“It's a very rewarding company to work for” Oliver, Audit Consultant
Oliver studied languages at University and always thought that, as well as the career opportunities on offer, Lidl would be a good place to work as it would enable him to utilise his German speaking skills.
What were you doing before you joined Lidl?
I was working in the French Alps as a Transport Coordinator for a large travel company. Prior to that, I studied French, Spanish and German at University.
What made you join Lidl?
I actually wanted to join Lidl when I was living in Germany. I lived there for a while during summers while at university and after graduating. I wanted to join then because, living in Hamburg, I wanted to improve my knowledge of German. Then when I eventually came back to the UK after my ski season, I saw the role advertised and it was just right. It was the perfect role for me and offered good benefits too. That was back in 2017.
What does your role entail?
My job involves designing and conducting audits for different departments and writing reports, establishing risk and agreeing on corrective measures to improve our processes, in order to reduce risk in the future.
Is there such a thing as a typical day for you?
It changes a lot. One week to the next can be completely different because I do a lot of traveling. I'm always at different Regional Distribution Centres, sometimes in store and sometimes I'm in head office, meeting with colleagues from different departments. So it's really, really varied and no two weeks are the same - I can say that confidently.
Is there anything you’re particularly proud of?
Building strong knowledge of company operations - I'm quite proud of that. The whole process has taken a lot of work, at least a year. I'm confident now about consulting on various issues within the company. Also seeing my first audit go through - from creation, to establishing the corrective measures and closing the audit, that was a nice achievement.
Has the reality lived up to your expectations?
Yes, it has. They've offered me more training and I’ve gained more experience than in any other company I've worked for in the past. I’ve spent lots of time with employees in different departments such as Buying and Logistics, who took the time to train me in their areas. Other departments are always open to having a quick chat and taking you through anything that you need to know. Before starting my role, I trained for 6 months with the regional sales teams. I shadowed Area Managers and worked in stores to get a good understanding of store operations at Lidl. If you have any questions, people are always willing to talk you through processes or systems that you might not have much experience of.
Are there any other areas of your role that you particularly enjoy?
I speak to so many different people on a daily basis - and that's actually an important part of the role. You have to be able to bond quickly and establish links with other departments, because that's what's going to give you the good audit, with insight into the role, you have to learn the rules quickly. That gives you a chance to network with probably more people in the company than any other role does. Not many roles offer you the chance to meet so many different people.
Is there anything that’s surprised you about Lidl?
Yes, I'm always surprised at how much specialist knowledge we have as a business. I’ve discovered new processes, new departments - things you might have thought would have been externalised because of the need for specialised knowledge. But no, we have our own specialist Property Consultants and Maintenance Managers in the warehouse for example. There's a wealth of experience in the company and people wear their Lidl badge proudly too. We're all very close knit and I've had such a good time in this department.
Do you feel you have a good work-life balance?
I get to manage my own time, which is a benefit. Lidl offers remuneration for time away, so you're never out of pocket because you're travelling for work. And it's not actually that often - I spend probably 1 or 2 nights away a week I'd say, if that. As a department we're spread over the country, so our manager is careful to allocate us regions close to home - 70% of my audits will be within an hour or two’s drive from my house, so I don't have to travel that much. I’m autonomous, which for me is a huge benefit and I’m not being micromanaged; I’m allowed to carry out the work the way I find most comfortable.
What do you feel are the main benefits of working at Lidl?
The rates of pay are very competitive. And the benefits for my role, such as the company car, are very nice - you get free private fuel allowance, which is unheard of in so many companies. Health insurance is included with my package as well. It's definitely a very rewarding company to work for.
What does the future hold for you?
I'm really enjoying my time at Lidl, it’s a really exciting place to work. I'd love to further my sales experience in the future, perhaps have a regional role alongside an Area Manager or Head of Sales, or even move on to another department in head office. I'm really open to what I’ll do. Because you learn so much about so many different departments, it gives you a broad range of options.
What would you say to someone thinking of joining Lidl?
If you're ready for a very fast-paced, dynamic environment and you want good benefits and comprehensive training, then Lidl is for you.
Finally, what four words would you use to describe Lidl?
Dynamic. Rewarding. Fun. Fast-paced.