JTI Case study: How can a recruiter organise an international internship in 3 months
Dec 3, 2019

JTI annually recruits a large number of interns in various fields, many of whom remain to work further. Angelina Rucheva, an employer brand promotion and internal communications specialist, is an example of that. At VCVdemoday, Angelina shared a story about how the company managed to implement a full-fledged intern program from the concept in 3 months and at the same time successfully pass completely different obstacles: from the letter of the law to the accuracy of the assessment.

An internship on an international level

I have been working at JTI for 2 years. After completing an internship, I got to employer branding. Internship programs are one of the most important tools to attract new employees. JTI is the second largest tobacco producer in the world, and has long been picking talents in the company this way. For beginners, this is a great opportunity to gain practical knowledge and start your career.

There are many willing candidates, so choosing among them the best is a real challenge. This year we have a new program - Make it Bright. 

Make it Bright is an important internship for us. The program is focused on the generation Z. For the company, these are generators of new ideas and, in the future, implementers of concepts that will improve the JTI service. Make It Bright is an international internship, finalists from Russia after the regional selection will go to the finals in Geneva to compete with participants from other countries. In Switzerland, one team will win - it will go on an internship abroad to Zambia for two months to participate in a social project to prevent the exploitation of child labor. The program is already successfully working in 17 countries, and it was important to select truly the best candidates.

Deadlines, Russian legislation and technical difficulties

At the start, we faced a number of challenges in completely different areas.

At the end of November, the head office has set up a task for us and showed us a concept that we needed to implement in March. 3 months is a fairly short period for organizing internships according to international standards.

Storage of candidates personal data exclusively on Russian servers
Since July 2017, personal data of Russian Federation citizens should be stored and processed on Russian servers. Therefore, unlike other participating countries, we could not just copy the concept and do an internship on the global platform makeitbright.com, we had to look for another way.

Team registration
The competition was held between teams, each consisted of 2 people. It was important for us to connect the participants at all stages of the selection, since the results of each individual would reflected in the team standings. If one of the partners fell out of the competition, the team was automatically removed from the competition.

Simultaneous assessment of candidates by 5 employees according to several criteria
We are looking for interns in all areas: from HR to marketing. We wanted several people to evaluate the candidates according to the criteria at once: both hiring managers and members of the team units. The interface was supposed to be as clear and simple for everyone, and the grades should be immediately displayed in the account.

Transferring the functions and selection automation

The first step for us was solving the technical issue with Russian servers. It was necessary to choose a platform on which the selection of candidates would be held. We have already worked with VCV as part of the JUMP internship. We had some good results at that time, because the whole process became fully automated and fast by 3 times, and only one person became fully engaged in recruiting. Therefore, first of all, we turned to them to find out if they can implement Make It Bright.

  • First of all, we quickly transferred the makeitbright.com platform with all the functionality to Russian servers.
  • Next, set up team integration. From the registration stage to the end of the selection, you can simultaneously watch both team members in your recruiter’s personal account, as their profiles are interconnected on the platform. If one member of the team received a refusal, then the recruiter does not need to spend time looking at the second, the partner’s profile was immediately marked with “refusal”.
  • In our personal account, we did everything so that the assessment of candidates was as objective as possible. Several employees could leave comments and give points to candidates. All information was displayed on a personal card and is available to colleagues. Conveniently, several people from different departments conduct the selection: from the leading HR to the manager of a specific department. Employees give marks, and the system automatically calculates the average value and displays them in the rating format. No additional analytic is required.

The selection through the eyes of the candidate

After we built the selection mechanics, the candidate’s path was constructed in this way:

  • One of the two team representatives fills out a questionnaire for himself/herself and his/her partner.
  • After that, everyone receives a personal link to a video interview. If at least one of the partners receives a refusal, it will automatically come to the second, as this was a team competition.
  • If both candidates successfully passed the video interview, they received a link where they should record a video presentation of their idea together.

Fast doesn't mean bad: What has been achieved

Implementation of the project in a short time. In just 3 months, we have successfully created a complete project from the concept.

New platform with functionality. Together with VCV, we transferred important functionality to Russian servers without violating the law and without losing information. At the moment, only 8 teams from different cities of Russia have already passed the off-line stage in the office.

A comfortable selection process. During the selection, hiring managers and recruiters were able to easily look through the necessary candidates and leave comments. And the comments of the colleagues were clearly reflected in the personal account of each candidate.

Increasing audience loyalty. For Make it bright, the use of technology has became a trigger that has allowed to attract representatives of the generation Z. We receive a large number of positive reviews about the program and its implementation. Participants continue to attend JTI's internal events and are even more interested in future internships.

Internship Results. Now the program is at the stage of developing ideas. We selected eight offers in Moscow, four in St. Petersburg. Then the participants will work with business cases, after which we will choose the winner.

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