Hiring from within: ExxonMobil in Prague puts career development first

ExxonMobil's Prague office reached a milestone in 2021, adding 200 new skilled jobs for its employees.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 21.03.2022 16:00:00 (updated on 21.10.2022) Reading time: 6 minutes

ExxonMobil established its Prague office in 2004. The company's activities in the Czech capital started with operational roles in customer service, highly transactional, and requiring language skills. Through the years, the company has begun to add more complex roles above and beyond the initial footprint of its Prague organization.

The evolution of the company's Prague office reached a milestone in 2021 when it reduced transactional roles and added 200 new skilled jobs and developmental opportunities for its employees, all during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We recently spoke with ExxonMobil's Dana Puscasu, F&L Lead Functional Manager, and Kim Leith HR Manager for the Czech Republic and Hungary, who shared their insights on the importance of professional development and hiring talents.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

You added 200 jobs in your Prague office in 2021. What were some of these roles and how challenging was it making this transition?

Dana: We added Sales, Marketing, Engineering, Contracting, Analyst and Advisory roles to the Prague office. In parallel we also transitioned the Fuels & Lubes Order-to-Cash activities to a Managed Service Provider, aiming to improve our offering and customer experience. As a consequence, we reduced the transactional roles and offered greater developmental opportunities for our employees. This transition was very complex but was completed successfully in less than a year under unprecedented circumstances due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our success was due to the fact that we have a history of taking on challenges. ExxonMobil thrived in the business for over 135 years by embracing change and not being afraid to reinvent our offerings or the way we do business.

How does this open more opportunities within your company for professional growth?

Kim: ExxonMobil in Prague has a well-established Staffing & Development process where we enable the development of our employees through job rotation. To give an example, an employee who was hired to perform a Buying role in Procurement, may, as a subsequent career step move to our Chemical or Fuels & Lubricants organizations to gain business experience through a variety of roles. This helps to build skills for the future and to provide exposure for our employees in areas of our business which are important for their development.

There are also employees who might need to gain leadership skills as part of their career progression and to enable this they could move from our Treasury organization to one of our commercial businesses as a supervisor or manager of a team. This not only creates the opportunity to gain leadership skills but also provides exposure to a different business allowing for fresh experience and new skills to be developed. We believe that this continuous growth of skills and experiences gained from functional and cross-functional development is essential for personal and professional growth and ultimately enables us to take on more complex activities.

What are the current opportunities available in your Prague office?

Dana: We perform various activities to support ExxonMobil business worldwide, truly a Global Business Center. Our employees are working in Payables, Acquisition, Treasurers, Sales, Marketing, Research & Engineering, Customer Service and Human Resources departments. The variety of roles are impressive – from Distributor Business Consultant, Field Marketing Advisor, Contracts Manager, Strategic Buyer, Credit Analyst, Regional Business Analyst to Customer Relationship Advisor, Sales Support Professional, Payables Analyst, engineering roles (Product Development Advisor, Technology Support Engineer, Motorsport Technology Advisor) and Supply Chain roles (Deployment Planner, Transportation Specialist, Warehouse Coordinator) and that is just to name a few. Analytical, commercial, and technical skills are extremely important and required for all of these roles. Anyone joining our company will be offered an amazing opportunity to learn and improve these skills.

Why did your company choose to establish these senior roles in Prague?

Dana: Since 2004 we have been developing an impressive pool of talent in Prague GBC. The skillset, expertise, and commitment to excellence of our Prague employees was the main reason ExxonMobil decided to strengthen our operation in Prague offering our employees more opportunities to grow their careers with ExxonMobil.

Why is Prague a good epicenter of your global operations?

Kim: We established ourselves as a Business Support Centre in 2004 and have matured into a Global Business Center over the years. This has been possible due to the level of highly educated talent in Prague that has the desired backgrounds, experiences, and skills, that are relevant for our short and long-term business needs. In addition, Prague continues to be a desired location with a high quality of living standards, attracting diverse talent. 

From an employee's perspective, why is Prague office a great place to work?

Dana: Our employees represent about 85 nationalities from around the globe, and this diverse and inclusive environment enriches their experiences. Moreover, our employees are a part of a global organization where they will have an opportunity to learn and develop their careers by working on complex and sophisticated issues. We care about our employees and help them to feel supported every step of the way. This creates a sense of belonging and pride. This and so much more make the Prague office a great place to work.

Can you share a real example of this career/job transformation process on an individual who could describe their real career path?

Kim: A number of employees have been with us since the start of ExxonMobil in Prague and are great examples where their career has progressed from transactional work, to analyst type activities and more recently performing business advisory activities, requiring subject matter expertise, deep business knowledge as well as advanced behavioral skills. Many of these employees currently perform or have performed formal leadership roles as part of their career progression.

Our Prague office is growing in terms of seniority of roles and to be directly part of this transformation has been a great motivation for me. Throughout my career, I had the opportunities to change different roles and gain a lot of knowledge and experience in many different fields. I started in the logistics for Fuels, then spent 10 years in Procurement where I developed my commercial skills, led various teams, and traveled around the world, thanks to the company's global reach.

-Nicole, F&L Distributor Business Manager at ExxonMobil

Talk a bit about your recruitment efforts, what is the local recruitment market and some challenges you faced overall.

Kim: The local labor market continues to be dynamic with strong competition for talent. We have an established Recruiting organization and brand ambassador program to support university as well as experienced talent sourcing. We actively engage in various activities with our target universities to showcase our diverse career offering to students.

A few examples of our engagements with universities are Open Days at our ExxonMobil site in Prague where we welcome students and introduce them to our management and employees with the objective of sharing our culture, values, and career opportunities.

We also run (virtual) job fairs where we present our career paths and engage with students and prospective candidates in an interactive setting. In addition to these high-touch activities, we also leverage various advertising and social media channels to present our employer brand, our open vacancies, and our career offering in Prague.  

Developing people in this fashion seems like a huge undertaking. From an HR perspective, how did you manage this?

Kim: This is part of ExxonMobil’s DNA. People are the heart of our company and their development is the lifeblood of our organization. We develop hundreds of employees in Prague each year through position moves and various projects which support skills development and professional growth. We have and continue to recruit diverse talent into our organization and ensure development plans are in place to enable capability development for current and future business needs.

This article was written in cooperation with ExxonMobil. Read more about our sponsored content policy here.

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