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Inside View: Schindler Group

Schindler Group has over 45,000 employees across the globe and develop MBAs into leadership roles. We spoke exclusively to a Head of HR to find out how you can break into a career with the company.

The Schindler Group is one of the biggest manufacturing corporations on the globe. They are an innovative and environmentally-friendly company; the leading global provider of elevators, escalators and related services.

Founded in Switzerland in 1874, today the company has over 45,000 employees in over 100 countries, reaching one billion people every day all over the world. Last year the company generated sales of over CHF 8.2B. For those seeking a truly international career, Schindler could be a perfect fit.

They recruit MBAs every year for specific positions and develop them into leadership roles. They have a range of career paths available for MBAs right now – and Head of HR for Corporate Functions, Erika Neumann tells you what MBA graduates can expect to gain from a career at Schindler.

In this exclusive interview, Erika tells BusinessBecause what keeps Schindler competitive, how you can get into their internship program and what type of background will help you launch a career with the company.

How long have you been with Schindler Group?

I joined Schindler’s production site in Ebikon twelve years ago. I then moved on to Schindler Informatics and then joined the management board of our Swiss dual-brand, before I returned to Ebikon in my current role as Head HR of the Corporate Functions.  

Before that I had HR responsibilities in various organizations.    

Do you have an internship programme? How many places do you have each year?

We deal with internships on a case-by-case basis, and launched an initiative to predefine internship places because we believe it is very important to build a relationship with students as early as possible.

We also run our Schindler Career Development Program (SCDP), which is a unique opportunity for grads to propel a business or technical career at Schindler. It is a long-term, on-the-job management training program with a timeframe of six years that gives grads the chance to rise to top positions in real jobs.

International perspectives and professional guidance are included. You will find more information on our website.

Can you tell us about some of the roles recent MBA grads have taken at Schindler?

We have got a lot of challenging and rewarding jobs for MBA grads. Every year we recruit a number of MBAs for specific positions, help them identify their potential and develop the individuals to gain expertise in a field - or leadership position.

For example, we offer positions to work in the field directly with our customers and products, or as an engineer developing future technologies for urban mobility. We also offer roles in taking over strategic positions on a corporate level, with the perspective to move into a senior managerial position after a few years.

There are many positions and career paths to take. This is a short overview of the types of job roles which you will also find on our website:

Product Safety Manager
Area Sales Manager
Business Unit / Branch Manager
Senior Finance Analyst
Treasury Manager
Executive Assistant to Zone President
Strategic Buyer
Manager Strategic Projects

Do you target any specific business schools in Europe and Asia?

We are generally open for any high-quality business school. We are working closely with IMD in Lausanne, INSEAD in Fontainebleau, St. Gallen in Switzerland and the London Business School in the UK.

Do you look for MBAs with an engineering or technology background?

We regard this as an ideal and very valuable combination, as our core business requires technical affinity, if not experience in and a profound knowledge of.

What can an MBA expect from his/her first year with Schindler?

A solid introduction program, followed by challenging projects and tasks, depending on the individual role. Tasks and responsibilities are balanced. Our Succession Planning and People Development processes will detect the individual's potential, and allow for early career and development planning.

It has been mentioned that you're facing increased competition from manufacturers in emerging markets. What kind of innovations keep Schindler competitive?

Some of our recent innovations include: Schindler's innovative elevator destination dispatch system PORT; the Solar Elevator which is currently being introduced to the market; Schindler's partnership with Solar Impulse, giving us access to engineers, researchers and technical experts from leading technology firms.

We also developed the new Schindler 5500 elevator, combining state-of-the-art engineering and top tier performance levels, and consuming up to 30 per cent less energy than comparable elevators; and the Schindler Power Factor 1, which regenerates energy back into a building’s energy system.

What would you say is the best thing about working for Schindler?

At Schindler we have a high commitment to people development. Only the right people can create exceptional value for our customers. We develop our employee’s skills to effectively work with our customers in understanding their needs and how they can get the most value from our products and services.

We offer a real international career perspective for people who prove themselves to be capable and engaged at the same time. We also promote diversity and equal opportunity in hiring and developing our employees.

Schindler offers a working environment characterized by teamwork and shared accountability. Our leaders must display clarity and focus, be committed to their teams and manage with respect, trust and fairness, while being committed to developing leading products that feature the latest technology.

We conduct our business while maintaining a strong commitment to social responsibility, safety and the environment.  

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