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Sainsburys Graduate Scheme

Sainsbury’s Graduate Schemes are an excellent way to jump start your career into a well-respected retail company that currently employ over 150,000 people and has 900 stores.

Sainsbury’s have labelled their Graduate Scheme the 2020 Leaders Programme and has three options depending on your skills and preferences:

- Commercial
- Operations
- People

Sainsbury’s tend to recruit their graduates in the early part of the year, and commence their graduate schemes in August, where you can expect to complete the programmes within 2-3 years and apply for suitable managerial positions within 3-5 years of starting.

The Commercial Programme gives you an understanding of the product process within the company from Buying right through to the Marketing where the first year of the course is within the Store Support Centre, and the second year will be acting as a manager developing your people management skills and your personal leadership style.

The Operations Programme makes sense of the Stores and Logistics operations undertaken throughout the stores. The training process is broken down into two distinct phases – shadowing Managers and working in large supermarkets, Sainsbury’s Local and in the Logistics team. The second phase is acting as Deputy Store Manager. You can expect to be working as Store Manager or similar within a matter of years, depending on your progress and available vacancies.

The People Programme you will carry out placements in Human Resources, Customer Service, Communications or Corporate Responsibility. These are the teams that ensure that either employees or customers have an excellent experience. The second year gives you experience as either HR Manager or Customer Service Manager to develop your managerial skills.

What is the recruitment process?

The first stage is to complete a series of questionnaires which will probably take from 1½ to 2 hours to complete. If you are suitable you will then be redirected to further ability and reasoning tests which will take 20 minutes each to complete.

You will then be contacted to arrange a telephone interview at a suitable time. This will be your opportunity to demonstrate how keen you are for the role.

If you are considered a suitable candidate you will then be asked to complete a further online personality questionnaire to ensure you are the sort of person that will fit well into the team.

The final step is to complete the Assessment Centre which will last one and half days. You can expect to undertake a number of tasks both as a group and individually. There will also be an individual interview to attend where you will meet managers who are carrying out the roles you wish to eventually fulfil.

What do I need to apply?

In order to apply any of the Sainsbury’s Graduate Schemes you will need to have a 2.1 degree in a suitable course, plus as least 1 x A and 2 x Bs at A Level plus at least B in Maths and English at GCSE.

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