LOCKDOWN TO LATCHDOWN
What is it like to start a new job during lockdown?
In the third of our four articles on how the recruitment market has fared during lockdown, we are looking at the experiences of our candidates in starting new jobs during this period.
It has been a challenging time for many job seekers and there have been significant additional challenges in standing out from the competition (covered in our last article). For those candidates who experienced their recruitment process during the lockdown, the remote interviews, solitary celebratory glass of fizz and first morning nerves are followed by potentially the strangest of inductions to a new job.
A strong induction in normal times will include a warm welcome, a download of lots of information, the chance to meet with people and the first steps towards feeling comfortable in a new working environment. Lockdown has meant that all of these areas cannot be addressed to anywhere near the same degree. (especially when the first day is meeting someone from IT to receive your new laptop &phone at a safe distance before driving home and logging onto a TEAMS call!)
“Far from perfect” but not “impossible, as the following two experiences show;
We helped secure James Hayes a new permanent Finance Manager position at Tecomet in April 2020
“I left my last role in August 2019 and took the opportunity to go travelling. I was in Japan when it was announced that the borders were closing – an immediate end to my adventures. After getting home safely, my next challenge was looking for a new job at the start of lockdown!
It would have been very easy to be distracted by everything that was going on in the world and taking the position of accepting that everything was impossible, but that has never been my way! The way I saw it, I had a few things working in my favour;
- I had a strong CV that had always helped me secure good moves before
- I could start at short notice
- I had a relationship with a recruiter who knew me and whom I trusted (in Nicola Worrow)
Within the first few days of talking to Nicola, she called me about a new opportunity that ticked a lot of the boxes. I knew that the recruitment process could not be “normal” and I was prepared for that – I had all of the information I needed for the first stage telephone interview and knew how to position my strengths and what questions to ask. I then had a second interview at the offices and Tecomet – They handled this very impressively and this made me feel very comfortable in accepting their offer. They were positive, focussed and engaging – qualities that you would always look for in a new employer, but during lockdown it was just even more impressive.
Similar to starting the job search, staring a new job in lockdown could have been daunting. I have been working from the offices from day one (for which I am even more grateful – after several months of travelling, I was not enjoying home confinement!). Our offices have all been reset for social distancing and everything works very well”
Our very own, Karen Caswell joined Pratap Partnership at the start of week eight of lockdown;
“I had taken a 6-month career break from last November and was looking forward to getting back into the recruitment market. I never envisaged starting a new job in the middle of a global pandemic when I handed in my resignation.
In the days before my start date, I experienced many sleepless nights – a lot more than I would have done in normal conditions. I found my desk on my first day ( in my home office – my spare bedroom) with a laptop and a mobile phone. It certainly wasn’t how I envisaged my first day but knowing Nik and the team certainly made it easier and everyone was so quick to offer support with regular calls and TEAMS sessions. I soon got to know the external IT support very well and I found nothing was too much trouble (even after numerous calls).
I definitely missed the face to face interaction of colleagues on my first day/week especially having been away from an office environment for so a long period of time. The upside is that I am a lot more self-sufficient in regards to technology and has certainly improved my IT skills!”
Our fourth article will be published on Wednesday 10th June – looking at how candidates have experienced starting a new temporary job during lockdown. Please follow our LinkedIn or Twitter pages to make sure you receive updates