Working at RKW -
What to expect and how a future career path might look like

The dynamics of a global player with the DNA of a privately owned company - that's RKW. We are a large team of more than 3000 colleagues at 19 locations worldwide. With us, there are no jobs, but real tasks - for job starters as well as for specialists and managers. But how exactly does it work at RKW? What can I expect after my first day at work and how does my future path within the company look like? Samira Montag, Talent Acquisition Specialist and responsible for recruiting at RKW headquarters, answers these questions in an interview with Carsten Lucassen.

Samira Montag, Talent Acquisition Specialist
Samira Montag, Talent Acquisition Specialist

Let's start with the most important question for our job candidates. What exactly does the process at RKW look like and what can you tell us about the different stages?

An application is always about getting to know each other, so that both sides get a good impression of each other. That's why we rely on a multi-stage selection process, because there's plenty of opportunity for that.

This gives applicants the opportunity to learn more about the jobs, get to know RKW and its employees, and serves to check the suitability of the candidates. Through our processes we ensure transparency, so that everyone knows what the next step is. We pay special attention to the strengths, professional wishes and challenges of the candidates in order to find a suitable position.

In addition to the Human Resources (HR) department, the relevant specialist department participates in job interviews, sometimes also with colleagues or other business partners on site.

What does RKW expect from applicants?

We are looking for open-minded, interested personalities who are passionate about their subject area and want to make a difference - to get involved, contribute ideas and implement them. True to the motto: Designing together. Grow. Being part of the whole.

What does that mean in concrete terms? What happens after joining the company and what does a possible career path at RKW look like?

First of all, it is important to know that we prepare extensive induction plans for our new colleagues. What this looks like in individual cases depends, of course, on the respective position and the area of work. In principle, however, all new employees are given the necessary tools - knowledge, contact and, of course, the necessary technical equipment.

As far as the next steps are concerned: RKW is a growing company and is currently in an exciting phase of change, in which we are successfully opening up new markets. Naturally, this is also associated with a number of career opportunities. What this looks like in concrete terms is up to each individual - at RKW we like to say: "Own your career". In other words, the company provides the framework within which every employee can grow. Naturally with the appropriate support - for example, as part of our Talent Development Program for young managers. To name just one of many examples.

I would like to take another look at the keyword "Own your career". What values or leadership principles are associated with it?

Good point. RKW is a value-based company. That means we have a business mission and, in addition, we have defined respect and reliability as our core values. Together they form the foundation for our daily work and are a binding guideline for all colleagues. We have also established the so-called Leadership Standards for our managers. The aspects of achieving goals, driving change, taking initiative, developing talent and giving orientation are at the centre of these standards - you can read more about this in the article.

After all, leadership principles are always an integral part of our corporate culture. What can I expect at RKW if the subject of change is already addressed in the Leadership Standards?

Change does not only refer to individual products or processes. In fact, RKW as a whole is in a process of change, and this naturally has an impact on the corporate culture. An important keyword in this context is "courage" - the willingness to actively approach change and simply "get on board". This includes a proactive feedback culture, new and agile forms of cooperation and - very importantly - open, transparent communication within the company. Have we already achieved all this? No, definitely not. But we are on a very good path and we want to continue along it successfully with our new colleagues.

Then let's get "personal" at this point, Samira. Why do you like working for RKW?

I like the mix. We are an international company and a global player, but we are also family-owned. In the HR department, I often work with colleagues at our locations in Europe, Asia and North America - many of whom I now know personally. In addition, I have a lot of freedom to implement my own ideas and visions. And very important, last but not least: a team with whom I can have fun and have a laugh.

Talking of teams: what does team spirit mean at RKW - what keywords come to mind?

Working cross-functionally and across locations, being globally networked, achieving goals together and giving constructive feedback.

You have mentioned the topic of internationality twice. Can you give me more information on this?

With pleasure. As a globally active company, cooperation across national borders is part of our everyday work - which does not mean that every employee has to travel the whole world. In fact, in most cases the exchange of information takes place electronically - for example via video conferences. But if you would like to gain experience abroad, RKW is an employer with 19 locations in North America, Europe, North Africa and Asia - which means there are plenty of opportunities to grow together.

Many thanks for the interview, Samira.