Commodities are the lifeblood of the global economy. Glencore plays a crucial role in every aspect of the global commodity supply chain, producing and marketing a vast spectrum of goods – from copper to grain.

Glencore is a truly multinational business with 150 operations based in more than 50 countries around the globe. It employs more than 160,000 people, including contractors, and produces and markets more than 90 commodities. These are all derived from natural resources, which fall into three main divisions: metals and minerals; energy products; and agricultural products.

The company has a unique model, according to Gerda Schwindt, global Head of Human Resources at Glencore. “While we are very diversified in terms of our businesses,” says Schwindt, “everything is very integrated, and we consider the whole supply chain as being part of our business model.” This presence at every step of the commodity chain is what sets Glencore apart from its competitors.


Career progression

Glencore takes on graduates in both its marketing and mining businesses. All graduate recruits on the marketing side start in the back office, where they learn the basics of Glencore’s business processes and logistics. This introduction provides a solid understanding of the company’s business model and is a great launch-pad for further development within the company. Within its marketing business, the company has established a specific approach for recruitment that reflects the business’s strategic ambitions over the near-to-medium term.

Glencore’s graduate recruits come from a wide range of disciplines and courses, including banking, finance and, of course, marketing. “Personality also matters,” says Schwindt. “We look for hungry people who want to make a difference and to work in a really entrepreneurial environment.”

In the mining side of the business, Glencore looks for graduates with degrees in relevant disciplines such as engineering and geology. Graduates start out at a particular mine or operation, each with its own distinctive characteristics. Once on site, learning the basics is central, and graduates focus on mining processes, health and safety as well as the specific aspects of the operation.

Whether graduates are placed in marketing or mining, they learn through on-the-job experience and collaboration with talented colleagues from around the world within a non-hierarchical business.


Willing to succeed

In exchange, Glencore asks its graduate recruits to show determination and an entrepreneurial spirit, and to embody the company’s core tenets of loyalty and integrity. “People have the environment in which to make something out of their position,” says Schwindt. “It’s all about you and what you make of yourself.”

Reflecting Glencore’s global footprint, careers within the company allow employees to take advantage of opportunities as they arise around the world, in line with their own personal development goals and performance achievements. Everyone has the chance to develop their career globally – provided they are flexible and willing to relocate.

Going forward, Glencore is committed to continue growing and developing its business while retaining its position as a globally diversified resource leader. As well as delivering long-term value for its stakeholders, the company is committed to operating in a responsible and sustainable manner and to maintain its prioritisation of safety. “Looking forward,” says Schwindt, “we have an opportunity to be the best.”