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What Does L’Oréal Look For In Its MBA Hires?

Michael Lake, a global recruitment manager for L’Oréal, based in Europe, wants digitally-aware MBAs with data analytics skills

Thu Dec 28 2017

L’Oréal boasts 36 international brands, operating in 140 countries and hiring over 82,000 worldwide. It’s ranked among the top 20 most diverse and inclusive companies globally—158 nationalities speaking 58 different languages make up the L’Oréal workforce.

For Michael Lake, a global recruitment manager for L’Oréal based in Europe, Europe’s top-30-ranked business schools are the perfect hunting ground.

He’s directly responsible for hiring international MBAs and experienced postgraduates studying in Europe, recruiting on-campus from schools like INSEAD and HEC Paris. In recent years, he’s seen more candidates from specialized master’s programs landing jobs at L’Oréal.

What can MBA candidates do to stand out? How important are big data analytics skills? BusinessBecause caught up with Michael to find out more.

Why do you value MBA hires? 

An MBA cohort is a unique place for us to find international profiles with international mind-sets; interesting individuals who can come in and add value.

MBAs are people who’ve invested in themselves, who have ambition, and who have developed the ability to understand holistically how business works. A lot of the things that candidates gain on an MBA program makes them attractive to us.

What business schools do you recruit from?

We look through the profiles of MBA students at every top-30-ranked business school in Europe. I physically visit 10. We have strong partnerships with INSEAD, HEC Paris, ESADE Business School, and Oxford Saïd.

I prioritize the top-ranked business schools for sure. Having said that, I regularly work with candidates from lower-ranked schools who have unique and interesting profiles that we can benefit from.

How do you view graduates from Master’s in Management or specialized master’s programs in comparison?

It depends very much on the local market and the level of experience pre-master’s that candidates have. A lot of people that do specialized masters nowadays tend to have a bit more experience than they used to. In those cases, they’re the same as MBAs for us—we’re very much interested in a candidate’s whole profile, not just what they’ve chosen to study.

What does L’Oréal look for in its job candidates?

The first thing is to be digitally aware, regardless of your function or background. Candidates need to understand how digitization affects the entire industry—not just consumer experience or different types of marketing—and changes what our company does.

We always look for people with an entrepreneurial mind-set, who are innovation-driven. And we need people who are aware of sustainability and ethics issues as well—that’s becoming more and more important.

What about data analytics skills?

It’s extremely important for people to be conscious of the potential of the use of data, and to be able to interpret and apply it—that’s the most important thing for us. I would hope that a lot of our subsidiaries are looking at academic programs, and where they see data analytics included in those programs, they should be considering the people on those programs very strongly.

Tell us something about working at L’Oréal that most people wouldn’t know.

People perceive us as the company of big brands, campaigns, and media budgets. But we have a very strong startup, challenger mentality which truly shocks people. People don’t realize the extent of it until they get here.