Starting a new job in times of Corona

Tamara Schwenk
14.09.2020 | 3 minutes

Hiring despite Corona

Even though the prospect of a purely digital entry into a new company may have caused some doubts, the applicants were not intimidated and accepted the challenge of such an unusual integration and orientation process. Ismael Botrahi, Junior Project Manager from Düsseldorf, recounts his start at Arvato Financial Solutions:

“After the initial interview, the lockdown occurred. In a follow-up meeting with the team, we then discussed quite openly whether it would be reasonable and possible to hire me in this unusual phase. Both sides believed that with appropriate preparation and planning, a good onboarding can be done remotely. Decisive for me was the passion of my colleagues to integrate me from a distance. The team has developed a very good onboarding plan. The start was therefore successful”.

Arvato Financial Solutions has continued to hire employees despite Corona. As many applicants made clear, this is not a self-evident fact. Stefan Friedel, IT System Administrator Linux, also accepted the challenge of stepping into new and above all unfamiliar terrain during such a situation.

“I was not aware that Arvato was hiring despite Corona, so I was very happy when the company contacted me. That was how I became aware of the vacant position,” Stefan says.

Other employees, on the other hand, were fortunate enough to start their job at least briefly in the office and to get to know their teams and explore their workplace themselves before the lockdown. Some even helped to prepare not only themselves but also their colleagues for the transition into Home-Office, such as Eva Molinero, who joined Arvato Financial Solutions in Spain in February as a Marketing Manager.

“I started the application process in January. It proceeded very quickly, and I was able to start working in February. A few weeks after I started working, the Corona pandemic occurred. I had to adapt quickly to the new situation and helped the team prepare all computers, equipment and communication tools so that my colleagues could also work from home,” Eva reports.

Digital onboarding

Once the contract has been signed, not only the new employees, but also Arvato Financial Solutions needs to prepare for the kick-off. Equipped with a monitor, headset and a laptop, the new employees set up their personal workplace at home. Once the first day of work arrives and their home office is organized in a way that is suitable for working, the virtual introduction begins – first into the company itself, and then step by step into the individual tools and projects.

Lisa Jürgenschellert, Sales & Account Management employee at Collection Germany, describes how she experienced the last few weeks of her digital integration.

“Since I started, I have participated in various digital training courses and events online. I was very positively surprised by the organization of the virtual onboarding, and from a technical point of view everything worked perfectly. In addition, everyone takes plenty of time to answer my questions, which is especially important when familiarizing yourself with new topics. So far, I have never felt ‘alone’ in my home office,” says Lisa.

Anne-Sophie Rott, Senior Business Controller, was also mainly introduced digitally:

 “Thanks to the good equipment, everything worked out very smoothly. Of course, it’s always better to have personal contact at the beginning, but I have to say that thanks to Skype and the involvement of my colleagues and superiors, the digital onboarding process worked fine. Through frequent exchanges, you not only learn a lot professionally, but have the opportunity to connect with colleagues,” she reports.

Maintaining social interaction

Social interaction is always needed, even when working remotely. Especially for newcomers, who do not have the opportunity to socialize over a coffee or during their lunch break, it is an extraordinary challenge to get to know your colleagues in a personal manner. In addition to pre-defined get-to-know-each-other meetings, the teams at Arvato Financial Solutions have set up virtual coffee breaks to ensure weekend stories or special experiences can still be shared with colleagues.

Katrin Bott, Business Intelligence Engineer, also looked back on her first weeks at work and shared how she was integrated into her team:

”Of course, from a social point of view, it’s different to “get to know” your colleagues virtually, but I think that the daily team meetings were definitely helpful in being able to speak outside of the professional topics. When working exclusively from home, the ‘chatting in the hallway’, and the communication between work meetings, tends to slip a little. This makes it more difficult to get to know other colleagues. Apart from that, I am in good care, as I share an interdisciplinary home office team with my brother and father”.

Likewise, Claudemir Oliveira, Human Resources Manager from Brazil, felt quite comfortable despite the unusual situation.

“I have received a very warm welcome within the company since the first contact and have always felt valued as a person and a professional. Even in a very tense scenario due to Covid-19, important measures were quickly developed to contribute to the health and well-being of the employees,” says Claudemir.

Even if this situation is currently somewhat different from what we are used to, we are very proud of our new employees who have taken a confident approach to the uncertain future. We would like to wish all new employees a good start to their currently exceptional working lives and look forward to getting to know our new colleagues in person soon.

If you have any questions about starting to work at Arvato Financial Solutions in times of Corona, please contact Erwin Meytap. We will be glad to support you!

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