What it does: Fast moving consumer goods
Staff stats: Around 100,000 globally, 2200 in Australia and New Zealand
The good bits: Working for one of the world’s best employers
The not so good bits: The pace can be frantic
Hiring grads with degrees in: Engineering, Maths, IT & Computer Sciences; Finance, Accounting, Economics & Business Administration; Health & Medical Sciences; Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences; Law & Legal Studies; Property & Built Environment; Sciences; Teaching, Education & Human Welfare
The Mars story
Mars is a family business that has been making products for food and pets for over 100 years.
Franklin Mars, who was born in 1882 in Minnesota, was taught the basic of chocolate making by his mother.. By age 19 he was selling molasses chips and he soon moved to Minneapolis to set up a confectionery company, Mar-O-Bar Co. His first big chocolate bar hit – the Milky Way – was the result of an idea from his son Forrest, who wanted to replicate a milkshake in the form of a lolly.
Franklin went onto to create the Snickers Bar before his son . went on to develop Maltesers, M&Ms, Skittles, Snickers, Twix, and, of course, the Mars Bar. The company branched out, getting into pet food by launching what’s since grown in Pedigree Petfoods in 1957. In recent decades, the company has also snapped up other iconic food businesses, most notably Wrigley Company, the world’s largest chewing gum manufacturer.
The company has had a presence in Australia since 1915. In 1967, it both set up its first Australian factory and bought the Australian herb and spice business Masterfoods. It now has 14 factory and office locations across Australia and New Zealand.
Mars believes a diverse workforce inspires creativity and innovation. Globally, around 40 per cent of its managerial positions are filled by women. The company has various initiatives in place to both recruit and develop more female staff.
Along with many other major corporations, Mars signed up to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion scheme in mid-2017. Among other initiatives, this means Mars is committed to:
1. Work to create trusting environments within our companies
2. Implement and expand unconscious bias training within our organisations
3. Agree to share best practices and unsuccessful practices around diversity and inclusion
As part of its commitment to putting ‘The Five Principles’ (see below) into action, Mars Australia strives to be a good corporate citizen. In recent times, it has slashed its manufacturing sites’ waste, greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. It’s also implemented rainwater-recycling schemes and installed co-generation plants. Mars is a signatory to the Children’s Marketing Initiative. It has reduced the amount of saturated fat and salt in its products and uses Rainforest Alliance-certified cocoa.
In Australia, the company sponsors a range of organisations and events. These include the Guide Dogs, Mars Petcare Paws in the Park event, the Prison Puppies program, World Animal Day, Seeing Eye Dogs Australia, Earth Hour, Keep Australia Beautiful and Foodbank Australia. The company’s PEDIGREE® and ADVANCE® adoption drives have helped re-home 100,000 dogs over 50,000 cats.
The recruitment process
Mars interviews over 100,000 job seekers across the globe each year. The company looks for individuals who are collaborative, curious and who know how to get things done, through formal and informal channels.lAs a Mars associate, you’ll also be expected to demonstrate accountability and delivery of consistent results, as well as provide evidence you learn from your mistakes and seek continuous improvement for self-development and growth. Your resume needs to reflect the minimum qualifications of the position and, ideally, you’ll also possess special capabilities and skill-sets, including leadership examples of self and others.
Grad roles are typically available in the following departments: engineering, industrial engineering, research & development (R&D),, finance, supply chain/logistics, purchasing and sales and marketing. Mars accepts grads from a range of disciplines but you’ll need a relevant degree if you want to work in the engineering or R&D areas. The recruitment process starts by filling in a short online application form (https://marsaustralia2018graduatecampaign.gradapp.com.au/#/login). Then comes online testing to ascertain your capabilities in verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning. After that, you’ll do a video interview and, if that goes well, you’ll be invited to attend an assessment centre in either Sydney or Melbourne. Here you’ll take part in individual and group activities and be assessed on how you think and collaborate with others. The final stage involves going to one of Mars’ sites for final assessment interviews.
The grad program goes for three years and involves three 12-month rotations through the business. The program aims to both build technical skills and provide leadership opportunities. Grads have the opportunity to work across multiple business sites, technologies, ways of working, market positions and brands.
Mars pays staff above the industry average wage for entry level roles.. The company is keen on having a healthy workforce and offers benefits such as discounted gym memberships,,, fitness boot camps and health checks. Also on offer are generous discounts on their vast array of products. You may also get free or subsidised personal insurance.
Mars calls all its staff members ‘Associates’. This reflects the business mindset that employees are much more than a resource. Every Associate is considered a stakeholder in the business, expected to contribute and take responsibility for results. The company has won just about every Best Place to Work award going. It is also renowned for being an excellent training ground for managers. Many former Mars middle-managers have gone on to be CEOs at other companies, to the extent Mars is sometimes referred to as the Ultimate Business School.
Through Mars University, as well as a comprehensive suite of award-winning learning programs and career development options, the company aims to help Associates build the skills they need to succeed today and grow their careers at Mars across a lifetime.
The vibe of the place
Mars is big on what it calls the “The Five Principles of Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom”. These principles are the foundations of their culture and approach to business which unite Mars employees across geographies, languages, cultures and generation.
In practice, the Five Principles mean Mars staff are expected to take responsibility, produce quality work in an efficient manner and strive to create win-win solutions when dealing with colleagues, customers, suppliers and the broader community. Freedom means Mars staff, not needing to keep nervous shareholders happy, enjoy unusual levels of freedom when it comes to doing business in a free-thinking kind of way. If all that sounds appealing to you, you should find Mars a fulfilling place to work.
From the Employer:
"Who we are..
We’re a family business that’s been making products for people (and the pets that people love) for more than 100 years. When you think of Mars, chocolate probably comes to mind—and for good reason. Thanks to brands like M&M’s®, Snickers® and Twix®, chocolate is certainly a big part of who we are. But, we’re about more.
Mars is behind some of the world’s best loved brands in the world including Pedigree®, Royal Canin®, Dolmio®, Whiskas®, Schmackos®, Skittles®, Extra® and Uncle Ben’s®. Globally, we’re 100,000 self-proclaimed Martians—we’re pet obsessed, confectionery lovers, foodies, dream chasers and community builders— working across 78 different countries.
We’re a diverse, extended family that wakes up every morning ready to make an impact—on our business and on the world. And, we do it by keeping The Five Principles at the heart of everything we do: Quality, Efficiency, Responsibility, Mutuality and Freedom. These principles inform our decisions and unite us across geographies, languages, cultures and generations.
Here in Australia, we're a family of over 2,200 associates spread across 9 locations across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. Our seven factories produce 44 well-loved brands. We're also proud to announce we've been recognised as the #1 Best Place to Work in Australia by Great Place to Work !
Our Graduate Program...
Where you start your career at Mars, is just the beginning. Joining our Graduate program, which is known as The Mars Leadership Experience, will kick off 3 rewarding years packed with great experiences, opportunities and learning. Our program is designed to build both your functional/technical skills, as well as providing you with stretching leadership opportunities to prepare you for an exciting career. You’re an individual, so why have a stock standard career? Experience a Graduate Program that’s personalised and committed to helping you grow, not just professionally but personally too. We’ll work together to understand your career ambitions, and navigate your rotations year on year.
To us, every graduate is a potential leader. That’s why the moment the program starts you’ll be handed huge responsibilities. You’re also provided with the freedom to explore the new, and are fully supported while you gain knowledge and experience. At Mars we’re all about our people. As an Associate here, you’ll not only play an integral role in our continued success but you’ll also be working with the industry’s top talent who are all keen to support you in your leadership journey as your line managers, mentors, buddies and new friends."