26 March 2024

From a soccer scholarship to recruiting talent

From a soccer scholarship to recruiting talent

Eddy, Talent Acquisition Lead for our Texas Blue Clean Ammonia project, spoke to us about how his background in sports taught him the value of teamwork, and why OCI’s sustainability commitments and projects are such a motivation for him and those he’s recruited.

Why did you choose a career in recruitment?

I grew up in France, and through a partnership my school had with another in the US, came to the US on a soccer scholarship. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and was debating between engineering and HR when I met someone at a coffee shop in Philidelphia. During our conversation I was convinced that HR would be a good degree for me, and that I had the right skillset to make a success of a career in it. That chance encounter nearly 12 years ago was really the start of my career.

What influence has your soccer career had on the person you are today?

Sports, and particularly team sports, have been fundamental in developing my interpersonal skills and resilience. You learn so many valuable lessons as part of a team, about winning and losing, commitment, determination, working towards a goal. As part of a soccer team, you do everything for the team, as a team. The corporate world is similar. You work as part of a collective to achieve the businesses’ goals, and with the way the financial year runs, it’s almost like you have a championship you’re working towards. The skills I learnt on the sports pitch have been invaluable to my career, and they’ve made me who I am.

Why did you choose OCI Global?

I love what OCI stands for. The mission to power a cleaner future sooner and vision of creating a better tomorrow for the next generation really resonated with me. You feel like you are part of something bigger than yourself and that’s true for the culture within OCI too. We have our CARE values, Collaboration, Agility, Resourcefulness and Excellence, which you really feel are part of how we do business and show up to work every day. On site, you see those values in action, in how the team works as one to complete a complex build on a huge site. There are so many elements to the construction that need to happen in a particular order and way and achieving that and getting us to where we are today has been a real team effort.

What is your current role?

I’m the project recruiter for our North America sites, with my focus now being our Texas Blue Clean Ammonia site here in Beaumont. Recruiting for the site, which is a real flagship project in OCI’s sustainability journey as well as the wider industry’s transition to a cleaner future, has been a tremendous journey. I’ve loved every second of it.

The initial challenge was to recruit the best talent for a project that was being built in a secluded area as part of a tight-knit community. That meant a limited talent pool in terms of those who already live in the area, who would relocate, or who would otherwise commute potentially long distances. It’s the best job I could have imagined for myself, because the combination of the challenge with the ultimate purpose of the project means I feel a huge sense of responsibility and opportunity for impact. It’s rewarding to be part of something so big and so tangible. As the site continues to take shape, I can see my own impact, how the people I hire are building a plant that’s going to be such a milestone for the future of our industry and the decarbonization of so many value chains.

Why should people consider a career in recruitment?

It’s a cliche, but no two days are the same. You’re constantly navigating different personalities and problems. As a recruiter, you need to be able to adapt and communicate with different personalities, as well as face, resolve and manage conflict. It’s about uniting people under a common outcome so the company can thrive.

I think there’s also a misconception that there’s a certain type of person who is best suited to recruitment, but that’s not true. I’m shy person by nature but working in recruitment has helped me overcome that shyness and pushed me to grow in confidence.

What impact does diversity in a workforce have?

Diversity is invaluable in building successful teams. Having different skills, experiences and mindsets means more perspectives to tackle challenges and find innovative ways of doing things. Traditionally, construction and chemicals aren’t two of the most diverse industries, but that’s changing and OCI is making good progress in this respect. Today we have a very diverse team in terms of nationalities and cultural backgrounds, and our gender diversity is improving, although there’s more that needs to be done here.

What sets OCI Global apart?

We have an exceptional leadership team, both on site and with the corporate team – including our CEO, who is very hands-on and approachable. he’s been on site a few times and makes an effort to get to know our team here by spending time with us. I don’t think many companies have CEOs like that.

There’s a lot of growth and opportunity here. It’s a great atmosphere, there’s energy and pace and we know we’re working together towards OCI’s vision of a cleaner future sooner. We all want to do the best job we can do to reach that ambition. As a new hire, you know you’re being set up for success and will have all the best opportunities to learn from an experienced, impressive team, while also having practical opportunities to develop your own skills. It’s a great place to work.

To find out more about how you could have an impact in a career at OCI, visit our careers site here.

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