What it does: Treats water, distributes chemicals
Staff stats: 1000 globally
The good bits: Diverse tasks, lots of autonomy
The not so good bits: Departmental changes impact communication, long hours
Hiring grads with degrees in: Engineering, Maths, IT & Computer Sciences; Finance, Accounting, Economics & Business Administration; Sciences
Ixom came into being as a standalone business in early 2015 after separating from Orica. Orica is an Australian-based multinational with a history stretching back almost a century and a half. It’s best known as one of the world’s biggest providers of commercial explosives and blasting systems to the mining and construction industries.
Given its provenance, Ixom is in a far stronger position than most recently formed companies. Having emerged out of Orica’s chemicals division, it’s a market leader in water treatment and chemical distribution in Australian and New Zealand. It’s also made inroads into Asia, as well as North and South America. Ixom provides a range of traded and manufactured chemicals to the agriculture, building, construction, food, beverage, pharmaceutical, personal care, plastics, pulp, paper and water treatment industries.
It’s quite likely Ixom’s chemicals and treatment systems played a part in creating the clean water that flowed out of your bathroom tap this morning, the toothpaste you used to clean your teeth and even the food you ate for breakfast.
Ixom assures potential employees that “Ixom is a diverse workplace where your unique abilities and talents will be recognised and encouraged”. However, it hasn’t made any information about its diversity and inclusion policies publicly available.
Nonetheless, it’s reasonable to assume it has maintained Orica’s approach to diversity, which is not to “tolerate any discrimination or harassment in the workplace on the grounds of gender or gender identity, race, colour, nationality or cultural origin, age, political beliefs or activity protected by applicable laws, religion, sexual orientation, impairment or disability, marital or parental status or pregnancy or employment status”.
Ixom provides support to worthy endeavours in the communities in which it operates. In Australia, this includes sponsoring the WIOA Water Taste Competition, sponsoring Life Saving Victoria’s Watch Around Water program, providing scholarships for high-achieving high school students to take part in the International Science Olympiad Competition, providing chlorine to the Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pools Project and supporting the Big Freeze 3 AFL match, which raises funds for research into Motor Neurone Disease.
Ixom has “a long and proud history of safety performance”. It views “protecting the environment and communities in which we operate [as] a core value of our company”.
The recruitment process
To be considered for a spot in Ixom’s grad program you’ll need a degree in business, commerce, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering or science. Grads can be based anywhere in Australia or New Zealand, so you’ll need to be prepared to relocate (repeatedly). You’ll also need to have the right to work in Australia and New Zealand (i.e. be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident). Ixom looks for grads who are well-rounded and who have some work experience under their belt, as well as evidence they’ve participated in extra-curricular activities.
Ixom doesn’t make the details of its recruitment process publicly available. But those who’ve gone through it report it’s conventional. After submitting an online application, you can expect to do an online psychometric assessment and an initial phone or video-conferencing interview. If you make the cut, you’ll then be invited in for a face-to-face interview. If that goes well and you pass a medical, you can expect to receive an offer.
Ixom’s three-year ‘Ixperience’ program will see you working at different locations throughout Australia and New Zealand. You’ll be inducted into the program, take part in an ‘interactive development workshop’, which will give you a chance to get to know your fellow grads, and be paired with a buddy. You’ll do three 12-month rotations. During your final rotation, you’ll be assigned a ‘senior leader’ who will mentor you and provide guidance on your future career path.
Ixom claims to offer “competitive salary packages”. Grads report that salaries are above the industry average and that performance bonuses are a possibility. Depending on where you’re based, you may have access to anything from unlimited café-grade coffee or a once-a-week BBQ breakfast. The company also puts a lot of effort into organising two meticulously planned and executed parties for staff every year.
Ixom offers “the opportunities, facilities and environment that come with working for a dynamic international organisation”. It also provides “training programs, opportunities and initiatives to ensure your continued growth” and “career paths that are totally flexible allowing you to specialise or become a generalist”.
The vibe of the place
Ixom staff report finding their colleagues friendly and their work tasks challenging and diverse. It’s a male-dominated company but doesn’t have an excessively blokey corporate culture. If you’re a self-starter and don’t have a problem being posted at work sites across Melbourne, Sydney or New Zealand you should thrive at Ixom.