What we look for in a candidate

Kate Aunaas-Ingram, Vice-President, Employer Branding & Talent Management

Kate is in charge of Orkla`s employer branding strategy on a global basis and has been working on developing new recruitment tools and processes focused on optimizing the candidate experience. She also understands the challenges and mystery that often surround the recruitment process for many candidates. Read below for some valuable insights from Kate on Orkla`s approach to candidates.

What kind of qualifications do you look for when you process applications? What does it take to be invited to an interview?
Companies are changing in terms of what they are looking for in candidates and Orkla is no different. Traditionally, we looked for many of the same things across different roles and functions but now we have understood that a good candidate is defined as much more than the school they went to or the grades they got. Of course at Orkla, we still look for candidates with who have both strong analytical abilities and good inter-personal skills. We also want individuals who are proactive and eager to learn. You should be prepared to work hard and thrive in a fast-paced environment that requires effective action. We know that the majority of new graduates will not have much work experience, so we also look for good academic results combined with involvement in extracurricular activities like sports and student leadership.

How much do grades matter at Orkla?
Grades are an important element when you are looking for a job but this is changing as companies look for softer skills and potential in their candidates. The combination of subjects that you have studied is a less decisive factor in a job-seeking situation. When you have a master’s degree, you are equipped with certain skills and have acquired knowledge that we consider to count more than the actual subject combination. In summary, we will always look at the whole package versus your final grade in Macroeconomics!

How does Orkla see itself in terms of employer attractiveness?
Orkla has been focusing a lot of time and effort on boosting our employer attractiveness amongst students and professionals. We understand that our name is not enough to attract and keep our talented employees so we need to focus on showing what we can offer and what sets us apart from others. We are aware that we need to do more to show people who we really are and what it is like to work here so this is part of our current strategy. We see ourselves as an employer that truly feels like “A Home to Grow” which is our new employer brand slogan.

Who makes a particularly favorable impression in an interview process? What are you looking for besides professional qualifications?
What sets successful candidates apart from others is the following; they are enthuasiastic and passionate about the role and Orkla, they know their stuff and they are thoughtful with their answers and questions. Orkla wants to hire people who love our products and what we do so if we can`t see that during the interview process, it makes us question whether this is a place you really want to be. Talk about your favorite advert or something we have done that impressed you. And don’t forget to show us who you are and answer questions honestly instead of just telling us what you think we want to hear.

What are the best tips that you can give young people who would like to start out their career at Orkla or in your industry?
My best advice is that you don`t wait until you see a job opening to get on our radar as a possible future employee. Orkla offers many different internship opportunities throughout the year so this is a fantastic 2 months long job interview that will increase your chances of getting hired come graduation time. In addition, come talk to us when we are at Career Fairs or Presentations and ask questions – be curious! We remember the students who stand out so don’t underestimate the power of a first impression.

Why choose Orkla as a company to develop your career?
Orkla is a company with roots that go back hundreds of years and it has continued to develop and change with the times. We haven`t forgotten who we are but we have adapted to the demands and expectations of our sector. When you choose Orkla, you are choosing a work environment that thrives on learning and development and where you get to work with amazing like-minded individuals. In addition, by getting the chance to work with the entire value chain, you really get to see the impact of your work and apply creativity to your workplace challenges. Lastly, you get the local edge set against the backdrop of a global company which is something no other FMCG company can offers.