Procter & Gamble
From its humble beginning, P&G has matured into a vast conglomerate of personal care products, showcasing 100+ ubiquitous global brands. Today, P&G is the 5th most profitable corporation in the world and the 4th largest in the US by market capitalisation – quite a remarkable feat for what started out as a family-run soap and candles manufacturing company.
- Great brand and a good name to have on your CV
- Competitive salary and solid perks
- Good rotational programmes, and the opportunity to travel abroad
- Extensive formal and informal training
- Career progression can be slow
- Overly bureaucratic at times
- Promotion is not always meritocratic
The Procter & Gamble (P&G) brands have been household names for more than 170 years – products that P&G claims have touched the hands of people the world over, three billion times a day. P&G has certainly made its mark in the household and personal products market with the success of more than 100 brands. These include ubiquitous favourites such as Always, Actonel Ariel, Bruan, Crest, Duracell, Fairy, Head & Shoulders, Iams, Lenor, Mach3, Olay, Oral-B, Pantene, Pringles, Wella Pampers, Tampax and Gillette... just to name a few.
With these products today available in more than 80 countries around the globe, it’s interesting to note that Proctor & Gamble came from humble beginnings. The company was originally conceived by an Englishman named William Procter, and an Irishman, James Gamble. They met in Cincinnati, Ohio, after marrying into the same family. Their mutual father-in-law suggested they go into business together; they took his advice and Procter & Gamble was subsequently created in 1837.
Initially, the company’s cornerstone products were soap and candles. The company began expanding from its Cincinnati base for the first time in 1904, and the ground was laid for the first manufacturing facility outside the US in 1915, with the creation of a plant in Canada. Here, Ivory soap and Crisco, the first all vegetable shortening, were produced by 75 employees. P&G came to England in 1930, after having acquired the famous Fairy dish washing soap brand.
In the early 1950s, P&G hit Europe, opening a plant in Marseilles, France in 1954, and gained a foothold in the Middle East in 1961. The firm continued its fast growth and expansion throughout the 1970s and 1980s with the introduction of new products, and by 1980 had achieved a respectable sales figure of $10 billion. The 1990s also saw huge growth and expansion, with the company trebling its sales to more than $30 billion by 1993.
The company's operations can be categorized into three "Global Business Units" with each Global Business Unit divided into "Business Segments". Beauty Care consist of the Beauty segment and Grooming segment, while Household Care covers the Baby Care and Family Care segment and Fabric Care and Home Care segment while Health and Well-Being incorporates the Health Care segment and Snacks, Coffee, and Pet Care segment.
The household products giant continues to blossom in the 21st century. P&G launches new products to the market at an impressive pace and some of the recent work in the pipeline are reformulated Pantene hair care products, thinner, more absorbent Pampers diapers, and a new version of its Gillette Fusion razor.
It’s not only its product range which continues to amass turnover and plaudits. Procter & Gamble is ahead of the game when it comes to its use of information technology. In June 2008, the company announced a $650 million outsourcing deal with BT Group, allowing P&G access to the latest and greatest in communications technology.
Great products, great technology... what else has P&G got to offer? Well, the company also steals the show when it comes to advertising too. In 2008 P&G won the ‘Advertiser of the Year’ award at the Cannes International Advertising Festival, one of the highest honours in the advertising industry. The newly appointed advertising superstars have clearly made it their business to understand what makes consumers tick.
P&G has not only proved itself a success on the advertising front since the millennium, it has also boosted its philanthropic efforts. The company’s efforts include the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program, which was distinguished with the World Business Award from the United Nations Development Program & International Chamber of Commerce. In collaboration with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, P&G developed a low-cost technology called Purifier of Water. According to P&G, this technology purifies even heavily contaminated water so it meets World Health Organisation standards for safe drinking water. This is just one of P&G’s attempts at ramping up its sustainability practices, and goes hand-in-hand with numerous other initiatives which make the company’s environmental practices just as impressive as its future outlook.
P&G hires approximately 100 graduates for their operations in the UK each year. Graduates are hired for the following business areas: Accountancy, Finance, General Management, Human Resources, IT, Logistics, Manufacturing / Engineering, Marketing, Purchasing, Research & Development, Sales.
For vacancies in the UK, you will also need to complete a 15 question reasoning test online. If you are chosen to make it to the third step, you will be asked to complete a 65-minute reasoning test at a P&G location, or recruiting event on campus. Samples of the test are available on the “how to apply” section of P&G’s website. The questions are comprised of numerical reasoning, logic based reasoning and figural reasoning problems. Finally, if you pass the reasoning test, you will be asked for an interview with P&G.
The interview is typically based around personal skills. During your interview it is unlikely you will be asked your impression of Procter & Gamble as a company, or why you have applied for a specific role or function, although you should always prepare for these questions. If you impressed during the first round, you will be invited to return for another interview, this time with (typically two) Senior Managers from the area you have applied to. This second round interview will consist of further competency based interview questions and more taxing questions, specifically about the function you have applied to and what you think you'll be doing as a graduate trainee. In each of your interviews, you will be given around 15 minutes to ask questions about P&G. Make sure you do your research and read as much as you can about the Company. Know the Company's Purpose, Values, and Principles (PVP), and some of their billion-dollar brands… Chances are you probably used a few that morning to look sharp for the the interview.
There are also recruitment events taking place at several campuses across Europe each year. If you visit P&G’s careers website at www.pgcareers.com and search through its Campus and Special Events section, you can see in which regions and at what universities the company is organising recruitment events.
Procter & Gamble Graduate Recruitment Info
Graduate Recuitment Manager
Employer Type: Public
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive: A.G. Lafley
2009 Revenue: $79.03bn
No. of employees: 140,000
No. of graduate roles: 120
No. of offices: Offices in 80 countries
Graduate Salary: £28,600
Consumer and Market Knowledge
Engineering (Product Supply)
Finance and Accounting
Information and Decision Solutions
Logistics (Product Supply) Marketing
Research and Development
Sales/Customer Business Development
Strategic Purchasing (Product Supply)
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The UK Head Office is located in Weybridge, Surrey. The Global Business Services Centre, based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, provides support to the European, Middle East and Africa region. There are three Technical Centres, in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Reading and Egham, Surrey. P&G also has six manufacturing plants.
UK Administrative Offices
Newcastle upon Tyne
Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
Newcastle upon Tyne