What it does: Makes food and beverages
Staff stats: 340,000 across 86 countries
The good bits: Global career opportunities
The not so good bits: Big-organisation inertia
The Nestlé story
In 1866, German-Swiss pharmacist Henri Nestlé created a powdered-milk-based infant formula. He soon partnered with a Swiss chocolatier called Daniel Peter who was determined to work out a way to make milk chocolate from powdered milk. In 1879, the two innovators came together to create the Nestlé Company.
In 1867, Charles and George Page, American brothers residing in Switzerland, also got into the powdered milk chocolate business, establishing the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company.
Both companies grew strongly and after a period of fierce competition merged in 1905. The rest, as they say, is history.
Nestlé is now the world’s largest food company. It makes baby food, breakfast cereals, confectionery, dairy products, ice cream, frozen food, pet foods and snack food as well as coffees, teas and bottled water. Some of the better-known brands Nestlé either launched or acquired include Allens, Carnation, Kit Kat, Maggi, Milo, Nan, Nescafé, Nespresso, Nesquick, Uncle Tobys, Sustagen and Vittel. (The company also has a major stake in L’Oréal, the world’s largest cosmetics company.)
Nestlé products began being sold in this part of the world during the 1880s. By 1906 Australia had become the company’s second largest export market. In 1908 Nestlé had set up shop down under and in 1934 its Australian division created Milo. Since 1999, Nestlé’s Australian office has served as the headquarters for the Oceania Region.
Headquartered, in Vaud, Switzerland, Nestlé is one of the world’s largest multinationals. It had revenues of around $116 billion in 2016.
Nestlé Oceania is “committed to an inclusive workplace that respects all cultures, different ways of thinking and supports our people to perform at their best and develop to their full potential”. It attempts to “integrate in every community to which we belong – in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands markets”. Nestlé Oceania is now particularly focused on gender equality. It has “made it a priority to make sure we’re making the best of the talents of both men and women” and “develop an environment, culture and leadership approach that provides equal opportunities for everyone, at every level”.
Nestlé Oceania’s corporate social responsibility initiatives focus on “areas where we can add the most value: health, nutrition, promoting active lifestyles and environmental sustainability”.
In Australia, the company provides backing to Nestlé Healthy Active Kids (which offers health education and promotes physical activity), Foodbank (which provides free meals to the disadvantaged), the Aboriginal Youth Development Program, Cricket Australia (through the Milo brand) and the Animal Welfare League.
The recruitment process
Nestlé Oceania offers five different grad program streams for business, finance, marketing, supply chain and technical and production graduates. All run for two years. As well as having a relevant qualification, you’ll be expected to demonstrate you are adaptable, innovative, insightful, self-motivated and a smart worker (i.e. one who can prioritise tasks and work collaboratively).
Whichever stream you apply for, you’ll go through the same recruitment process. This involves filling in an online application, doing an online assessment, sitting an interview either in person or via video conferencing and attending an assessment centre, where you’ll take part in group activities and meet with senior leaders. If all that goes well, and your references check out, you can expect to receive an offer.
Your grad program experience will be determined by what stream you’re in. Marketing grads can expect to “work across new product development, point of sale development, brand communications and [learn] how to interact and work with a sales team”. Business graduates will “gain insights into consumer and shopper behaviour” then “help create compelling sales offers and develop integrated shopper campaigns that excite and entertain”. Supply chain grads will “experience the end to end value change through roles in each of our key functional areas: Customer Service, Demand and Supply Planning, Physical Logistics and Procurement”. Finance grads learn about “the full life cycle of the financial side of Nestlé” from product development to sales, as well as receiving support to achieve a CPA qualification. Technical and production graduates are trained up in “processes to maximise productivity and minimise waste” before getting “opportunities to lead projects and demonstrate what you’ve learnt across management of projects and people, safe work practices and being a team leader of high performance teams”.
Nestlé’s ‘Total Rewards’ approach revolves around recruiting and retaining quality staff by offering them fixed pay, variable pay (i.e. incentive payments), benefits, personal growth and development opportunities and a reasonable work-life balance. The fixed and variable pay parts of the equation are “competitive and reviewed against industry standards to ensure we attract and retain the best”.
Nestlé prides itself on being a high-performance culture. One that gives its staff “responsibility, opportunity and autonomy”. Especially while in the grad program, you’ll experience “on-the-job development and a fast-paced environment that will stretch and build your expertise daily”.
Nestlé takes succession planning seriously and prefers to promote from within. If you want to be placed on the fast track, you’ll need to demonstrate what Nestlé describes as ‘accelerator’ qualities. These are: “mobility, your flexibility to move between functions and categories, how well you network, and how open you are to new experiences”.
The vibe of the place
Nestlé expects its staff to be hard-charging go-getters. People keen on “delivering high levels of individual and team performance, living up to our exemplary standards of integrity, honesty and fair dealing; and taking ownership of your future”. Those who make the grade can look forward to “an incredibly broad spectrum of experiences”, learning from “exceptional people in a huge range of professions” and “opportunities to impact global initiatives at the local level”.
From the Employer:
"Iconic brands. World class products. There’s more to life at Nestlé.
Ready for your big break?
Imagine being part of a global success story; working with iconic brands and world-class products. This could be you and your future career because we know it’s the graduates of today that shape tomorrow.
When you join Nestlé, you become part of the world’s biggest nutrition, health and wellness company. Our brands touch every aspect of consumers’ lives and every day, we’re committed to live our promise: Good Food, Good Life.
We know that it takes a lot of different people with many different skills and talent to create a stronger, more sustainable tomorrow. With fresh thinking and new ideas, you can make a real impact on the way we work and the way we deliver our products to the market.
You will have the opportunity to create your own career path and make real contributions to the success of our company. And when you’re ready to grow, we have career opportunities both locally and globally.
So if you are ready to be challenged and want to make a difference, then come and join us in our Next Gen Nestlé graduate program where you will see a world of opportunity open up and discover there’s more to life at Nestlé."