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Auchan Banks on Work-Study Programs to Fill Key Positions

Published on
17 March 2017

The French retail group, Auchan, has focused on work-study partnerships to help fill numerous key positions. Of its 72,400 employees, 4,000 are work/study students, including 400 from Grenoble Ecole de Management.

These work-study contracts help promote the numerous work opportunities offered by Auchan and provide the company with an operational approach to recruitment.

“Many of the jobs within our group are not well known. As a result, our work-study policy is designed to increase their renown, in particular with business school students. We have a variety of positions that cover all types of responsibilities from sales manager to managers for logistics, supermarkets or drive throughs as well as other departments such as HR, administration, purchasing and e-commerce. We’ve identified approximately 850 different types of jobs within the group. And many of them open the doors to international opportunities,” explains Patrick Peysson, in charge of the company’s relationship with schools and work-study programs.

The company includes a variety of stores from local neighborhood stores to little and big supermarkets, e-commerce sales and drive throughs. In addition, the brands SimplyMarket and A 2 Pas will also be joining the Auchan group. In total, the group counts 337,000 employees in 16 countries.

Work-study: opportunities for hands on experience

At Auchan, work-study employees account for 400 recruitments per year that cover everything from undergraduate to graduate programs, including programs at Grenoble Ecole de Management.

"Work-study participants are recruited for many operational jobs such as sales managers or floor managers. Retail floor managers play a key role and their responsibilities are much like those of an SME director who has to manage his company, team, account, customer base and turnover. All of our business school work-study participants will fill such positions as they're essential in determining a recruit's future career path. Afterwards, they can work in management, serve as deputy managers, HR managers or administrative managers in France or 15 other countries," says Patrick.

Staying in touch with the realities of the field

For work-study participants, sales manager or supermarket manager are the two key positions that open the doors to Auchan. Patrick adds that: "Managing a department that pulls in several million euros in turnover is one of the best ways to learn about the company culture and our customers."

Melchior Devanlay is an Auchan work-study sales manager who studies at Grenoble Ecole de Management. "As the supermarkets are organized into distinct departments, we are given the opportunity to manage the equivalent of a small company. A sales manager position is more transversal and deals with sales, purchasing and HR. The goal is to stay in touch with the realities of the field even if we later move higher up the echelons. It's also a great chance for someone young to try his hand at management."

Innovation: Grenoble Ecole de Management's DNA

The ability to adapt, be autonomous, entrepreneurial and open-minded are all skills that enable innovation and improvement. This is the distinguishing characteristic of Grenoble Ecole de Management students. "Our work-study participants are given real responsibilities with room to maneuver and make decisions. Their contracts last between one and two years," says Patrick. Approximately 30% of work-study contracts result in a job offer for participants, which is rather positive considering the fact that Auchan also encourages regional mobility during recruitment.

"Work-study at Auchan is defined as providing participants with the opportunity to follow their curiosity. They have to be in charge of their own career path. For example, I started out in the toys and sports department, then I moved to gardening and flowers. Now, I'm working on remodeling the culture department. I'm also planning to discover the Drive and food departments before ending my work-study contract," explains Melchior.

Work-study forum

On April 27th, Grenoble Ecole de Management will organize the next work-study forum dedicated to recruitment. Companies will be able to meet students in the Grande Ecole program as well as those in Advanced Master's and EMSI programs. Join us to exchange with candidates at your stand or during individual interviews. Leave the forum with a selection of talent that meets your needs.

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