“Express your knowledge, background and motivation”
With 15,000 employees, EDF Energy is one of the UK’s largest energy companies and its largest producer of low carbon electricity. Now the company needs to build its team ever further. And they’re finding their future colleagues online. EDF Energy’s online graduate application still looks to the individual. Every single application is reviewed. Head of Resourcing, Katya Verdonck’s advice to students is to remember that your application is the first impression you make on your future employer.
Q: What do you do at EDF Energy to attract students and graduates?
A:We need to recruit graduates across all our competency areas, from Finance and HR to Marketing and Business Project Analysis. Our Engineering schemes are especially important. EDF Energy is driving a lot of initiatives with learners of all ages. It is important for us that we can offer long term career paths and that we build our pipeline of talent.
Q: You have launched a new graduate campaign and a new candidate management system. How has it been received?
A: The feedback on our graduate recruitment and application processes this year has been very positive. We have been able to bring the timing for our graduate assessment centres forward by almost two months. Where they used to take place in March or April, this year we finished in February. In December 2011 we launched a new Candidate Management System technology platform at EDF Energy, with a personalised candidate portal where the candidate can go in at any time to see where they are in the application process, and communicate with our recruiters. This will positively impact the next graduate recruitment cycle for us as well.
Q: Can you tell us more about the different steps in EDF Energy’s application process?
A: The first step is to fill out our application form. All the forms are reviewed by one of our recruiters. We look for the basic competencies that you need to have in order to go to the next step. The graduates that make it to the next step are invited to an online screening process where they do a numeral and inductive reasoning test. Once you’re through that stage we conduct a telephone interview with you and if that has been successful, you’re invited to one of our assessment centres followed by a final interview. We hire around 100 graduates every year across all our disciplines.
Q: Do you have any tips on how to make it through the application process?
A: First I would say to all applicants that they really need to attach the right amount of importance and attention to the completion of their application forms. Every single one is reviewed and read by a recruiter, and no one is automatically deselected. We go through thousands of them every year. In our application forms there is plenty of opportunity to express your knowledge, background and motivation in your own words. I would advise every candidate to take that opportunity. We want to bring people onboard that have a clear vision about where they want to go in their career and are enthusiastic about the company that they’re applying to.
Q: What are the next steps?
A: In 2012 we are focusing on becoming more active on social networks. We want to create more interaction with our candidates by introducing online recruiter/candidate interaction, and real time communication with graduates that want to know more about us. Students will see us being out there a lot more, starting September 2012.
at a glance
Number of employees: 15,000
Head office: 40 Grosvenor Place, SW1X 7EN, London
Sector: Energy & Utilities
Katya Verdonck, Head of Resourcing
Studied: Eastern European Languages, Economy, Literature, History, Business Communication At: Rijksuniversiteit Gent (Belgium) and Jagiellonski University Krakow (Poland)
Links: twitter.com/KV1974, Linkedin: Katya Verdonck
Favourite device: My iPhone (and Blackberry for work; me and my team use BBM all the time!)
Favourite app: Twitter, Facebook, Maps, London Tube, iTunes