Attraction and Retention of Talents

2021 brought global social and economic changes which also impacted business landscapes and candidate markets. Talent attraction in 2021 intensified with hyper-competitive market conditions. To remain competitive, adidas focused on what makes our company a top place to work, while simultaneously striving to meet the ambitious growth targets set forth by our 2025 ‘Own the Game’ strategy.

Our ‘employer of choice’ status continues to garner worldwide recognition as we were named in Forbes’ ‘The World’s Best Employers 2021’ as top in our category and 14th overall. Additionally, we remain on Universum’s ‘World’s Most Attractive Employers 2021’ rankings for Business, IT, and Engineering students worldwide.

Throughout 2021, we focused on embedding ‘DEI’ into our recruitment processes, through various specialized programs that aim to:

  • eliminate hiring bias,
  • create employment pathways for retail employees to access corporate career opportunities,
  • partner with other organizations and our internal Employee Resource Groups (‘ERGs’) to drive key messages around inclusive hiring, and
  • continue the education of our stakeholders on an inclusive hiring mindset.

We also offer entry-level programs to ensure new joiners can have the best possible start, choose between a wide variety of learning opportunities, build on their strengths, and improve their professional skills.

  • Apprenticeship Program and Dual Study Program: The adidas ‘Apprenticeship Program’ offers pupils who want to join our company directly out of school the opportunity to gain business experience in a two- to three-year rotation program. In cooperation with various universities, the ‘Dual Study Program’offers students theoretical and practical experience at adidas. It consists of a three- to three-and-a-half-year rotation program, including at least one three- to six-month international rotation.

    In 2021, we offered programs in several business areas, such as digital, e-commerce, digital media, visual marketing, finance, IT, retail, logistics, or shoe finishing. At the end of 2021, we employed 47 apprentices in Germany (2020: 49) and 46 dual students (2020: 38). Of these apprentices and dual students, ten were hired as a part of our ‘Integration Program,’ which provides opportunities for those from underrepresented backgrounds to achieve equal and equitable opportunities in the workplace.
  • Internships: Our internship programs provide students with a three- to six-month work and developmental opportunity within adidas, accompanied by robust internship programming elements including professional development, mentorship and networking events. Our goal is to ensure we retain top-performing interns and convert them into full-time employees. In 2021, we employed 70 interns based in Germany (2020: 114).

adidas saw multiple markets and functions expand in 2021, resulting in a 136% increase in hires from 2020. We have welcomed 73 executives for senior positions, coming from both internal movements and a variety of companies including Nike, Lululemon, Nestlé, Starbucks, Amazon, Tapestry, Zalando, and BCG.

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