Ruth Doyle is a regional managing director at ALDI. She also oversees the ALDI academy.
Tell us about ALDI...
ALDI is the fastest growing retailer in the UK and Britain’s sixth largest supermarket.
We currently employ 27,000 people in the UK and will be opening an additional 80 new stores a year over the next few years.
What does your role involve?
I manage ALDI’s North West region which includes overseeing the performance and development of 68 stores and over 2,500 employees. I am also responsible for overseeing the ALDI academy, our dedicated recruitment and training department for the UK.
How many apprentices and graduates do you recruit each year?
We recruit around 150 graduates for its area manager programme and 500 apprentices each year for our stores and logistics schemes.
How are you tapping into talent, while ensuring you're reaching out to all relevant genders, nationalities and age groups?
ALDI has 55 brand ambassadors at 28 target universities across the UK. They speak to peers to promote the area manager programme and encourage potential candidates to consider the scheme.
We make sure area managers and directors have a presence at all relevant university fairs. They engage with potential candidates through private presentations, and create awareness of both the brand and our graduate opportunities through university sports sponsorships.
In order to reach an audience with a wider skills base, we also target professionals who are looking for a career change, through social media, digital advertising and media relations.
We relaunched our ALDI careers website this year, which now includes case study videos of some our current area managers and directors, to give graduates a better understanding of the area manager role and what a career at ALDI entails.
Whats your sorting process to select the best candidates for a shortlist?
We have a rigorous and comprehensive recruitment process for all roles, which is designed to assess a candidate’s core strengths, academic achievements and attitude. The selection process for the area manager programme includes a variety of competency based tests, a video interview, and group and individual interviews. The final stage involves candidates taking part in a one-to-one interview with a regional managing director.
Candidates applying for the area manager role require a 2:1 degree or equivalent, as well as 240 UCAS points and a full UK driving licence.
How are you ensuring graduates know about ALDI and its values?
We operate on social media channels including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, to promote our roles and give insight into the values of the company. We also use these platforms to offer advice to candidates – including application tips and answering frequently asked questions.
For national press and graduate recruitment publications, we use case studies to give first-hand accounts of the role.
How do you make ALDI stand out to applicants, against competing businesses?
In 2015, ALDI rose to second position on the Times' Top 100 graduate employers list.
We have been recognised for our area manager programme, which offers graduates significant levels of responsibility, autonomy, and the opportunity to progress. After a year’s comprehensive training, our graduate area managers are expected to oversee and manage a portfolio of three to five stores, and provide direction and leadership to their store management teams.
What is the biggest challenge youve faced in your role and how did you overcome it?
Moving from the store operations side of the business to set up the ALDI academy – the department responsible for recruiting and training staff across the whole UK business – was a big challenge. This happened at a time when the business was experiencing a period of significant growth and the demand for new recruits was high.
What are the best aspects of your role?
The most rewarding part of my role is being responsible for an entire region, and working with my team to drive the business forward to achieve results.