The Young Graduate Journey at Unilin Group: invaluable opportunities for young talent
How? Talent Director and HR Manager Nick Leenaert brings us up to speed.
Unilin Group welcomes young graduates with the so-called Young Graduate Journey. What is it that exactly?
Nick Leenaert: “We frequently open up vacancies specifically to young graduates. Depending on their background and interests they start in a specific department such as Operations, Marketing, Supply Chain, Finance... Within that team they take up the first role of their professional career, an invaluable learning experience.
Meanwhile we provide guidance according to the principle of the three e’s: education, exposure and experience. This means they take courses, they learn from colleagues by attending meetings and soaking up knowledge and experience, but above all: they follow up on projects through ‘learning by doing’.
The exact composition of this mix and the direction in which they evolve varies from one recent graduate to the next. We genuinely listen to their needs and interests and together we determine how they can truly develop their talent”.
Why are Young Graduates so important to Unilin Group?
“In an organisation such as ours there is a great deal of internal mobility: people advance internally. As a result we often have to fill positions at a moment’s notice. On the one hand we have classic position recruitment: when there’s a vacancy you go in search of someone to fill the position. But as a business we find it important to also look proactively for suitable candidates and compile a kind of recruitment pool. We go in search of young starters who share our DNA, to build experience here and grow. We call this principle campus recruitment”.
What is the added value of young talent?
“Talent is the driver of our success. Like any healthy organisation we strive for a perfect mix between young talent and experience. Experienced employees pass on their knowledge and young talent gives fresh oxygen to an organisation”.
And what added value does Unilin Group offer them?
“They become part of an enterprising business that genuinely listens to them. The unique thing about Unilin Group is that we have so many different divisions and departments. In such a large and diverse enterprise there are plenty of opportunities and possibilities for young starters”.
What does such a journey look like in concrete terms?
“There isn’t a single journey or fixed path. We introduced the concept some 13 years ago. Several members of our current executive committee started out as young graduates. But you can also grow within a single function, of course. Everyone writes their own story”.