Building a Global Safety, Quality & Compliance Team for Reckitt

01 October 2019 by Greg Brittian
blog author

Reckitt (formerly Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC (RB)) is a British multinational consumer goods company headquartered in Slough, England. Reckitt is a global manufacturer of health, hygiene and home products. The business comprises over 37,000 employees, spread across 60 countries, with revenues in excess of £1bn. Brands include Dettol, Durex, Nurofen, Scholl, Harpic and Vanish and many others. ​

Reckitt has performed exceptionally well within a volatile global market over the last ten years. However, during its recent history, the company has come under a large amount of public scrutiny over the performance of its consumer safety and general compliance. In 2016, the business decided to make some very significant strategic changes to its internal compliance, auditing, safety and sustainability structure and formed the Safety, Quality and Compliance (SOC) team. The SOC team sits separately from the pressures of the manufacturing supply chain of the business and has a direct reporting line into the CEO, Rakesh Kapoor. This gives the SOC the ability to take stock of the compliance standards across the business and to work together with the operational side of the business as consultants, coaches, and members to improve the overall standards and competencies within the discipline of health and safety, consumer safety, environment, sustainability, quality and general compliance.

Reckitt's Brief

Reckitt needed to identify the right talent to effectively build the SOC function globally and form a robust group of competent professionals across the business' key operating regions. Acre were approached by the senior Reckitt management who had been tasked with leading the SOC function. The Reckitt team clearly communicated their recruitment goals, and in essence Acre's challenge. A number of meetings between Acre and Reckitt followed, during which the ideal candidate profiles that would fulfill the SOC's objectives were determined, and the global hiring locations and remuneration systems were all clarified. This was clearly going to be a challenging project; Acre carried out some extensive research before proposing a recruitment strategy in October 2016. The initial requirement was to urgently source 8 professionals across 7 global locations, all of whom would have signed their new contracts of employment by mid-January 2017. A plan was agreed, and the global search project was kicked off in early November 2016. ​

Our strategy to identify talent

This was a complex, extensive, logistical challenge which demanded a coordinated team effort from Acre. A number of different sourcing strategies had to be deployed to find and engage the right candidates for each role. One of the first things we did was to work closely with Acre's Marketing team to utilise Reckitt recognised branding to create a bespoke online marketing presence to attract candidates for all of the roles. This involved creating a dedicated micro-site within our own website. We also placed other advertisements on strategic job boards internationally. We then engaged our exclusive global candidate network, and the in-house Acre Research team actively headhunted suitable high performing candidates within competitor organisations. These approaches, coupled with the online presence, meant we were able to create an international awareness around the new roles. Our strategy allowed us to reach deep into the market and create interest with candidates that might not have considered the roles otherwise. It was clear to the market that Reckitt were making changes and were extremely serious about getting the right candidates into the organisation.

A global success

Given the global requirements, taking candidates through the selection process was always going to be difficult. After a carefully organised process of telephone and Skype interviews with both Acre Consultants and Reckitt line managers, and face to face final interviews with Reckitt Regional Directors, we were able to secure the first of the candidates in mid-December 2016. The brief had grown, and as of April 1st 2017 Acre had successfully filled 13 roles into the global SOC team across 8 global locations as follows: Regional Health and Safety Compliance Managers, Regional Environmental Compliance Managers, Senior Environmental Associate, Restricted Substances List Manager, Supply Chain Compliance Manager, Toxicologists, Product Remediation Specialist and Sustainable Brands Manager. In addition, we sourced Reckitt's Interim Global Sustainability Director. This is now an ongoing project and Acre are continuing to support the building of the SOC team at Reckitt.

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