To get a job at one of the oldest coffee companies in the world, you don’t just interview—you camp at its headquarters.
BY ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of La Marzocco
In February 2017, La Marzocco, the international coffee company known worldwide for building espresso machines, released a statement asking interested candidates to apply for a spot in their Career Camp. Beyond the length of the camp (two days), not much more was said in the statement. In early May, over 600 potential applicants from around the world applied, and 43 were chosen to fly to Florence, Italy, and participate in two days of rigorous interviewing, along with tours of the factory and activities meant to highlight the culture and work environment of La Marzocco. Oh yeah—and they did this all while sleeping in tents at night.
“The Career Camp candidates were subject to a series of interviews and activities with HR professionals and management staff, including assessment centers and team edutainment sessions,” shares Giada Biondi, communications coordinator for La Marzocco. Applicants were seeking jobs in the Research and Development (R&D), Information Communication Technology (ICT), Finance, Marketing, and After Sales teams of La Marzocco. “Additionally, they had the chance—in turns and in three groups—to experience the factory (and all the beautiful things revolving around La Marzocco, the Tuscan heritage and coffee culture), take part in espresso tastings, workshops, production floor visits, valuable talks with experts, etc.,” she shares.
Most interviews involve one or two short conversations with a potential boss or perhaps a hiring professional, but La Marzocco’s approach is much more hands-on, inviting potential applicants not just to interview for open positions, but to get to know the company and its culture. “It’s sort of like a family, and it’s great that it feels like that,” one potential applicant said in a video released by La Marzocco covering the event. Along with interviews with various team members and HR professionals, applicants were invited to take classes, taste coffees, and expand their knowledge of coffee around some of the most experienced professionals in the business.
The Career Camp was designed not just to get to know potential applicants well, but to invest in the future of the workforce at La Marzocco. “The objective is to invest in diversity and innovation; in individuals who demonstrate great communication skills, pro-activeness, team-working spirit, adaptability and willingness to operate within an international, dynamic setting,” Giada notes. By putting potential applicants in a variety of settings—and taking them out of the interview room, which might be more comfortable for some than others—La Marzocco understands that skill, talent, and fit can be expressed in a number of different ways.
Getting to know so many people on such an intimate level means that some decisions are easy, but some are certainly more difficult, and no final hiring decisions have been made yet. “Now, La Marzocco is taking some time to evaluate up to 20 resources for an additional interview,” Giada shares. And even if the outcome is not what some applicants necessarily hoped for, they still have the knowledge and memories that come with this unique and memorable interviewing experience. And if nothing else, they got to camp in Italy.