Skip to content

We strive to promote balanced and competitive wage practices and policies for professional development that meet the expectations of our employees.
  • Share
  • Listen

Talent Attraction, Development and Retention

The Group is aware of the challenges in modern job markets, where digital transformation is accelerated, technology advances at a relentless pace and unemployment rates are very low in several countries. To overcome these challenges, we have created an integrated recruitment policy, focusing especially on young talent, opportunities for career development and fair compensation for performance achieved.

The Group follows a very active policy for the inclusion of people with disabilities, those who are socially vulnerable, migrants and refugees, and to promote the continuous training of employees.

In 2019, we recruited over 41,000 people externally.

How we attract talent

The professional network LinkedIn is a valuable tool for attracting talent, having been a substantial increase in the number of candidates recruited through that network and in the number of followers of the Group’s page, which at the end of 2019 amounted to more than 183 thousand.

We have also increased our investment in the Young Talent Jerónimo Martins showcase page, targeted at university students, having registered over 10,400 followers, the double when compared to 2018.

Our Global Onboarding Policy, created in 2019, is an important tool for aligning the induction and integration process of new employees and for the capacity-building of employees who take on new roles. This policy reinforces the nature of diversity, inclusion and non-discrimination practices already implemented in the Group.

We have also established partnerships with hospitality schools to recruit staff for the Pingo Doce restaurants and central kitchens.

In Poland, Biedronka received the Solid Employer 2019 award, and its recruitment campaigns were recognised by economic newspaper “Puls Biznesu”.

Young Talent

The Management Trainee Programme, in place for more than 30 years, is the Group’s main talent programme to attract young adults, offering a career in Food Distribution and the chance to acquire skills and knowledge through a unique combination of real work experience and a personalised training programme.

Other initiatives include:

  • The Group’s Student Internship Programme that provides students to get in touch with the job market. With more than 390 students participating in the programme since its beggining, it can be used for identifying potential candidates for future trainee programmes.
  • Since 2015, we have been investing in the Campus Ambassador programme, based on a partnership with university students, who act as the Group’s ambassadors, transmitting our values and culture, besides promoting the Young Talent Programmes;
  • The JM Academic Thesis programme promotes the development of Master’s and Doctoral theses, thereby encouraging innovation.

In Colombia, SENA – Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (National Training Service) stipulated an allotment of traineeships to help foster skills development and employment opportunities for students. In 2019, and as part of the programme, we welcomed 412 trainees at Ara.

Inclusion Programmes

The Group gives special consideration to supporting the most vulnerable groups of society, ensuring opportunities in the job market for people who may not have the same opportunities. We promote the inclusion of people with disabilities, migrants and refugees, and those who are socially vulnerable.

We developed many initiatives in partnership with several institutions specialising in social inclusion. In 2019, the Group’s companies in Portugal hired 92 people, and welcomed 112 people for on-the-job training.

How we develop our talent

Investing in the development of our employees helps ensure individual and collective growth. Career advancement opportunities are available in all the countries where we operate and for all types of functions within the Group. Our talent retention policy includes investment in continuous training, mobility (between Companies, within the Companies themselves, and internationally) and also well-defined compensation policies that reward the performance of each employee.


In order to ensure a sustainable growth rate, we invest in the continuous training of our people, regardless of their role or the country where they work. In 2019, we recorded more than 4.5 million hours of training, spread over 79,000 actions.

Training in the Perishables areas stands out for its importance to the business, absorbing 41% of the training volume. In 2019, more than 19,000 employees were trained through the Training School in Portugal or the Biedronka Perishables School.

More than 32 thousand Pingo Doce employees received training on the new SPA (Smile, Ask, Thank) customer service model, as part of the project developed by the Jerónimo Martins Training School.

Among the development programmes implemented in the Group, most noteworthy are Negotiation for Value Creation and Action Learning – Booster (created in partnership with IMD Business School), the 7th edition of the Strategic Management Programme (as a result of a partnership between Católica University and the Kellogg School of Management), the Digital Executive Education Programme (DEEP), and the new editions of the General Store Management Programme (PGGL), developed by Pingo Doce and Recheio.

In Poland, the Biedronkowa Akademia Zarządzania (Biedronka Management Academy) was reopened, offering programmes for the development of leadership skills. The academy was attended by store managers and deputy managers. The Hebe Business School trained 234 people with different roles, from consultants to store managers.

In Colombia, Ara’s Retail School develops the General Management Programme for Managers and Senior Managers.

E-Learning platforms are an increasingly demanded alternative and the Group is prepared to address this growing need. The Biedronka Virtual School was attended by more than 5,000 employees in 2019 and, in Colombia, we launched the Crece con Ara (Grow with Ara) programme, offering 46 courses designed for the platform focusing on quality, audits, stock management and soft skills.


Mobility is a crucial part of our employee development, recognition and reward strategy, and it includes three approaches:

  • Direct promotions, which occur often within the Group and include either being promoted to positions of greater hierarchical responsibility (vertical mobility) or taking on new functions (horizontal mobility);
  • Openings, which allow employees to voluntarily diversify their career paths and build on their skills;
  • International mobility, which is a decisive tool in promoting the Group’s culture and values, ensuring strategic alignment between business needs and the career ambitions of our employees.

In 2019, more than 59,000 employees changed jobs, locations or companies within the Group.

How we reward our talent

Performance Management

All Group employees, in all Companies, are encompassed by the Performance Management Cycle. This policy aims at the sustained improvement of the performance of employees, aligning individual contributions with the strategic objectives of each company.


The Group seeks to follow a competitive policy, aligned with the strategy defined in each country, while promoting meritocracy, equal opportunities and equity by ensuring non-discrimination based on gender or any other criterion.

Given our focus on guaranteeing high standards of performance, we aim at recognising and rewarding our employees for meeting their objectives – thus, the variable wage component is key in compensation policies as it is an instrument which ensures an alignment between the pay policy and the established culture of meritocracy.

In 2019, the Group allocated 137 million euros to the payment of employee bonuses, 24% more than in the previous year.

Independent Verification

Information on employee training and transition support programmes was confirmed by an external and independent entity for the Group’s 2019 Annual Report.