Ranked among the best companies to work for in Spain, according to the consultancy Great Place to Work, Leroy Merlin is once again taking part in this year’s edition of the Employment Forum EAE 2017. To discuss talent acquisition, retention and management policies for young talent, we had the opportunity to speak with Natalia Sierra, who currently works in the company’s Human Resources Department. She is also a former student of the Master in Human Resources Management at EAE Business School, which she describes as “the key to the door to the world of HR”.
Natalia told us that, when she found out that she had been selected for the position, she felt “enormous satisfaction at forming part of one of the most highly rated companies to work for”. She is now responsible for a range of general tasks, including recruitment and selection, posting offers, adding new recruits to the system and removing former employees, contracts and announcing appointments, etc.
“The Human Resources Department at Leroy Merlin is one of the most highly rated at a national level and I knew that I would be able to put everything that I had learned on the Master into practice, while taking on board all of the knowledge from the company’s great human capital team”. Therefore, you can be sure that I didn’t hesitate for a second to apply when I saw a vacancy advertised on the professional social network LinkedIn.
“At Leroy Merlin, we are convinced that our employees are the company’s greatest asset”
As well as being ranked among the top fifty companies to work for in Spain once again this year, Leroy Merlin has also received various awards and accolades for its human talent management and, for the fourth year in a row, it has been named as one of the companies with the best reputation in the country, according to the Merco Companies Ranking 2017, in which it holds the top spot in the household retail and equipment sector.
As the former student of the School herself explained, the reason that the company has received so many accolades in terms of the company’s way of working is based on its employees, which she describes as “the company’s greatest asset”. Among other aspects, Natalia highlighted the fact that this is reflected in the lifelong training that the employees receive, the constant development and job stability that they offer. “Leroy Merlin’s team of employees are part of a stable, long-term project, with 91% of the direct positions in the company at a national level having a permanent contract”.
“It is crucial that we offer young talent attractive development plans”
Respect, commitment, trust, generosity, honesty, humility and approachability are the seven values on which Leroy Merlin is based, and which “play a key role when it comes to talent acquisition, as they represent the company”. As such, they look for people who identify with these values and feel able to convey these principles in their everyday work.
Natalia explained that the acquisition and retention of young talent “can be a significant challenge for companies”, which is why it is so important to offer attractive development plans. One such plan, which participants of the Employment Forum had the chance to apply for and enquire about, is the Young Graduates program, “the objective of which is to become a Sector Manager or Management Controller, two positions that involve a high level of responsibility and knowledge”.
Este programa, como nos ha contado Natalia, se divide en tres frases donde el candidato pasa por desarrollar desde la función de vendedor/a en primer lugar, la función de jefe/a de sección posteriormente, y finalizar en la fase donde el candidato ya actuaría como jefe/a de sector o controlador/a de gestión, asumiendo la responsabilidad en la gestión comercial de las secciones a su cargo o la responsabilidad sobre la logística, servicios y gestión económico-financiera de la tienda.
She went on to explain that the program is divided into three phases in which the candidate firstly takes on the role of a salesperson, then moves on to the Section Manager role, before finally assuming the role of Sector Manager or Management Controller, taking responsibility for the commercial management of the sections they are in charge of or the logistics, services and financial management of the store.
Moreover, Natalia told us that, for people who do not meet the requirements for the Young Graduate program, perhaps because of their age, not having completed their qualifications or because experience exceeds the studies required, they also carry out group exercises to identify such talent. “The best possible employer branding action is seeing the satisfaction of the people who work at the company”.
With respect to the former student’s future, she explained that she hopes to continue growing as a Human Resources professional, as well as “learning from the professional around me and reaching a position of responsibility”. To achieve this goal, she decided to take the Master in Human Resources Management at EAE Business School based on the fact that, after an exhaustive search, “the program offered me all of the theoretical and practical knowledge that I was looking for, as well as adapting to my schedule. After completing the program in the 2016/2017 graduating class, Natalia assured us that it had been “the key to the door of the competitive and exciting world of Human Resources”.
Tips for the Employment Forum: know the companies well and draft an attractive CV
As a former student and now a Human Resources professional, she went on to advise the School’s current students to take full advantage of the various initiatives related to employability. More specifically, in relation to the Employment Forum 2017, she recommended “knowing the participating companies well, looking for information about them and what their competitive advantages are, as well as being aware of the positions that we are equipped to take on. In addition, of course, it is crucial to “have an attractive CV for recruiters that makes us stand out from the rest!”.
With reference to her time at the Schools, not only would she recommend the high-quality tuition and the flexibility of timetables, but she would also highly the fact that she received “effective tools for enhancing her visibility with companies, such as the Employment Forum, for instance”. To bring the interview to a close, Natalia assured us that she would “have absolutely no hesitation in recommending EAE, as it offers the perfect combination of theory and practice. This is why it is now one of the most highly rated schools at a national level”.