oréal Group – the world’s largest pure beauty company with over 100 years of history and experience. We are a passionate team in a growing market, working to deliver our mission of Beauty for All through our local portfolio of 26 brands.
L’Oréal was founded by a scientist and we have always focused on cutting-edge research and innovation. Our innovation now also centres around the opportunity that the worldwide digital transformation provides and we are leaders in connecting beauty and technology.
Our business is energetic and vibrant, underpinned by strong ethical principles and our belief that financial performance and responsible business go hand-in-hand. We are driven each day by our six founding values - Passion, Innovation, Entrepreneurial spirit, Open-mindedness, Quest for excellence and Responsibility.
Our Graduate program is the foundation for building our future leaders. It is challenging and fast-paced with the opportunity to get hands-on experience of the inner workings of a successful, market-leading FMCG company, as you collaborate with and learn from some of the most passionate, creative and intelligent people you’ll ever meet.
Your rotations may take you across our varied areas of business, including but not limited to: Marketing, Digital, E-commerce, Sales, Category Management, Merchandising, Supply Chain and Finance. Is there a better way for a motivated and entrepreneurial Graduate to experience L’Oréal in full? We don’t think so!
Some of our previous Graduates are now launching new brands. Some of them are spearheading process improvement projects that will be implemented company-wide. Some of them have helped invigorate the role of digital marketing for our brands. Some of them have project managed E-commerce portal launches. And some of our previous graduates are now high-flying expats working across the world!
One thing they all have in common is that they were able to make a profound impact on the business. We take great pride in our Graduates and as such, we invest heavily in their training, support and development.
Here are some of the key features of our program:
- Three to four rotational six month assignments across different business divisions and functions.
- Experience project-based work under the guidance of internal top talent.
- Structured learning and development program.
- HR support and mentoring from our top internal talent.
- Opportunities to work across different departments, and with industry leading agencies and external clients.
- The opportunity to fast-track your career."