What it does: Makes health, hygiene and homecare products
Staff stats: 35,000 globally
The good bits: Autonomy and ownership
The not so good bits: Demanding pace
The RB story
RB is short for Reckitt Benckiser Group, the company that was formed when the British business Reckitt & Colman merged with the Netherlands-based business Benckiser in 1999.
Benckiser was launched in 1823 in Germany by Johann Benckiser. The business originally focused industrial chemicals but began making cleaning and beauty products during the 20th century. Reckitt and Sons started out as a starch mill operation in England in 1840 but its founder, Isaac Reckitt, soon started making household cleaning products. By 1886 the company was operating in Australia, it’s first international venture. In 1938, it merged with J. & J. Coleman, a flour miller and mustard maker.
While you may not have heard of RB or any of its predecessor companies, you will have used many of the products produced by these companies. These include Aeroguard, Air Wick, Clearasil, Dettol, Durex, Harpic, Mortein, Mr Sheen, Nurofen, Strepsils, Veet and Vanish, to name just some of the higher-profile brands.
RB is now headquartered in Slough, England. It has operations in around 60 nations and its products are sold in just about every country in the world. In 2016, it had revenues of just under £10 billion ($17.5 billion).
RB has a diverse workforce at all levels. Many of the company’s middle managers are working outside their country of origin. The company’s senior executive ranks include individuals from 51 different nationalities. Its executive committee has individuals from seven nationalities, most of whom have been based in a range of countries over the course of their careers.
To further improve “gender balance and female leadership development, engagement and retention across all functions and management levels” the company launched Project DARE a couple of years ago. Some of the project’s initiatives are “a leadership program developed for middle manager women, mentoring, options for flexible working and a global maternity policy”.
The company also runs programs for around 1000 managers each year that teach them how to manage bias and be inclusive leaders.
RB has partnered with Save the Children to reduce the number of children dying from diarrhoea. In 2006, it launched RB Trees, which aims to offset the greenhouse gases created by its manufacturing process by planting 10,000,000 trees. In 2007, the company launched an environmental initiative called Carbon 20. This aims to reduce the total carbon footprint of RB’s products by 20 percent by 2020.
In addition to this RB has a number of initiatives including Give Time which encourage employees to take time to give back to the community.
The recruitment process
If you’re considering a career with RB you may wish to do a Commercial (Sales & Marketing) Internship or simply proceed to our Graduate Program.
RB offers three different graduate programs:
- Commercial (Sales & Marketing)
In terms of personality, its reported that RB people are those who “blend intellectual curiosity with commitment and have an intense desire to outperform wherever they focus.” RB likes all its staff to be go-getters who are ambitious and composed.
A typical recruitment process has the following steps:
- Online Application
- Online Numerical Testing
- Online Reasoning Testing
- Video Interview
- Phone Interview
- Assessment Centre
The graduate programs run for 2-3 years – based on each individual’s performance. While the programs differ, you can expect to have “high autonomy and accountability from day one”, rotations through different areas of your department, exposure to senior leaders, enhanced development opportunities and access to tailor-made training.
While the salary paid by the Graduate Program at RB is on par with other Graduate Programs, “working with RB is worth more than just the salary, superannuation and the bonus component. It’s about coming to work at a company with great brands and an amazing culture!”
RB is a global organisation and focused on rewarding for performance. As such, those who work hard, deliver great results and show potential can expect to advance up the career ladder much faster than in most other companies.
The vibe of the place
RB is a work hard, play hard kind of place. You’ll be expected to take ownership of the projects assigned to you and deliver the required outcomes. On the other hand, you’ll also have plenty of chances to let your hair down at informal after-work drinks with your team, as well as company-wide sporting and social events and conferences. The business has a flat structure, managers are accessible and teamwork is encouraged.
Star Rating: 4.4 stars
From the Employer:
"With a purpose of delivering innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes, RB is in the top 20 of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. Today it is the global No 1 or No 2 in the majority of its fast-growing categories, driven by an exceptional rate of innovation. Its health, hygiene and home portfolio is led by 19 global Powerbrands of Nurofen, Strepsils, Gaviscon, Durex, Scholl, Clearasil, Dettol, Veet, Harpic, Bang, Mortein, Finish, Vanish and Air Wick.
At RB your future is in your own hands. We’ll provide you with a mentor and buddy, whilst your managers and team will make sure you are provided with the support you need to reach your goals.
Through our Graduate Programs in Sales & Marketing, Finance and Supply (approx. 2-3 years), you will develop as a business manager in a truly commercial environment. The opportunities are endless!
RB Graduates have real responsibility. From day one, you will make critical business decisions and be centre stage. You will make your mark on our brands and drive your own global career.
With over 60 global operations we promote more employees to overseas destinations, than any other FMCG Company! Along the way, you'll gain a wide range of international exposure and experience."