Sourcing Ahold Delhaize's First Ever Director of Sustainability & Health for Europe & Indonesia



As the food retail industry continues to change rapidly, fuelled by a shift in customer behaviour, preferences and market disruption, Ahold Delhaize have committed to accelerate change in five key areas – “healthy and sustainable” being one of these pillars. Needing a new strategy to be rolled out across the business' European brands, Ahold Delhaize retained Acre to hire their first ever Director of Sustainability & Health for Europe & Indonesia.

We’re incredibly pleased to have identified Paulette van Ommen for the role, who has joined the business to help shape and accelerate Ahold Delhaize’s sustainability and health strategy across the region.” – Caitlin Murrell, Senior Research Consultant, Acre.​

Who is Ahold Delhaize?

​Ahold Delhaize is one of the world’s largest food retail groups, a leader in supermarkets and e-commerce, and a company at the forefront of sustainable retailing. The family of local brands serves more than 54 million shoppers each week in the United States, Europe and Indonesia.​

Who is Paulette van Ommen?

​Paulette van Ommen is a sustainability leader, advisor and communicator focused on innovative, disruptive consumer-facing companies. As Ahold Delhaize's first Director of Sustainability & Health for Europe & Indonesia, Paulette joins the business after a successful Sustainability career in both the corporate world and as an independent advisor. ​​

​"Acre is one of the world’s leading executive search organisations that focus on sustainability. The hiring process for the role at Ahold Delhaize was well organised and the interactions with Harco and Caitlin were very pleasant, clear and constructive!” – Paulette van Ommen, incoming Director Health & Sustainability, Europe & Indonesia ​

"Consultancy was important for Ahold Delhaize, and the recruitment process informed the team of how best to approach the hire. Taking place during lockdown in the Netherlands and with global candidates, we completed the project within three months from our initial discussions to the final offer.” – Harco Leertouwer, Managing Director - Amsterdam, Acre ​​

How did Acre conduct a successful remote recruitment & selection process?

Acre developed a detailed interview process for an interview panel across two continents, representing both brands and corporate. This included video interviews, psychometric testing and a socially-distanced walking interview for the final stage. Prior to interviewing, candidates underwent detailed conversations with Acre and were required to complete a written competency-based assessment. As there were complex priorities for this new role, Acre created a competency assessment to complement Ahold Delhaize's in-house psychometric tool. The purpose was to better understand how candidates' personality and style would suit the role, as well as the overall business.

How did Acre ensure a diverse shortlist for this role?

At Acre, we recognise the power of diverse workplaces, and that we need to do our part to bring diversity into the markets we support. Through a mix of proactive headhunting and our referral network, we were pleased to present Ahold Delhaize with a shortlist with an equal gender balance and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) representation. We tailored our job postings to use inclusive language and worked from a culturally and gender diverse long list.

Vice President of Health & Sustainability at Ahold Delhaize, Megan Hellstedt had the following to say of the team's experience hiring with Acre: “Thank you [Acre] for your good work with the search – having a strong suite of candidates made the selection process smooth.”

Elmer Schaap, HR Director & Global HR Business Partner added“Acre helped us find a new Health & Sustainability Director for our Europe/Indonesia region. They worked effectively to translate our requirements into a meaningful search proposal and then, through their networks, were able to quickly present a shortlist of credible and motivated candidates.”​

Who is Acre?

Acre has been pioneering corporate responsibility and sustainability recruitment since 2003. From offices in Amsterdam, London, and New York, we catalyse the integration of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability in partnership with organisations globally.

For more information on our CR & sustainability executive search services, please contact Harco Leertouwer at​​

Tweet me: Read how @Acre helped @AholdDelhaize, one of the world’s largest food retail groups, find its first ever Director of #Sustainability & Health for Europe & Indonesia:

KEYWORDS: ACRE, Ahold Delhaize

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