A-Z Of Employers: Procter and Gamble

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The Independent Online

What does it do?

Procter and Gamble (P&G) is one of those business names that seems to have been in our subconscious for ages. You can understand why when you browse through a list of their products. Ariel, Daz, and Silvikrin have the ring of longevity to them, and Pampers, Head and Shoulders and Pringles strike a chord across generations as well. Even before it merged with David Beckham's razor supplier, Gillette, last year, it was one of the world's biggest manufacturers of consumer goods. It now has over 300 branded products, sold in 160 countries. Over 80 per cent of UK households are said to buy at least two P&G products every month. Factories in the British Isles have contributed substantially to the operation since the US-centred business made its first foreign acquisition, the Fairy soap factory in Newcastle, back in 1930.

Vital Statistics:

The P&G community consists of almost 140,000 employees working in over 80 countries worldwide. Among them are 7,500 working in the UK and Ireland.

The office:

The global headquarters is in Cincinnati, Ohio. British operations are run from Weybridge in Surrey, with numerous factories, research and distribution centres dotted around the country. Among the bigger sites: Newcastle, Manchester, Bournemouth and Reading.

Is this you?

Eighty graduates are taken on every year, many of them chosen from the 120 students who get work placements. For the business-related functions (marketing, finance, human resources, sales and IT) any degree will do, but a science or engineering discipline is needed for R&D and manufacturing roles.

The recruitment process:

If your application, via www.pgcareers.com, passes muster, you'll be invited to sit a problem-solving test at a regional P&G office. This is a 65 minute, multiple choice test, probing your understanding of writing, analysis of graphs and ability to solve maths questions. A series of interviews with P&G managers completes the selection process. For those taken on, training is very much workplace centred, mixing on-the-job, and more formal, coaching. You'll have a real job with real responsibility from the outset, acquire seniority with experience and as you demonstrate increasing competence. Some UK graduates choose to start their career at a P&G site abroad.

Top Dollar?

Wherever you start work in the UK, you'll begin on £27,000 a year.

Beam me up Scotty?

Career paths vary from function to function, but after three to four years, most managers will have completed two or three job assignments and been promoted to the next level within the organisation.

Who's the boss?

Gianni Ciserani is General Manager for the UK & Ireland. He's been with the company, working at several European locations, since graduating, in business administration, from university in Milan in 1987.

Little known fact:

Though founded in America, the impetus came from this side of the Atlantic. William Procter, an English candle maker, and James Gamble, a soap maker from Ireland, started the company in 1837.