How the LEGO Group Identifies Talent to Find the Right Fit

WRITTEN BY: Jörgen Sundberg

Some brands will always hold a special place in our hearts. But just because you’re hiring for someone’s dream job doesn’t guarantee they’ll be the right fit for your team.

In this episode of the Employer Branding Podcast, we talk to Andrew Paterson, the Global Employer Brand and Talent Attraction Lead at the LEGO Group, to hear how they face this unique talent challenge and incorporate a sense of fun and play into everything they do.

Play Well

The LEGO Group is a 90-year-old, family-owned business that has grown to become the largest toy company in the world by revenue. Its name is an abbreviation of the Danish phrase, leg godt, or, “play well.” And just about everyone has played with their colorful plastic bricks at some time in their life.

When we talk to other ubiquitous brands, like PepsiCo or Mars, the challenge is often to attract talent for roles that they might not associate with the company. For Paterson and his team, however, it’s a bit different.

LEGO is deluged with applications for just about every role they post. “The majority, if not all of our time is spent managing applications,” Paterson says, “because of the power of our brand, everyone wants to be a LEGO designer.” So the challenge is finding the cream of the crop, and identifying who will be the best fit for the business. At the same time, they’re careful to make sure that candidates who don’t make the cut have a good experience and remain lifelong fans.

Creating an Employer Branding Hub

LEGO’s employer branding and talent attraction efforts have yielded impressive results. Since 2020, they’ve grown their team by 45%. But adding that many hires so quickly required a lot of work from Paterson and his small team.

With 5 main regional hubs, 37 sales offices, 5 manufacturing sites, and over 500 retail stores all around the world, the LEGO Group needed to spotlight employee stories from a variety of locations and roles to attract the right talent. Simply put, there was a strong business need that had to be met before they could take the time to establish a formal EVP.

“Employer brand practitioners normally say you never jump feet-first into creating content or storytelling,” Paterson says, “but there was a need there from the business, and so we really focused on job content, locations, and using the resources that we had available.” They got to work rebuilding the careers page and launched Behind the Bricks, a content hub that brings together all of their employer brand content in one place.

EVP bonanza

To build their EVP, Paterson and his team organized colleague research groups and worked with an agency to look at applicant insights and employer brand perception. What emerged were six core values for LEGO: fun, creativity, learning, caring, quality, and imagination.

“You can apply those values to anything that we do,” Paterson says, “whether you’re working in a factory and you’re talking about quality or whether you’re talking about the quality of the work that we do in employer brand.”

The LEGO Group has an annual tradition that they call Play Day. At every factory, office, and retail location, all work stops and employees take the day to connect with their mission of learning through play. And the most important thing about play is that it’s actually fun. This year’s theme was “The Mysteries of Play,” where team members spent the day playing detective together. But they also incorporate play into their day-to-day work, with LEGO bricks and community builds in every office.

Putting all of those concepts together, Paterson and his team landed on their EVP: “Imagine building your dream career.” It perfectly encapsulates everything they do at LEGO and, most importantly, it sure sounds like fun.

To follow Andrew Paterson’s work in employer brand, connect with him on LinkedIn. For help identifying the values and culture you want to create in your company, get in touch.


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