Potential recruits for Shell don’t have to do much – they only have to
convince the company’s senior management to give them $1bn.
Shell has developed the ‘Gourami business challenge’ in a bid to recruit top
talent from universities in Europe, Russia, Africa and the Middle East.
The challenge saw around 40 final-year undergraduates flown to Portugal for
five days to plan the long-term stability of Shell in the fictional country of
The students are split into teams and must create a coherent long-term
strategy. They must then pitch it to three ‘hard-nosed’ senior managers from
Shell, who have the discretion to give them a budget of up to $1bn.
The HR team had the task of attracting people to Shell in Gourami,
determining the number of recruits needed and how to manage them, while paying
close attention to financial constraints.
This year, Shell awarded the budding execs $725m.
Navjot Singh, Shell’s global marketing manager, recruitment, said that
putting students into a ‘real life’ situation allowed Shell to assess a new
generation of leaders and, at the same time, gave students a strong insight
into the world of Shell.
"This allows the students to deal with day-to-day problems of a
strategic nature," he said. "The programme is designed to develop
talent and talent is the bedrock of Shell going forward."