Having previously been part of the renowned forestry and hygiene company SCA, the hygiene operations were spun off in 2017 and Essity was born. Essity is now a leading global hygiene and health company. Two years ago, Maria Plaza Waldén joined Essity’s brand journey.  Responsible for employer branding and recruitment in the Nordic and Baltic region, Maria is in charge of a team consisting of six employees. This team is making sure to place Essity on the map to attract the talent that the company requires. The company is not only looking for marketing professionals, product developers and processing engineers. Essity’s digital transformation and expansion in the medical solutions field also means that we are looking for systems scientists and individuals with a background in healthcare. Our starting point is good to say the least. Essity was recently ranked second on Randstad’s list of most attractive employers in Sweden. 

“Our employee surveys shows that we have a high level of commitment and considerable pride internally – and it is this passion within the company that we want to reflect in different situations. Part of our success is due to having employer branding and recruitment specialists in the same team, which creates a long-term approach and an understanding for the target groups we need to attract. At Essity, a major global recruitment and employer branding network is also in place represented in more than 50 countries. As such, we have many colleagues to discuss ideas with at the same time as we maintain a sensitive ear for our country-specific needs and have good opportunities to make an impact. Although we are a relatively newly formed team, we have quickly created a special team feeling.”

Innovation, sustainability and development opportunities make us attractive

It is not always easy to measure the immediate effects of employer branding efforts, but Maria has noted that the number of job applications has risen steadily, as has the general awareness of the company. 

“It is a great benefit that our brands are recognizable by many and that we are considered leaders in the areas of sustainability and innovation. Many candidates also tell us that they have been recommended by our own employees to seek a job with us. 

 While some apply to Essity because they want to work with well-known brands, others are drawn by our innovative drive, our focus on sustainability and the potential for development that the company can offer.”

“At Essity, internal mobility is highly encouraged. You will be able to work here for decades without ever standing still in your career. It is possible to change position, business area or country. We place significant focus on the development of our employees and work toward allowing everyone to reach their full potential. In my two years here, I have had the opportunity to develop in two positions; first as a project leader responsible for Essity’s GO! Program, and now in my position as Employer Attractiveness & Talent Acquisition Manager for the Nordic and Baltic region.”

Significant community involvement

For Maria, who has an international background, Essity’s global presence and inclusive, committed and multicultural corporate culture felt appealing.  

“I heard good things about Essity from many sources. Essity is an employer that I had my eye on for many years. In my opinion, Essity’s commitment to hygiene and health and improving the quality of life for people also makes the company an exciting employer. We try to break barriers and taboos in various ways. This includes educating teenage girls in Latin America about menstruation, and we have conducted a number of prize-winning campaigns about male incontinence. Our community involvement makes me very proud!”

Name: Maria Plaza Waldén

Title: Employer Attractiveness & Talent Acquisition Manager Nordic & Baltics

Education: International Economics Program, University of Skövde, B.Sc. in Organization and Leadership and M.Sc. in International Marketing from Gothenburg School of Economics. 

My best job-seeking tips: Do your research around the company and adapt each application to the position as it is described in the job posting. Based on what the company is looking for, highlight and be clear about what you can contribute with. Think in terms of buzz words, and be active in various networks, for example, LinkedIn. 

Where I get my inspiration and energy from: Through contrasts! On the one hand, by discovering new travel destinations and adventuresome activities, while on the other, enjoying the peace and quiet of natural surroundings. Downhill skiing, being by the ocean or going to rock concerts provide me with plenty of energy. Contrasts also apply when at work. I work best with a dose of both operational and more long-term tasks.