Recruiting employees

In the competition for the most highly skilled employees and executives, we take steps to polish our image among potential applicants. For us, this also includes the initial training of young employees for retail, through which we can recruit employees from our own ranks.

Vocational training at METRO GROUP

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Due to a changed calculation basis in Germany, the figures for 2015/16 cannot be compared with the figures for previous years

Number of trainees in Germany



Number of trainees internationally



Newly employed trainees in Germany



Trainee ratio (incl. interns and students) in Germany



Share of examination candidates who have achieved a training qualification



Share of qualified trainees with follow-up contract



In Germany, we focus on needs-based training with the aim of hiring a large portion of trainees at the end of the programme. Management and the Group Works Council have signed an agreement stating that trainees who complete the programme with a positive aptitude assessment will generally be hired for permanent, full-time positions. The individual companies of METRO GROUP in Germany have defined their own specific requirements and possible exceptions.

The organisation and implementation of training, as well as the content specifications, are the responsibility of the sales lines. They offer various projects and programmes for their junior employees. In 2016, for example, Media-Saturn conducted a theatre project for 20 trainees in their second year. At various workshops, topics were discussed such as appearance, expression, debate, conduct and cooperation within a team. In the second part of the project, the participants worked with their trainer on a stage play, which was performed on the campus in Ingolstadt in October 2016.

The Saturn sales brand responds to the changing learning behaviour by offering trainee camps, and places a stronger emphasis on self-determined learning. The concept of the trainee camps is arranged in such a way that the participants can structure many areas themselves. In every camp, there are five learning stations with different topics and objectives. These learning stations are developed independently by trainees in small teams, guided by several trainers. The participants can visit any learning station and explore the topics of other groups. Finally, the trainees provide feedback on each learning station. During the reporting period, Saturn conducted 20 camps, with 100 learning stations at seven locations. More than 950 trainees, as well as 97 instructors and trainers from the relevant stores, took part in the events.

Real focuses more on competence- and action-based learning when conveying the training content. In this way, the trainees develop complex and integrated subject areas within the project framework. The training content is linked to general retail topics or social engagement as part of the process. One example is the trainee project “Customer focus – Get to know us better!” In this project, trainee groups each develop a customer initiative that gives the customer a better understanding of Real’s service offerings and diverse range of products. More than 35 stores across Germany implemented about 150 trainee initiatives, where topics such as regional products, healthy eating, social engagement and services were presented. Another example is the project “Fresh from Young Talent”, where about 25 trainees from one region take over for one week as managers of a store’s fresh-food department, selling meat, sausage and cheese. This project allows the trainees to become familiar with management functions already during their training. Apart from these national or regional projects, individual Real stores also initiate relevant projects for their trainees. One example is the Real store in Göttingen, which the German food industry magazine Lebensmittel Praxis awarded first place in its “Trainer of the Year 2016” competition in the hypermarket category for Real’s wide-ranging trainee initiatives, integrated approach to learning, and numerous social engagement activities.

In addition to traditional training content, METRO GROUP also teaches its young employees how to quickly take on responsibility and become involved in social causes. One example is the Good Deeds Day, which was held in June 2016 for a second time. As part of this project, about 550 trainees from our sales lines and service companies were active, in cooperation with the German Red Cross Youth, at more than 100 locations across Germany. Numerous initiatives were implemented at charity organisations under the slogan “We are setting an example for more humanity!” and monetary donations were collected for non-profit projects. As a result of the donation efforts, more than €11,000 were raised to support local community projects.

A trainee group from METRO Cash & Carry Germany initiated the project “Sport and Fun for Refugees”: The junior staff collected donations and staged a one-day event for 50 refugee children in a fitness centre in Düsseldorf. For their efforts, the food industry magazine Lebensmittel Zeitung elected them “Trainee Team of the Year 2016” as part of the “Supermarket Stars 2016” awards.

In addition to dual vocational training, we offer young people the opportunity to attend a dual course of study with practical modules. In financial year 2015/16, 198 students were registered in Germany.

Talent development

Since October 2014, METRO Cash & Carry has been offering the METRO Potentials programme in all countries in which the sales line does business. The programme targets the best university graduates and young professionals worldwide who have two to three years of work experience. The aim is to build a sufficient pool of future managers and managing directors. During the two-year trainee programme, participants broaden their knowledge in various hands-on projects. They are also coached by their local mentor, a member of the responsible country management. The trainees complete various stations in their own country and abroad as well as at headquarters in Düsseldorf. After completing the programme, they are able to assume a management position, such as store manager. But the career path can go far beyond that, up to a position in country management.

For its junior employees, Media-Saturn conducts special trainee programmes with a focus on finance, IT and multichannel marketing. An example of this is the specially developed programme “connect!”, which promotes self-reliance in the trainees and simultaneously offers individual creative freedom with regard to procedure, programme design and personal development.

Employer brand and human resource marketing

In order to strengthen the METRO GROUP employer brand specifically among trainees and (young) professionals, we joined forces with the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) at the beginning of the year to establish a professorship for digital innovation in the hotel, restaurant and catering (Horeca) business. The aim of the “METRO Chair of Innovation” is to research the digitisation in the restaurant, hotel and catering sector in key markets like France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Japan as well as strengthen academic teaching in this area. In financial year 2015/16, we also participated again in the employer initiative Fair Company. Within the framework of the initiative, we specifically enable interns, working students, career starters and trainees to directly enter the labour market. Furthermore, we are building up and expanding the social media activities of METRO GROUP and its service companies in order to strengthen the employer brand and to approach new talents specifically.

Our sales lines are also implementing numerous measures as part of human resource marketing. In financial year 2015/16, METRO Cash & Carry Germany focused its personnel marketing and recruiting activities towards lateral entrants in particular. In this regard, the focus was mostly on trainees and professionals from the food service industry and the food trade. For this purpose, the company uses networks such as Kununu and Xing, as well as the careers blog METRO BACKSTAGE. In addition, the cooperation with employment website Indeed was expanded.

Another example are the career information events that Real offers at schools. The hypermarkets also take part in national campaign days such as Girls’Day and Boys’Day: in financial year 2015/16, about 350 young people took a look behind the scenes at the company for an entire day and learned about various training opportunities. In order to approach new talent, Real also relies on other formats, including training information on own-brand products, contributions on the sales line’s careers page on Facebook, information stands at vocational training fairs and school events, as well as information sharing by trainees and banners on online platforms focusing on career choices.

Media-Saturn relies especially on direct dialogue in the various activities in order to gain junior staff. In financial year 2015/16, our sales line was at selected universities, trade fairs, workshops and lectures in the field and also presented itself in a sporty way: at the Summer Challenge of the WFI Ingolstadt School of Management, more than 1,000 students from the most prestigious business schools in German-speaking countries had the opportunity to ask company representatives personally about entry-level career opportunities at Media-Saturn.

In order to reach IT specialists as well as the so-called Generations Y and Z – meaning the age groups of those people who are today aged 35 or younger – Media-Saturn supplemented the social media career channels with contributions and insights into the working environment. In IT recruiting, the selection process was extended to include so-called touchpoint interviews in order to validate cultural and personal circumstances, in addition to professional requirements. In these interviews, the applicants meet two line managers as well as two colleagues, enabling them to get a better insight into the potential working environment.

The Greek subsidiary of Media-Saturn was honoured with the “HR Excellence Award” 2016 in the “Recruiting & Onboarding” category for its focused and standardised recruitment process. This prize is conferred by the Hellenic Association, Athens, each year.

Employer of choice

Independent rankings confirm METRO GROUP’s appeal as an employer both domestically and abroad. In 2016, the METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry subsidiaries in Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain received the “Top Employer Europe” award again; the Croatian subsidiary received this award for the first time. In addition, MAKRO Cash & Carry Spain and METRO Cash & Carry India were awarded the “Great Place to Work” seal once again. MAKRO Cash & Carry Belgium was honoured with the “Best Traineeship Benelux” award for the third time.

Media-Saturn’s Ingolstadt location was given the distinction “Fair Company” by the online portal The Belgian subsidiary finished ninth among about 150 participants in the national “Great Place to Work” competition in 2016.