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Interview with Gerda Schwindt - working at Glencore

Author: Glencore | Date: 21/02/2018

Interview with Gerda Schwindt, our Group Head of HR, on graduate
recruitment at our Swiss headquarters

Gerda, why should people want to work at Glencore?

Gerda Schwindt: Because Glencore provides young talent with all kinds of opportunities for development. While we don’t offer structured trainee programmes, we do supply all the support necessary for graduates to enter and develop within our business.

How does a young talent learn the ropes?

In Switzerland, all of our graduate recruits start in the same place: our back office. We deploy our new employees there as it gives them the opportunity to understand all of our business processes from the bottom up. At Glencore, we trade in physical products such as coal, copper, zinc, ferrous alloys, nickel, aluminium, iron ore and so on. Ours is a very specific business, substantially different to paper trading. This introduction is the best start for further development within the company.

Gerda Schwindt at our headquarters in Baar, Switzerland

Does the company have a different DNA to other companies?

Correct. At Glencore, to a certain degree, you have to make this DNA your own in order to advance. We expect a lot of our employees: flexibility, hard work and a large dose of stamina; but in return, they enjoy the entrepreneurial freedom to be involved in shaping their work according to their potential and character. It does not suit everybody, for example those who prefer to work within rigid structures. At Glencore, if someone proves themselves, they are fully supported and will progress.

At Glencore, if someone proves themselves, they are fully supported and will progress.

Gerda Schwindt, Head of HR

Also in a geographical sense?

Absolutely, geographical diversity is an integral part of Glencore. Globally, we are one of the largest commodity producing and trading companies, we have a unique business model. We are involved in every step of the commodity chain, from extraction through to production then marketing and logistics. Our presence throughout the commodity chain is what sets us apart from our competitors. Our employees have the opportunity to develop globally, provided they are flexible and willing to move.

How do the graduate recruits benefit from Glencore’s reputation?

We enjoy the reputation of being the best in our industry. From the outset, we recognise and monitor the positions and business areas or departments that our employees are most suited to. In this regard, we dispense with a formalised approach preferring to give individual support.


This article is a reproduction of the original German featured in the Universum Top 100. Read the German version here.