With a product range catering to almost every possible cosmetic need or want, L’Oréal’s message ‘Because you’re worth it’ appears to be sinking in. Operating in 130 countries and with 19 global brands, L’Oréal is a true giant of the cosmetics industry.
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With a product range available in every conceivable beauty-distribution-channel, catering to almost every possible cosmetic need or want, L’Oréal’s message ‘Because you’re worth it’ appears to be sinking in. This cosmetic giant now has foundations in over 130 countries, with nearly 3,000 research and development employees working across its 19 global brands.
L’Oréal hasn’t always had such a comprehensive beauty range, in fact, the company hasn’t always been called L’Oréal. The tale began when a chemist, named Eugene Schueller, founded French Harmless Hair Colouring, in 1907. And while his products may have been harmless to his clientele, this can’t be said of his competition; because such was the success of L’Oréal’s progenitor, that by 1912, Schueller was exporting his products to Holland, Austria and Italy. Not content with expanding the client base, Schueller decided to expand the range of products produced too. He began to develop new cosmetics – lotions, potions, powders, gels – covering not just the hair, but all areas in facial beauty.
Under the brand L’Oréal, the company reached US shores in 1953. Today, the North Americas account for about a quarter of sales worldwide, approximately 45% hail from Western Europe, with Asia and Eastern Europe selling around 10% and 7% respectively.
Part of L’Oréal’s border-crossing appeal is that it has a seemingly never ending range of products under brands to suit any budget – from the more basic, to the professional and high-fashion. Thanks to the company’s innumerable celebrity endorsements, even the most red-blooded of men would recognise at least a handful from the following: Biotherm (skin care), Garnier (best known for hair care), Giorgio Armani Parfums (fragrances), Lan-côme (cosmetics, perfumes, make-up), La Roche-Posay (skin care), L’Oréal Paris (cosmetics, skin and hair care), Maybelline New York (make-up), Ombrelle (sunscreen) and Ralph Lauren Parfums (fragrances) – to name just a few.
Not all of L’Oréal’s products are the brainchild of Schueller or his successors; in fact, with the exception of L’Oréal Paris and Kerastase, all of its brands were fostered outside of the L’Oréal womb. The company inherited the majority of its cosmetics from its many acquisitions. Maybelline came in 1996, Softsheen in ’98, and in 2000, L’Oréal bagged Matrix, Kiehl’s and Carson. Most recently, L’Oréal took control of Skinceuticals in the US, European sun cream brand Delial, the environmentally conscious The Body Shop chain, and luxury cosmetics brand YSL Beauté.
All this talk of inheriting new products probably undersells L’Oréal’s knack for innovation. In its attempt to snag a share of the untapped Chinese market – after all, cosmetics were banned there until 1982 - L’Oréal built a 32,000 square-foot R&D facility in China, focussing its development on formulating hair and skincare products, specifically to suit people of Chinese decent.
In addition, L’Oréal has reserved a portion of its R&D budget for developing a synthetic form of human skin. The ‘EpiSkin’ could be used to treat wounds, such as burns, and can also be used as a medium for cosmetic treating – proving beyond a doubt that L’Oréal is more than just a pretty face.Read all 239 employee quotes
L’Oréal’s is the world’s largest cosmetics and beauty company and, as you may expect, requires the skills and expertise of a great many people in diverse roles to help maintain this position. Those looking to join the ranks at the company will find that jobs on the company’s recruitment website are helpfully divided by department – marketing, research, engineering, finance and operations, sales, communications and human resources – as well as being separated into opportunities for under-grads, grads and professionals. The company places a high importance on recruitment and therefore the process is made as simple and efficient as possible – all the better for finding employees who really are “worth it”.
Management Trainee Scheme
Each year, up to 40 new trainees are taken on to L’Oréal’s one year Management Trainee Scheme with three intakes each year: in January, June and September. With a multitude of areas, potential trainees can choose from several different streams within the scheme: finance, supply chain, commercial and marketing. As a Management Trainee you can expect to earn approximately £28,000 a year, and to apply for the scheme you need at least a 2:1 in any discipline, although those applying for the finance or supply chain departments should be good with numbers. In marketing, you will face the challenge of promoting a new product to L’Oreal’s enormous market, while a place in the commercial department will see you managing relations with big-name clients such as Tesco, Boots and John Lewis.
The Management Trainee Scheme lasts for a year, and within that time successful applicants will have three different four month placements. Most of the streams take place in London, although certain rotations in the supply chain stream are located in Manchester and Nottingham. Opportunities to work abroad for a few weeks or months also exist, although they are not guaranteed.
The application process is extensive, encompassing five stages: online application form, online psychometric test, first-round interview, assessment centre, and two final interviews. The psychometric tests online and on-site will most likely involve numerical reasoning, so practising online is recommended. The first interview will be held by one of L’Oréal’s recruiters, and will focus on your personality as much as your qualifications. The assessment day is something of a step up and will put your skills to the test with a 45 minute competency interview, an hour long group task, and 20 minute individual presentation. The final two interviews will be taken by senior staff, usually the HR director and a senior business executive, who will ask you more in-depth technical questions. L’Oréal’s recruitment process is thorough and can take some time, so be prepared for a long wait before you secure a date for the assessment centre.
The L’Oréal UK internship programme accepts ninety students are every year, and offers a number of different ways in which you can gain work experience with the cosmetics giant. Internships of three different lengths are offered by the company: a three month internship which starts in June, a six month internship which starts at varying dates, and a 12 month industry placement which generally begins in either June or September each year. As an intern at L’Oréal you can work in any department, including finance, commercial, marketing, HR and sales. L’Oréal also has internships on offer in France and other international locations.
An intern with L’Oréal can expect to be paid approximately £18,000 – £20,000 a year during their placement. Positions are available to all students, regardless of what subject you are studying, as long as you’re expected to graduate with a 2:1. You also stand a good chance of working with the company after completing your internship – L’Oréal says that 28% of its graduates were once interns.
L’Oréal Brand Storm
Each year L’Oréal runs Brand Storm, a game for undergraduates interested in marketing. In a team of three you get the chance to role play being an International Brand Manager in the cosmetic industry – designing a product and creating a communication campaign. You will be given six months to develop your ideas, and if you win the national competition you may have the chance to meet a L’Oréal Group Manager or Marketing Director. The international final is held in Paris, with a top prize of €10,000 to be won! But win or lose, the game provides an inventive way to get noticed by the company.
No. of employees worldwide: 64,600
No. of employees in the UK: 2,500+
No. of graduate roles: 40
Graduate starting salary: £28,000
Internships: £18,000 – £20,000
Active Cosmetics Division
Consumer & Market Insight
Consumer Products Division
Luxury - Sales
Luxury - YSL
Luxury alternative brands
Luxury Division Fragrances
Professional Products Division
Professional Products Marketing
Retail & Category Development
L'Oréal has a clear hierarchy when it comes to final sign off on decision making but, actually, managers are all really accessible. I would have no qualms knocking on a GMs office door to raise a concern or share an idea. I also feel that we are well recognised when we do well with regular "wins" emails being sent to the floor.Graduate, LondonHelpful?
A very diverse and international company with respect to all of the above. A lot of women in very high positions which is inspirational. Very high retention - a lot of the general managers came in on the graduate scheme.Graduate, LondonHelpful?
They hold citizens week across the company to encourage staff. Additionally each member of staff can take one day paid leave for citizens day.Marketing, Graduate, LondonHelpful?
I have been afforded the opportunity to learn through my team. Graduates are given more training, which interns have the chance to be involved in where possible.Intern, LondonHelpful?
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No. of locations worldwide: 130 countries