Unilever Success Story: how do big companies get ready to boost their working teams?

No doubt big companies around the world have already noticed that remote work is the future, and today the main character of our story is nothing less than Unilever, one of the leading multinationals in Latin America and across the entire globe.

About one year ago, Unilever invited us to collaborate with them. They needed a trustworthy source of self-employed talent and fresh ideas as part of a strategy within their program called “Be resourceful”, and short after that, we achieved some amazing results and overcame the expectations in every sense.

Did you use to believe that freelancing was not made for big companies? Well, we’ll show you quite the opposite here with the case of Unilever, a company that knows its steps and goes for freelance talent to keep growing and staying competitive in the work market.

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Unilever: corporate culture that evolves as it gets ready for new challenges

Unilever is considered one of the best places to work. Actually, it leads the ranking of “the most wanted employer” in forty-eight countries and has been acknowledged as the top company promoting leadership among its employees over three continents. And this is not just a coincidence -corporate culture in this multinational with over four hundred brands stems from solid principles of reciprocity, sustainability and diversity, granting that all operations are duly performed:

“… with integrity, honestly and openly, respecting human rights, and our employees’ interests. Likewise, respecting the legitimate interests of those we relate with.”

Then, Unilever places a strong emphasis not only on employing people who can do their job impeccably, but also on making them happy, with a sense of fulfillment and having a vital purpose which drives them to keep doing their best day after day. If you want to learn more about Unilever corporate culture, click here.

One of its strong points has always been its talent recruitment process, entirely led by its transparent, success-oriented profile and the fact that they make every effort to find the best candidate for every vacant position.

However, this process has been influenced by a new approach to face the emerging challenges of the world of work, based on the incorporation of freelance talent to boost strategic growth projects. 

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Be resourceful: The new corporate approach of Unilever

Unilever has never been content by simply “adapting”. On the contrary, they’ve always tried to be at the cutting edge with the most innovating trends on the work market. That is why, a few years from now, it’s been preparing for a different present in the world of work.

Be Resourceful” is a corporate strategy that performs as an umbrella to cluster a series of organizational changes focused on providing support to what is about to come. A new generation of workers, a new way of working and living.

In other words, Be resourceful has to do with learning how to benefit from all the resources that are available for us, even if we’re not too familiar with them or we don’t use them on a daily basis -being more creative and thinking out of the box. In relation to searching for and inviting over new collaborators, Be resourceful bases its actions on the most important trends of the new labor economics:

  • Explosion of the so-called “open talent economy” and knowledge skills.
  • Boom of talent digital platforms (such as Workana).
  • Change in work expectations of millennials and the Z Gen. 
  • More friendly ways of working, with a better life-work balance.
  • Need to access emerging skills very quickly, as well as more agile recruiting processes, which might go beyond geographical barriers.

Be resourceful, use your wits, turn Agile

Unilever understands that today there’s plenty of resources, new skills, ideas and business models that can be used by simply “unblocking our capacity to grow”. 

Exploring, experimenting, consolidating, inspiring and escalating are the five cycle stages of the Agile concept within Be resourceful, mainly focused on building greater work flexibility, accessing young talent in a timely and effective fashion, and achieving goals beyond geographical location.

Workana has proven to be the ideal partner for Unilever at achieving those goals smoothly, and, as we want to provide a customized solution, we’ve developed jointly a unique tool that allows the company to offer work experience to young people around the world who are willing to show their skills and their commitment to work under a new, different  paradigm. 

“YourFreelo” Program at Unilever

Unilever was really eager to let the world know that you can also work with them as a freelancer, even if you’ve just started off on your working history. “YourFreelo” is a program we’ve implemented to recruit college students with the necessary skills to boost the internal resources of the company.

The idea was to put project-work within their reach, adding value to their vocational training and giving them the possibility to gain experience in a flexible way and from any location.

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As you can see, Workana allows companies such as Unilever to find qualified talent, specialized and fresh, within very short deadlines like three days, which is far more agile than other recruiting processes, and it offers a great range of opportunities to keep growing.

But… how do young talent benefit with YourFreelo at Unilever?

YourFreelo is an initiative that goes in hand with Unilever corporate values, based on reciprocity, fair opportunities and leadership. We aim at enthusiastic young people, fully committed and oriented to achieve their purposes:

  • Gaining valuable experience with their first works as freelancers.
  • Leading projects at Unilever with a real impact on the world.
  • Developing professionally, handling their own timetables.
  • Adding new Skills to their profile.
  • Engaging on short-term projects that let them organize smoothly between their academic, personal and working life.

Some examples of the projects you can find at YourFreelo:

As if this wasn’t enough, at Unilever they welcome any new amazing and inspiring project you might want to suggest:

The first experience “YourFreelo” took place last year. It was so successful that other teams within Unilever Argentina decided to implement Freelancers on their projects. For instance, the Rooftop programmers team in Córdoba is still working with Unilever Ecommerce internal team, displaying the utmost quality of independent talent. As expected, in 2019 we launched a new call of YourFreelo with many more projects and opportunities for everybody.

The journey with Unilever has gone far beyond providing them with a platform to find remote workers and skills quickly and efficiently -we’ve been faced with a big opportunity to help a large company along its transformation process, as it adjusts to a new era, and we’re really proud of our achievement: showing that freelance work can be relied upon. We have many forthcoming projects. YourFreelo is just the first step. 

What we’ve learned from one another

Unilever has grown thanks to Workana talent, and to us, as well as to our freelancers, working with Unilever has also been a source of motivation and learning:

“Workana gives Unilever a very important value which has to do with this new world we weren’t familiar with… We’ve learned from this experience how to get other resources beyond those we’re used to working with on a daily basis, so as to achieve our goals.” – Bárbara Maragliano, Project Leader at Unilever

“Thanks to ‘YourFreelo’, we’ve had the chance to do the system integration of one of Unilever distributors with their e-commerce called “Buy Unilever”. It was a great experience!”- Nicolás, Rooftop Software Development

“This has been a wonderful experience. I love having a business partner who actually shares a very innovative vision to apply these new ways of working to their company. It’s been a great source of learning for us too. We’re very happy and we’re going for more.”

Guillermo Bracciaforte – Co-founder at Workana

We’ve come a really long way and there’s still much more ahead. Thanks to YourFreelo, Unilever and Workana are already working with work teams in Chile, Colombia and Brazil. What will happen in the future? We’re really looking forward to it!

We’re very thankful to Unilever for trusting us, but, mostly, to all of our freelance talent for helping us make our dream come true: a world with better work opportunities for everybody

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