There’s little doubt that the world of work is unrecognizable when compared with the pre-pandemic reality. While people increasingly head back into offices, it seems likely some element of a hybrid working will always exist, with applicants for new vacancies being interviewed remotely and many employees choosing to work at least a couple of days a week from their home office.
For people starting out in their careers, this also poses challenges. Can you effectively undergo onboarding, learn the specifics of the workplace, achieve success and get a promotion? Is it possible to establish relationships with colleagues you’ve only ever met over the phone or Teams? We recently posed these questions to members of our team who began working in our Polish office within the last year.
Here, we catch up with Jakub Błąkała, Quality Specialist, Stefanini EMEA, to discuss his experience of joining Stefanini in Poland and how he has succeeded in a new working environment.
Managing the recruitment process
Given Jakub had spent time abroad and had already interviewed remotely for roles in Poland, he was well prepared for the realities of interviewing remotely and had a positive experience when applying for his role at Stefanini.
“While looking for a job, I wanted to use my computer science training but also my knowledge of foreign languages, particularly German. I found Stefanini’s listing, on Tuesday I sent my CV. A recruiter, followed by the Team Leader, contacted me shortly after and on Friday I already had a positive answer. All interviews were conducted over the phone or via instant messenger,” explains Jakub. He also never met the team leader who conducted the interview, as she was working in Opole, and he was applying for the office in Cracow. Since he had decided on remote work, he was introduced to his manager over the phone as well, before meeting in person after starting the role.
A supportive atmosphere
Jakub also believes that the onboarding process a company adopts is important when taking on a role remotely and believes this is a big part of ensuring a new hire succeeds.
At Stefanini, onboarding training lasts a few weeks and equips new hires with all necessary knowledge, while, for the first month on the job, each person has daily contact with their Team Leader and can better explore the ins and outs of all processes. An assessment of this process indicates that it plays a valuable role in helping employees learn new skills faster, with experienced members of the team on hand to offer knowledge or assistance as required.
Getting to know other people on your team is also important during the initial period of a role. As a result, every few days each new employee has a different “buddy” assigned – a more experienced colleague who can answer their questions and help solve problems. After several months of work and gaining some experience, Jakub also became a buddy and mentor to newly employed co-workers.
“I know what it is like to start a new job. I can see that a new role can initially be stressful and there is a lot of new information that needs to be put into practice. When it comes to mentoring new hires, I get in touch with them via instant messenger, I remind them about things they’d discussed during their onboarding, explain various issues, assist in finding information and show them my way of doing things, including the techniques I use to improve the quality of work. I’ll also let them see what my conversations with customers look like: I’ll receive a call and conduct the conversation, while my co-workers listen and can see my screen. I’ll then analyse how they conduct their customer conversations. After this initial period, each of the colleagues can write to me and ask for advice, and I always try to help. Ultimately, with a supportive team in place, getting up to speed can be straightforward and the growth of remote work is nothing to fear for new employees,” concludes Jakub.