A strong corporate culture and international career possibilities are often the first things employees look for in a prospective workplace - and two factors that make Volvo Construction Equipment such an attractive employer. It's no surprise then that students and graduates flocked to Volvo's exhibition stands at the 2009 IdeenExpo, held from September 5 to 13 in Hannover, Germany, to investigate career opportunities within the technical sector and with the company.
The week-long expo was aimed at students and graduates seeking careers in the science and engineering sectors. Volvo was among a host of companies, research establishments, universities and schools who showed their ideas and technical achievements regarding energy, communication, the environment, mobility and production in a giant, 23.000 m2 exhibition space. This allows students and graduates to learn about career entry possibilities, corporate culture, job specifications and current offers regarding internships, final theses, apprentice opportunities and a direct entry by talking to company representatives. "But it's not like a university fair," says Torsten Muscharski, HR Director for Volvo Construction Equipment in Hameln, Germany. "We don't just hand over brochures and say: 'send your application in', it's more about proving to people that the technical industries are really interesting and then giving them the opportunity to find out more about working for us." Visitors were also invited to research, test or drive products offered by the exhibitors.
A record 283,000 visitors attended this year's IdeenExpo and Volvo Construction Equipment wowed the crowd with a booth showcasing its 3-D wheel loader simulator - a 'cart-assembly-station', in conjunction with a local secondary school in Hameln, as well as two paver models. Outside the fair, Volvo had an assembly area featuring a paver and a compactor, where visitors could try their hands at laying a road. Both exhibitions were very popular with students and graduates. Volvo Construction Equipment's apprenticeship department were also on hand to inform young apprentices about the benefits of working for the company and how interesting technical jobs can be - especially within Volvo Construction Equipment.
Volvo Construction Equipment has a strong focus on developing its employees, but it is also conscious of the need to ensure there is a good flow of competent people moving up through the business. "We have to make sure we attract young people, even very young people of pre-school age, to our industry, otherwise in 10 to 15 years we won't have enough workers to assemble our machines," says Torsten. "Many people still think of Volvo solely as a car manufacturer and don't realize we offer construction equipment, so we need to raise the awareness of the brand."
Volvo Group was ranked Sweden's most attractive employer among engineering graduates for the second consecutive year in 2008, according to Universum's annual Career Barometer survey. More than 14,000 people were surveyed, including 5500 engineers. Their reasons for selecting Volvo included confidence-inspiring management, strong ethics and high morals, strong corporate culture and financial strength. Volvo is now concentrating its efforts on becoming the most attractive employer worldwide and IdeenExpo is one step towards achieving that status.
Students take part in a Volvo machine demonstration at the 2009 IdeenExpo