Recruitment, Applications And Interviews: Insight From A P&G Recruiter

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A variety of opportunities make Procter & Gamble an excellent location to explore a career – particularly if you’re ready for responsibility, says Talent Supply Manager Darren MacDonald.

“P&G recruits for intern and new-grad roles across our numerous functions, including Marketing, Customer Business Development (Sales), Finance and the list goes on and on,” says Darren. “All of these roles offer a great deal of responsibility to make big decisions from day one.”

If you’re searching for a career with a company that invests in your long-term growth and success, P&G is the right place to look, he adds.

“We promote exclusively from within, which means that we primarily recruit straight out of university or those with limited professional experience, and our roles are designed to grow you into a future functional or commercial leader of the organization.”

A great candidate

Whether you’re hoping to start a career with P&G right away or after graduation, it’s important to understand what the company is looking for.

“P&G looks at your experiences with a very broad lens, and we do not value certain types of experiences more than others,” says Darren.

“Whether you are gaining experience and growing your abilities through work, school, clubs, volunteering, athletics or some other activity, what matters to P&G is your ability to demonstrate our Success Drivers, which are Power of Minds, Power of People and Power of Agility.”

Power of Minds: The ability to draw insights from various sources of information, leverage data to make decisions, and identify opportunities for improvement.

Power of People: Leadership, collaboration, and development of self and others.

Power of Agility: The ability to be responsive and in-tune with one’s environment, and the discipline to focus your efforts on top priorities.

“P&G searches for people who demonstrate our Success Drivers,” says Darren. “Focus on growing your competence in terms of our Success Drivers, specifically leadership and analytical abilities, and demonstrating strong results.”

Recruitment sessions

P&G participates in various events and activities to help identify the best talent across Canada.

In addition to hosting information sessions at selected Canadian universities in the fall, representatives from P&G also attend career fairs, case competitions, club events and a variety of other student-related events.

Looking to make a professional connection at a P&G event? Don’t turn networking into a performance, says Darren.

“The purpose of the recruitment event is to learn about opportunities at P&G and meet our people – so be relaxed, be curious and be yourself!”
– Darren MacDonald, Talent Supply Manager

“When attending a recruitment session, I think a student or new grad’s mindset is more important than their smooth-talking skills,” he explains. “I believe the strongest networkers are confident, genuine and inquisitive – I wouldn’t call any of these things ‘skills,’ rather dispositions or attitudes.”

Remember that an information session is an opportunity for you to learn, he adds.

“I would recommend that students and grads attend a recruitment session with the goal of learning about the company and the role and honestly assessing whether it is a good fit for them personally.”

This attitude informs Darren’s own interactions at P&G events.

“I don’t focus too much attention on assessing candidates before they have even applied. I much prefer a comfortable genuine conversation,” he says.

Application

Whether you’re following up on a networking contact or building on previous research, you’ll end up in the same place – P&G only accepts applications online.

“When applying to P&G, a candidate should try to highlight their leadership and analytical abilities,” says Darren. “A strong resume often incorporates the CAR model (context, action, results) with a focus on the actions that the individual took personally and quantifiable results, when possible.”

After you fill out the initial application, you’ll be asked to complete two online assessments.

“The Success Drivers Assessment helps us determine whether an applicant has demonstrated the abilities and traits that have been linked to success at P&G,” says Darren. “The second assessment is the Reasoning Screen, which assesses cognitive ability.”

“Everyone’s career path is different at P&G. Being part of a global company allows for a lot of variety and opportunity to gain exposure to other functions and geographies.”

Looking to stand out?

“First and foremost, P&G is searching for leadership in every person that we hire,” says Darren. “A very close second is analytical thinking – P&G is a data-driven company and the ability to draw meaningful insights from complex sources of information is a key ability.”

Interviews

When it comes to a good interview with P&G, preparation is key.

“Being prepared will help calm your nerves,” Darren explains.

What’s the best way to prepare?

“Practice behavioural-interview questions with someone who you really don’t want to look ridiculous in front of, like a parent or your significant other,” he says.

“You may find that mock-interviewing is awkward, but interviews can be awkward, so it is more realistic than prepping solo.”

When you’re actually in an interview, it’s important to make the most of your time.

“Concise, to-the-point answers are the best way to show that you are a strong communicator,” says Darren. “Keep your answers concise. Provide just enough context, then focus on the most crucial actions that you took and why you took them – not a comprehensive list of what everyone involved did.”

It’s the same focus that makes an awareness of the P&G Success Drivers so crucial – understanding if and why you’re a good fit for P&G.

“We hire individuals,” says Darren. “We want to know your specific role and actions within the team. We want leaders!”

Ready to apply? Explore P&G’s opportunities for students and recent grads here.

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