Getting 1,000 down to just 26

Getting 1,000 down to just 26

What happens when you have to get 1,200 graduate trainee applications down to the 26 people who’ll be accepted? What happens to the rest?

Jonny Kelly and Rosa Granath from the recruitment centre have been involved in the application process for this year’s graduate trainees since last autumn. This time they have used a new cloud-based recruitment tool.

“It is user-friendly and accessible via mobile phone,” says Rosa, a graduate trainee coordinator and also a member of the Forum Team Trainee, which deals with all matters relating to graduate trainees.

Basic requirements

This year’s 1,200 applications are being screened automatically in accordance with certain parameters. Those that move on to the first selection have recently graduated, i.e. from 2016 or 2017.

“This is an introduction programme, and so we do not expect applicants to have accumulated that much work experience,” says Rosa.

One requirement is a Master’s degree in engineering or business and economics. One thing that is prioritised is a link to Sweden, perhaps that the student is doing their exchange year in Sweden.

“So that they know what they are getting involved in,” says Jonny.

However, the requirement to be able to speak Swedish has now been removed; the ability to speak English is enough.

Sara Emanuelsson and Rosa Granath from the recruitment centre keep a check on all of Scania’s graduate trainees.

Sara Emanuelsson and Rosa Granath from the recruitment centre keep a check on all of Scania’s graduate trainees.Kjell Olausson

Web-based tests

Following the screening based on the basic requirements, the applicants take a test that assesses their logical and analytical ability.

“We set a level that needs to be achieved so that we know that those who pass will perform as expected in the future,” says Rosa.

Around 60 per cent of applicants move on to the test.

Previously the selection process involved the trainee recruitment managers having to read huge numbers of CVs and conduct telephone interviews.

“The process is better now. It is more reliable and more objective,” continues Rosa.

Looking for leadership potential

The next step is a personality analysis, and even here there is a set level of criteria that needs to be met in order for applicants to move on to the interview stage.

“This year we made it clear that we want to find leadership potential,” says Jonny.

There are different types of leadership and in the next stage profiles are matched to a specific area, such as business-oriented leadership, or an area that focuses on development or personnel.

In order to get the right people in the right place, recognised skilled leaders at Scania have to do a number of tests that are used as reference information.

“We don’t just throw a dice. We base our selection on the background of extremely competent people.”

There are five times as many applicants as the number of trainee positions called for interview. The process takes a week from morning to evening. All the interview rooms are in use.

“That generates a huge amount of energy. Everyone who comes here is alert and hungry, and appreciates the mix of discussions and lectures from previous graduate trainees.”

Here, the applicants get all the information they need and there are a lot of people on hand whose job it is to ensure that their visits go well.

“They have to feel satisfied when they leave here,” says Jonny.

Once the final selection has been made, the most promising students are sent to the relevant part of the organisation which makes the final decision, with support from the recruitment centre.

“Respect for the individual means that those who need trainees in their operations supplement our assessment with their own as the last piece of the puzzle.”

Make use of more than just graduate trainees

The people who do not land trainee places in Södertälje may be suitable for Oskarshamn or Luleå. Many also end up with permanent employment.

“Spring is harvest time for us. We have vacancies and the schools haven’t finished for the year yet. We get a huge number of competent people,” says Jonny. Rosa agrees:

“We have a split vision and make use of many more than just those appointed to the graduate trainee programme.”


Scania offers graduates a range of different ways to join the company and develop into key players within Scania’s global organisation.Read more