With over 135,000 full-time and part-time colleagues and more than 1,000 corporate and franchised stores from coast to coast, Loblaw Companies Limited is one of Canada’s largest private sector employers.
To ensure they continue their success, Loblaw is almost always hiring for a variety of entry level positions in stores, distribution centres, and offices across the country.
“Loblaw encourages learning and self-exploration. In addition, due to the size of the company, there are many different areas that you can explore.” —Lei Tao, Associate Merchant – Dry Grocery, Loblaw
You might already be familiar with Loblaw’s 18-month grad rotation program, but they also hire new graduates directly into entry level roles throughout the year.
According to Kristen Stolze, Senior Recruitment Manager at Loblaw, some of the most common include Associate Merchant and Analyst roles in the company’s Finance, Supply Chain and Central Data Management departments.
“A new colleague’s first day, first week, first month and first three months on the job are critical time periods. We want to make sure that you receive everything you need to be a successful, contributing member of our team. Orientation is made up of a series of meetings, information sharing, on-the-job activities, and regular check-ins.”
But, before you’re hired, you have to get through the application and interview process! Keep reading for tips from Kristen as well as a couple of 2011 grads who recently joined the company.
Applying for a career at Loblaw
Grad perspective: “The application process was very simple and straightforward – all I needed to do was register online and upload my resume and cover letter,” says Lei Tao, a Math and Business Double Degree program from the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University who started working as an Associate Merchant at Loblaw in October. “A few weeks after I applied to the positions I was interested in, a recruiter reached out to me to schedule an interview.”
Recruitment perspective: Loblaw’s interested in the work, volunteer and extra-curricular experience that you’ve had outside of your academics, Kristen says, and don’t forget to highlight your part-time work as a retail Sales Associate or Cashier. “As a grocery retailer with a focus on putting our customers first, we value candidates who have shown a passion for retail and customer service.”
Loblaw also recognizes diversity as a source of national pride and strength. “We strive to reflect this in the products we sell, the people we hire and the workplace culture we create,” says Marc Viola, Loblaw’s Senior Director of Talent.
Inside the Loblaw job interview
Grad perspective: Kaniz Urmi, an Honours Business Administration Co-op grad from Laurier, had 3 separate interviews before she joined Loblaw as a Financial Analyst in February.
“I was interviewed first by someone from within the Human Resources team, then I met with the hiring manager and lastly with the department’s controller,” she says.
“The screening is done very carefully to ensure candidates not only have the right qualifications for the job, but that they are also the right fit to the company’s corporate culture.”
Recruitment perspective: According to Kristen, the typical recruitment process will involve a phone screen and interview with a recruiter, and then a final interview with the hiring manager.
Kristen’s Top 3 Loblaw interview preparation tips:
“More than anything, it is a combination of qualifications and how your personality fits into the department.” —Kaniz Urmi, Financial Analyst – IT Finance, Loblaw
- Do your research on the company
- Consider the reasons you want to work for Loblaw
- Be able to articulate why you are the best candidate for the position, including relevant examples of past work or volunteer experience that demonstrate your transferable skills
What Loblaw is looking for in their new grad hires
Grad perspective: Lei says she was hired thanks to a combination of her education and valuable co-op work experience with 5 different retailers. Similarly, Kaniz thinks her co-op work term with Loblaw in 2010 helped, but “more than anything, it is a combination of qualifications and how your personality fits into the department.” So just be yourself!
Recruitment perspective: “If you have a positive attitude and a passion for our business, and you are driven by the opportunity to make a difference, you will find Loblaw a highly rewarding place to work.”
Many retailers are hiring grads right now – why Loblaw?
Grad perspective: Loblaw provides continuous learning and development through in-house training programs, an online virtual learning centre, and tuition assistance and support for professional designations. “Loblaw encourages learning and self-exploration,” Lei says. “In addition, due to the size of the company, there are many different areas that you can explore.”
Recruitment perspective: Kristen says there are many benefits and perks that keep Loblaw colleagues motivated and happy, including:
- the 10% Colleague Discount Program at Loblaw corporate stores
- sharing in the growth of Loblaw with the Employee Share Ownership Plan
- corporate rate fitness club memberships for colleagues as well as eligible family members
“At our head office, we even have volleyball and basketball courts in the summer and an outdoor ice rink in the winter for our colleagues!” Kristen says.
In the past year alone, Loblaw has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, Top Employers for Young People and Best Diversity Employers. As you can see, Loblaw has built a culture on the respect for the well being of others.
For a full list of entry level opportunities for recent grads, visit Loblaw’s company profile on TalentEgg or go to www.loblaw.ca/careers.