Brands eye more ‘commercially astute’ young marketers

Mondelez International and Mars are increasing the number of places they offer business studies graduates on their graduate recruitment schemes as the FMCG giants look to take on recruits with broader business knowledge.

Mondelez says it is looking to recruit more commercially focused young marketers to drive activity for brands such as Cadbury.

The two are looking to hire more graduates from non-marketing backgrounds with a strong commercial sense. It is hoped the move will increase the number of graduates who go on to become senior managers.

The Cadbury owner is increasing the number of commercial degree-holders it takes on its international sales and marketing graduate programme. The snacks business offers around 20 places each year with nearly half (8) now going to commercial graduates, up from three in 2009.

Graduates are offered a series of rotational placements across the business throughout the three-year scheme and increasingly more are being matched to commercial roles within their relevant programme area.

A spokeswoman for Mondelez says:“The biggest change over the past five years is the need for us to recruit and develop rounded commercial focused individuals who are comfortable talking about our brands as much as they are talking to our major customers. Our graduates work across a variety of roles in [sales and marketing], developing a broad sense of commercial skills which we believe to be key in today’s industry and we have adapted our programme accordingly.”

Mars says it has adapted its management development program to reflect the number of applications it receives from “entrepreneurial and commercially astute” graduates. The scheme, which takes on around 30 each year, aims to produce leaders in every business function but around 50 per cent of trainees over the last five years have moved into marketing.

Amanda Davies, HR director at Mars UK told Marketing Week: “Because we’re an FMCG business with great brands we tend to attract a lot of people pursuing a career in marketing. [Over the last five years] the graduates we’re seeing with potential to move onto senior marketing roles are those that are commercially astute. They’ve either studied business at university or been involved with their own enterprises. It’s something we’re looking to do more of as part of ensuring our future pipeline of talent.”

Viewpoint – Russell Parsons

There has been a debate raging on, and in the industry for some time: How marketers can increase their influence in the boardroom? It is a question industry luminaries believe can be best solved by cutting out the marketing jargon, taking about marketing in terms of revenue generation and gaining a greater breadth and depth of experience beyond the marketing department.

In actively seeking graduates with commercial nous, Mondelez and Mars are trying to do what they can do from the offset to ensure that its marketing leaders of the future are a diverse bunch with a commercial edge. In other words, trying to provide themselves with a head-start on developing marketers with the ability to grow marketing’s influence in the boardroom.

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