4 Recruitment Ideas You Can Pinch From Coca Cola

4 Recruitment Ideas You Can Pinch From Coca Cola

Ever since John Stith Pemberton invented Coca Cola, or Coke, in the late 19th century, its company of carbonated soft drinks has established itself as a recognisable brand in every corner of the world.

Whether you go to the pub on your lunch break, need a quick refreshment from a train station vending machine or are just about to watch your favourite football team live, Coca Cola is absolutely everywhere.

Over the years, they’ve even expanded operations to create various other soft drink favourites like Powerade, Sprite, Lilt and Oasis.

In fact, The Coca Cola Company has become so big that it has more than 900 bottling and manufacturing facilities around the world. And that’s not even counting all of the offices dealing with the marketing and sales side of operations!

That’s a hell of a lot of positions to fill!

While quantity is required, The Coca Cola Company wouldn’t be where it is today if it didn’t have some of the finest employees at the helm.

So, what’s their secret ingredient to recruitment success? How do they employ such a vast amount of people but still maintain quality standards?

Let’s explore…

Get the benefits right

Work benefits are increasingly becoming just as important as salary and career progression. As professionals spend a huge portion of their lives at work, they want to make sure that they’re living it to the max!

In fact, companies who offer brilliant work perks are more likely to keep staff turnover rates down – with 66% of employees stating that they’d probably choose to stay longer.

83% of recruiters also believe that having great work benefits makes their job easier – we’re one of them!

Well, The Coca Cola Company recognises this. As well as boasting a rather handsome pension package for their employees, they also provide nice little extras like discounted cinema tickets, travel insurance and health screening.  

How do your work benefits compare? Need some help picking the right benefits for your business?

According to research, some of the most surprisingly popular work perks are:

  • Book and knitting clubs
  • Social and learning-based activities
  • Salary sacrifice schemes

Get social

It’s hardly surprising to learn that The Coca Cola Company is very switched on with current affairs and digital advancements – after all, they have been going for the past two centuries.

The director of global talent acquisition at Coca Cola, Kevin Shigley said: “Tracking down the right people or opportunities used to require hours of phone calls and private-investigator-type legwork”.

“Now, the barrier to entry – information – is no longer a barrier. The internet is the great democratiser of data.”

In particular, Coca Cola’s use of social media has enabled it to cut its search-firm costs by more than 50% between 2008 and 2012 – saving them a substantial amount of $8 million.

Have you thought about using social media platforms to attract potential candidates? LinkedIn is particularly effective with built-in advertisement options and the ability to headhunt.

For more advice on how to do this successfully try reading ‘How to Use LinkedIn Effectively to Find Your next Employee’.

Invest in the future of new employees

As well as work benefits, creating training opportunities and materials is essential to a lot of ambitious professionals.

The Coca Cola Company allow their staff to tap into a virtual global university for all learning and career building activities called the Coca Cola University (CCU).

The CCU helps equip their staff with practical skills and knowledge to succeed in the marketplace and at The Coca Cola Company, including people leadership, franchise leadership, consumer marketing and customer/commercial leadership.

While it might not be feasible to create a whole learning programme yourself, it’s definitely worth addressing your training opportunities. This can be anything from providing your team with relevant reading materials to paying for them to attend certain courses.

Getting this right is a sure-fire way to attract more candidates from the start.

Encourage unsuccessful candidates

This might be more of an afterthought, but applying yourself and the business in the right manner when rejecting a candidate can benefit you in the long-run.

According to one report, The Coca Cola Company in the Pakistan and Afghanistan region have been known to send a detailed letter explaining why they rejected the candidate, along with a crate of Coke cans!

This small, but very cool gesture is an ideal way to keep their applicants as customers and admirers of the brand moving forward.

In your business, you don’t necessarily have to send goodies. Just a personalised letter to the shortlisted applicants can help them learn, progress and grow so that they can return to you as an improved professional further down the line.


The bottom line is simple really. The Coca Cola Company do the basics right, making sure that they offer great work benefits, use social media to find professionals and never discourage applicants from applying again.

The whole company is built on the philosophy of making people smile. You can eat, talk and socialise all with a Coke in your hand. They recognise this as a brand and as a result, have created a community feel around their recruitment processes.

In theory, this is something any business can implement. Make professionals want to apply and you’ll continually attract the very best.

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