University of Bath

Project Description

Winning the war for talent: Graduate Recruitment

Project Abstract

2. Company background information and background to the project
(inc. the historical/causative events that have led to the emergence of the problem or issue to be investigated; why it needs to be done; how it fits into the company strategy)

� Danone is a world leader in the food industry present in 120 countries they have a growing presence in the UK consisting of two divisions Waters and Dairies. The company�s brand portfolio includes Evian, Volvic and Shape waters and Actimel, Shape and Activia on the dairy side. The dairies business is in a market follower position behind Muller with the strategy of achieving market leadership. The company is number one in the bottled water segment globally and in the UK and is currently redefined as a beverage business. Its principle competitors are Nestle, Coca Cola and Muller.

� Graduate programme runs well but the company receive no spontaneous applications from UK applicants whilst the number of applications from French applicants is approximately fifty per week. In addition there is no timed intake of graduate recruits, offers are made ad-hoc and there is no structure in place for the graduate intake.

� There is a need to communicate and market the strong culture of the company to potential employees, this is being supported by the launch of the recent danonepeople communication campaign. In addition the company hope to establish a talentpool of the strongest candidates at all levels of the business and to move towards a customer relationship management approach when recruiting.

3. Overall project objective
� Analyse Danone�s current strategy towards recruiting graduates
� Investigate the current climate of the graduate market, with particular focus on the FMCG market
� Make recommendations to senior management on how the company can develop a �best-practice� recruitment model

4. Research questions/themes
(research questions to be investigated)

� Investigate the UK graduate market, exploring the destination of the top talent
� Assess the criteria graduates use when applying to blue chip companies
� Establish the perception of Danone UK amongst graduates and careers advisers
� Measure the success of in the UK graduate marketplace?
� Recruitment in France, the firm�s country of origin is highly successful, how can the UK mirror this success?
� What can Danone use to differentiates Danone from competitors in the FMCG industry and how best to communicate this profile?
� Scrutinize the methods rivals use to differentiate themselves in the recruitment market and examine ways Danone can build upon its own
� To reveal ways Danone can consistently attract the interest and attention of top-tier graduates in the UK

5. Methodology (sources of information, suggested research methods)

Data collection
� Focus group with finalists from a selection of target universities interested in FMCG companies
� Attending graduate recruitment fairs of other FMCG competitors.
� Researching the methods of Danone France for successful recruitment.
� Researching methods of Danone recruitment in other countries.
� Interviews with recent graduate recruits at Danone UK.
� 1:1 Interviews and focus groups with past placement students from Danone and other FMCG graduates
� Internal interviews with managers to assess the profile of graduates they are seeking, what is the process of getting approvals of new headcounts, patterns in the demand for new hires, business needs, potential of promotion once junior hires enter the company, hierarchy of roles (i.e. junior analyst, associate etc)
� Determine best/ alternative methods of data collection
� In depth literature review into area of recruitment
� The Association of Graduate Recruiters UK Graduate Careers Survey 2005

Data analysis/ strategy
� Develop a strategy based on research into optimum channels to communicate with graduates based on their behavioural patterns
� Develop an internal communication strategy between departments and HR
� Develop a strategy to raise awareness of the graduate recruitment initiative internally

Data Reporting
� Report progress through Danone Human Resources Department

Project Ethics
The nature of the project means the group will give careful consideration to the following:
- Trust � between the project group and the sponsor
- Designing focus groups and interview methods in a non-discriminatory manner
- Confidentiality � of sensitive information and findings
- Transparency � in our research methods

6. Anticipated results
(timing, expected outcomes)
� Demonstrate from analysis the optimum recruitment strategy for Danone to pursue in order to attract graduates of the highest caliber from the UK.
� In April 2006, present full project report, including an overview presentation to the relevant personnel at Danone.

7. Administrative & financial aspects
(administration fee, expenses budget etc)
� Based out of Danone UK headquarters Ealing, London.
� Travel expenses to headquarters/universities etc will be covered
� Where required, Danone UK and France Human Resources departments will provide access to relevant information and people.
� Project coordinator: Veronica Hope Hailey

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