No other employer in Belgium has made as much progress in the past decade in the Randstad Employer Brand Research as the Colruyt Group. The supermarket chain doubled its attractiveness during that period, whereas the overall attractiveness of the sector actually fell.
Colruyt Group started working actively on employer branding after 2007, when it brought all its retailing and activities under the umbrella of a single group.
"Building an employer brand is a complex process that is never actually completed" - Ilse Bellemans, Head of Recruitment & Selection Department at Colruyt Group
In absolute figures, Coca-Cola has been the most popular employer in the Randstad Employer Brand Research 10 times in the last 17 years. This year, the multinational has been beaten by a Belgian employer: Colruyt Group. 41% of all respondents would like to work there. That is the second-highest score in the history of the Randstad survey.
Ilse Bellemans, Head of Recruitment & Selection at Colruyt Group is pleased to receive that recognition.
"Of course, that success did not happen overnight. Building an employer brand is a complex process that is never actually completed.’
Colruyt Group started working actively on employer branding after 2007, when it brought all its retailing and activities under the umbrella of a single group. "Since then we have really grown as a company", Ilse Bellemans continues. "Due to that growth and diversification, we became quite a lot more visible. Our initiatives have been attracting more attention from the press. We are also actively involved ourselves in storytelling, including via our Facebook page Jobs at Colruyt Group. Sustainability plays a key role: not only concerning our corporate vision, shops and products, but also when it comes to making our employees' careers more sustainable."
That corporate culture is an important component of the employer brand of Colruyt Group. "Our employees are our ambassadors. We are convinced that people who like doing their job show that on the shop floor, to customers and the outside world. Our personnel also has opportunities for training. And due to our unique hierarchy, in which cooperation across functions and departments is tremendously important, there are a lot of opportunities for advancement. And we always bear the human aspect in mind. We want people to develop in their job and as a person."
If someone wants to try something new, they have the opportunity to do so. Initiative is encouraged. "You are allowed to make mistakes along the way, as long as you learn from those mistakes. We can only innovate and learn more by trying something new", says Ilse Bellemans.
Today, there are about 900 vacancies at the company. That makes employer branding more important than ever. "We want people to know that Colruyt Group is a potential employer, and that they can turn to us for all sorts of roles: as shop staff, in support services, in technical departments and much more besides. So five years ago, we started with job days for new graduates. I can tell from the growing attendances at those days that our attractiveness as an employer is growing, and that people are better and better informed about what we stand for."
In the next few years, the company will continue to build its employer brand. "I am thinking about things that will ensure that Colruyt Group becomes even more attractive for experts, such as an IT architect or a finance specialist. These kinds of jobs are getting harder to fill", Ilse Bellemans concludes.