Explore the KFC graduate scheme

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Ed Evans, head of education and recruitment for KFC UK and Ireland, explains how successful graduates will be given responsibility for running their own restaurant, while developing their careers with a global brand

What do you look for in an employee?

We're looking for ambitious talent that can grow to be the future leaders of our business. The graduates that come through KFC need to be motivated individuals who bring a fresh perspective and new ideas. They also need to have a passion for developing others and to lead with their heart, as well as their head.

They should have the commercial awareness to help bring transformation to our restaurants and our brand to enable the continued growth of KFC. We also believe that we will win when we work together, so natural leaders that can collaborate with peers and customers thrive in our organisation.

How can a graduate stand out?

By living and breathing our values - but crucially, they must be authentic and true to themselves. They must have the resilience and drive to accomplish their goals, and inspire and develop their teams. We trust in our graduates and give them stretching opportunities to shape their success.

How is the graduate programme at KFC structured?

It's structured to give our employees critical experiences in a variety of roles, functions, and work environments. KFC is brought to life through our restaurants and we believe that the best way to understand the business and build your credibility around operations is to work in a restaurant first-hand. In year one, graduates will be on a fast-tracked development path that takes them through every facet of our restaurant operations.

Along with the hands-on experience of running a restaurant, we also bring graduates to our head office - or Restaurant Support Centre as we call it - to gain access to impactful development courses and business leaders across different departments.

After a year working in a restaurant, with personal development days run by our leadership team, graduates gain cross-functional experience in our Restaurant Support Centre. Over the next two years, graduates will rotate between functions such as HR, finance, IT, and marketing, as they develop their skills and knowledge. If they've found a passion for operations, they then progress through an operations-focused scheme by rotating through different restaurants and tackling new challenges.

After three years, graduates will have a superb understanding of our business and so they get the chance to show what they have learned by making an impact in the field, the Restaurant Support Centre, or around the globe. We've placed employees in six different functions - and even sent one graduate to Canada.

What advice would you give to graduates wanting to work in the sector?

Those graduates who are interested in a job with KFC will need to come in with the drive to succeed, an open mind, and a big heart. Our industry changes at a fast pace, with unforeseen events often demanding changes in the way we think and operate. To be a successful leader, a graduate must be able to quickly adapt to new strategies, utilising their commercial knowledge and leadership skills to enact changes effectively.

How can graduates find out more about KFC?

For information on our graduate scheme and the other opportunities that we offer, visit KFC Careers.