What it does: Makes personal-care products
Staff stats: Around 105,000 globally
The good bits: Rapid career progression
The not so good bits: Big-organisation inertia
The Proctor & Gamble story
Proctor & Gamble (aka P&G) began modestly enough in Cincinnati in 1837. It came into being when an English immigrant candle-maker called William Proctor joined forces with his brother-in-law, an Irish soap-maker called James Gamble. Their business took off during America’s Civil War when P&G got the contract to supply soap and candles to the Union Army. Early in the 20th century, the company began to both diversify and expand internationally, launching products such as Crisco and making a big push into the UK. It also began heavily advertising its soaps on lurid radio drama serials, which led to those serials becoming known as ‘soap operas’.
During the post-WWII boom period, the company made life more comfortable and hygienic for millions of people throughout the world. It did this by developing products such as Tide laundry detergent, Prell shampoo, Crest (the first toothpaste to contain fluoride), Downy and Bounce fabric softeners and Pampers disposable nappies.
In the 1970s the company’s growth became more acquisitions-driven. It bought up companies that produced well-known health or personal care products such as Pepto-Bismol, Old Spice, Max Factor and Vicks. In 2005, the company swallowed Gillette, which meant it also gained control of Duracell, Braun and Oral B. In recent years, the company has streamlined itself, selling off its billion-dollar prescription drug business as well as big-name brands such as Crisco, Duracell and Pringles.
Even after divesting itself of some of its most iconic assets, P&G is still one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies. It remains headquartered in Cincinnati and in 2016 it had revenues of US$65 billion.
One of P&G’s in-house slogans is, “Everyone valued, everyone included, everyone performing at their peak”. The company is committed to providing equal opportunities when it comes to recruiting, hiring, training, pay rises and promotions. P&G employs people of 145 different nationalities. It is currently focused on “achieving 50-50 representation of women and men in all parts of our Company”, in part by continuing to be an industry leader in providing parental leave and workplace flexibility. It has employee networking groups for female staff (the Australian Women’s Network) and LGBT employees (GABLE).
P&G does not discriminate based on “race, colour, gender, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, HIV/AIDS status, or any other legally protected factor”.
Proctor & Gamble embraced being a good corporate citizen long before it was fashionable, introducing a profit-share scheme for staff way back in 1887. Nowadays, the company provides funding for programs that provide billions of litres clean water to people in 75 of the world’s most disadvantaged countries and vaccinations that have eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus in 15 nations.
The company also supplies free kits of it personal hygiene products to those in disaster-impacted areas. In many parts of the world, P&G staff volunteer to build, repair and clean homes. In 2016, seven of P&G’s Australian staff travelled to Cambodia to build a home for a local family in need.
The company has ambitious sustainability goals. It eventually wants to consume only renewable energy, use 100 per cent renewable or recycled packaging and produce no manufacturing or consumer waste that has to go to landfill.
The company has already significantly reduced its environmental footprint. It’s done this through initiatives such as slashing its energy and water consumption, creating laundry detergents largely made from plant-based ingredients, removing phosphate from its dishwashing tablets and using only sustainably produced timber.
The recruitment process
To be eligible for a graduate role at P&G Australian arm you’ll need to an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, have graduated in the last couple of years and have at least a credit average. You’ll also need a driver’s licence if you’re applying for a sales role. The company looks for candidates who have a history of contributing to the community and taking leadership roles in clubs, teams and societies. You’ll also be expected to demonstrate you possess an analytical mind, the ability to be a collaborative team player and a passion for winning.
P&G takes pride in not offering a “traditional graduate program with rotations or gradual ramp-up periods”. Instead, it hands grads “real responsibility for the moment you walk through the door” in the belief this is “the best way to learn”.
There appear to be four areas grads can apply to work in: brand marketing/management; finance and accounting; sales and supply networking operations. It seems those from any discipline can apply for a grad role in sales but you may need an appropriate qualification to work in the other three areas.
P&G’s recruitment process is relatively quick and straightforward. It begins by registering on the company’s site and making an online application. This involves uploading your resume, academic transcript and a cover letter explaining why you wish to work at P&G and what you can offer the business. You’ll also need to complete a questionnaire. The next stage is an online assessment. After this, there is an initial “behavioural-based and situational” interview. If that goes well, there is a final interview that will “go into greater detail around your skills, capabilities, experience level and fit for the role”.
P&G staff have access to a staff shop, where they can buy company products at a discount, as well as the opportunity to participate in an employee-share plan. Those who’ve done the grad program report that while there are no bonuses, salaries are benchmarked and “in line with market expectations” and superannuation payments are generous.
As mentioned, P&G expects grads to hit the ground running. While this can be challenging, the upside is that you can start climbing the career ladder earlier than is the case than in many other companies. The company generally hires from within. The way to score regular promotions is to work hard, network enthusiastically and meet your KPIs.
The vibe of the place
P&G looks after its staff well with offerings such as flexible work arrangements, lavish company events and respectable remuneration packages. However, it expects them to perform and fosters a competitive environment by ranking staff in relation to their colleagues. Many grads report that there is limited time available for socialising in the office and little to no extra-curricular bonding outside of work hours. That noted, you should find your colleagues friendly and your manager approachable.
Star Rating: 4.5 stars
From the Employer:
"At P&G, we see big potential in life’s little moments. Brushing teeth. Washing hair. Showering. Shaving. Cleaning the house. Doing the dishes, and the laundry. We make the products that help make these moments a little easier.
Our market-leading brands touch & improve the lives of almost 5 billion consumers across the world every day. Our brand portfolio contains household names such as Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Olay, Oral-B & Pantene among others. We’ve been a successful global company for 180 years and it’s our people that are the heart of our success.
Since we started in 1837, innovation has been our lifeblood. Throughout our Company’s history, we’ve created brand new products like Pantene, Olay and Gillette. And worked towards social change with programs like Children’s Safe Drinking Water. As far as business innovations go, we were the first company to sell direct to retailers and pioneered the integration of the different elements of the brand-building process in to holistic brand management.
We aspire to lead our industry and every product category in which we compete. Our goal is shaping the future of our industry and expanding product categories. We’re able to do this because we hire women and men who’ve distinguished themselves as leaders. And because we invest in their personal and professional growth throughout their careers. We’re a Company of leaders who settle for nothing less. It’s how we win.
We’re a company that elevates responsible governance and ethical behaviour. We strive to do business in an open and transparent way. We support good causes and protect the environment. And we provide an inspiring place to work where people are empowered to bring their full self to work and perform at their best. We’re committed to growing our company responsibly, earning trust and building relationships. That’s how we’re building a solid foundation for a bright future.
Our people are the source of our competitive advantage. Our success depends entirely on the strength of our talent. Developing leaders at P&G is simple. We apply the same rigor we use to develop innovative products and services, and apply it to how we develop people around the world at every level.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula for developing the world’s top talent.
That’s why we’ve adopted a best-fit-for-you mentality at P&G. As a “build-from-within” organization, the majority of our people start at an entry level and then progress throughout the company – each in their own unique way. When we make a job offer, it’s with the expectation that you’ll grow into one of our future leaders. We know it takes many different types of people to grow a business that touches every corner of the globe.
We Challenge P&G People from Day One.
We believe there’s no substitute for hands-on experience. That’s why we create early, meaningful responsibilities for every employee. Hit the ground running with challenging and meaningful work that lets you make an impact on our business from day one.
We Never Stop Learning.
P&G is a place where every employee can learn and grow through experiences, feedback and engaging in the right training. So, how do we continue to challenge our people and build their careers? With projects or assignments that push them to expand their ideas. Through relationships, networking and mentoring. And with formal training such as functional courses or P&G Leadership Academy courses. We’re committed to individual development planning that enables your growth.
We Share P&G’s Purpose and Values.
Our Purpose and Values are the foundation of our culture. Our Purpose unifies us in a shared vision to improve the lives of the world’s consumers. Our Values of Trust, Integrity, Ownership, Leadership and Passion for Winning shape how we work. Our Purpose and Values unify us to collaborate as a team internally and compete to win externally.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
We believe that every P&G employee is equally talented in unique ways. Beyond the visible differences, we come from diverse traditions, personal experiences and points of view. When we come together we create an amazingly rich tapestry.
We know that fostering a supportive and encouraging environment can inspire every employee to bring his and her personal best. Our mission of Diversity and Inclusion is: “Everyone valued. Everyone included. Everyone performing at their peakTM.”
Diverse talent throughout
In our experience, we are much better at developing game-changing innovations when we have the most diverse groups developing them. Innovation is our lifeblood. It is how we touch and improve lives.
Trusting, open and inclusive culture
We believe in creating a culture of respect for every individual, for the consumers we serve and for the people with whom we work every day. This requires trust, openness and inclusiveness.
A culture of flexibility and agility that inspires peak performance whether it is of physical space (where, when and how), of style or of culture – we are in touch and embrace our changing environment.
In Australia we have two active groups within our local organisation:
GABLE is dedicated to fostering an inclusive, supportive global network that enables Gay, Ally, Bisexual, Lesbian and Transgender Employees to contribute to their fullest potential and to bring their whole self to work every day. What began as largely a North American-centered network for fostering workplace equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) employees has grown into a supportive and global community, with chapters in every region of the world including Australia. These grassroots efforts have evolved into chapters representing the diversity of our employees as well as strong allies to support individuality and inclusion.
Australian Women’s Network
Our women’s network is focused on connecting, developing and advancing women in our local organisation. We host regular events to empower and equip women to give their best at work. We are also helping to influence policy to ensure we have the workplace culture and practices which enable flexibility and support.
We aspire to build a better world for all of us – inside and outside of P&G - a world free from gender bias and a world with equal representation and equal voice for men and women.
It makes sense for P&G to stand up for gender equality not only because it’s consistent with our Purpose, Values and Principles — but also because, as an insights-based company, we deeply understand women and girls.
We are leveraging our insights to uncover gender bias, and we’re taking actions that spark conversations and motivate change. We’re doing this through our brands, with our corporate voice, and with our people – and we’re taking action both inside and outside of our company.
Check out some of our global brands who are helping to tackle gender bias and stereotypes in the video section of our profile.
From local communities to global initiatives, we think investing in our planet is pretty important. Helping the countries in which we operate isn’t just a responsibility – it’s a necessity for our success and something our people are very passionate about. We’re making everyday life better through our innovations and actions.
Our long-term vision is to:
- Run all plants on 100% renewable energy
- Send zero consumer and manufacturing waste to landfill
- Make all products with 100% renewable or recycled materials
- Design products that delight while maximizing resource conservation
We have a long-standing history of giving back to the communities where we live and work. Whether it’s providing basic essentials for families displaced by disaster or supporting hygiene education, we aim to improve the health and well-being of all the communities we touch. We have three Corporate programs:
The P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water program
This corporate program utilises an innovation that created by P&G to transform potentially deadly water into clean, drinkable water. To date, the program has been implemented in more than 75 countries and has committed to delivering 15 billion litres of clean drinking water by 2020.
In 2016, P&G partnered with relief organisations to bring the comforts of home to those impacted by 26 global disasters. Head & Shoulders, Oral-B, Pantene and other P&G brands donated thousands of products and hours to help survivors, families and entire communities regroup and recover.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat envisions a world where everyone has a decent place to live. For more than 10 years, we have supported this vision, through our Company and thousands of P&Gers who have helped provide safe and affordable homes to those in need of decent shelter.
In 2016, P&G Australia sent a team of 7 employees to Cambodia for a week to build a home for a family in need in Phnom Penh. We also have teams of employees who volunteer with local Habitat for Humanity initiatives here in Australia.
A career with P&G is about so much more than just a job!"