what it’s like to start a new job in quarantine

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Being “new” to a team is never easy. More without personally knowing the offices or any of the colleagues. Companies that continue to hire

Argentines have been in compulsory quarantine for about a month. In many cases, the unemployment that this meant for the economy generated they found themselves without their regular source of income or even lost their jobs.

But in others, companies continued hiring staff even in the middle of the pandemic, or completed those additions that were halfway there.

In these cases, while the world is in suspense due to the advance of the coronavirus and the inhabitants of the country are in a situation of social isolation, preventive and obligatory, the talents had the fortunate and paradoxical task of starting in a new job, without often knowing personally neither their colleagues nor their bosses or offices.

The hiring continued and not only in the health sector and supermarkets, which, being exempt from quarantine and also being of the utmost need in this context, added a large amount of human capital, in these cases in person. They continued in those companies whose goods and services can be produced or offered 100% remote.

Why did other companies in this uncertain and brake economy scenario decide to continue with their talent selection processes?

“As our clients continued to demand resources and we had started working on new projects that required having more professionals, we had to fill positions. Although since before mandatory isolation was decreed at Baufest, we had moved our operations in a way ‘ remote ‘, this change was not an impediment and we were able to continue growing, “he told iProfessional Lucía Laboudigue, Baufest talent coordinator.

From the beginning of the preventive confinement measures, this technology multinational made the incorporation of 26 people in the country. “Those who joined were very happy and grateful to be able to work, especially considering this context of uncertainty,” Laboudigue continued.

In fact, Baufest continues looking for even more “tech” talent. The positions that they consider to be “in high demand” are Node Js developers, functional analysts, ‘Devops’ specialists and JAVA developers. “We currently have 32 searches open and continue to work to cover them,” said the executive.

Different was the case of Wildlife Studios. This mobile gaming company started its landing in the region last December, and then planned to hire around 100 people for its new offices located in São Paulo and Buenos Aires.

That process did not stop, since it was necessary to equip with talent the engineering center that the company opened at the beginning of the year in Argentina. “During this month of quarantine, 53 people have joined in Brazil, Argentina, Ireland and the USA. combined. It is hiring talent in Argentina, in order to build one of the company’s largest technological development centers, “recalled Gonzalo Mones Cazon, Country Manager in Argentina at Wildlife Studios.

Something similar happened to Etermax, the company that created Questioned and other indisputable successes of the mobile video game market, which had just announced the opening of its “game studio” in Mendoza.

We hired at least 20 people since the social, preventive and compulsory isolation was issued, in positions as programmer analyst, data scientist, designers, illustrators and human resources. Likewise, we continue promoting our brand new landing in Mendoza with our third office in Argentina and fifth worldwide, “confirmed Xavier Ungaro, Talent Acquisition Manager of Etermax.

According to this executive, the possibility of delaying or suspending the growth plans of this skilled labor-intensive company in the context of a pandemic was never raised. “First of all, we decided to sustain our growth plan Because we know the role and responsibility we have as a company to keep people entertained and connected, while taking care of ourselves at home. On the other hand, we have big plans in our different business units, “said Ungaro. He refers to the six new games that his Gaming division has on the agenda to launch this year, and the plan to double talent in the area of” AdTech “to enhance your digital advertising services.

“We currently have at least 120 open searches. We are looking for Software Engineers, Scientist / Data Analyst, Designers, Animators, Marketing and Product Owners. We will also be increasing our HR & Communication structure to face the challenges that await us in the years ahead, “added the executive.

New quarantined job: challenges along the way

To make these additions, talent teams had to adapt to new possibilities. “We adapt 100% of the HR processes to work apart, but still be as connected. We adopt the technique of ‘pair programming’: both the candidate and the evaluators present a daily situation that is presented in the products and together they evaluate alternatives and designs so that later, in a virtual shared environment, they can go programming in pares, generating new points of view and arguments about what is being done, “described Ungaro.

“This process has turned out very well and we continue with our rhythm of 30 interviews per week clarified from Etermax.

After finding the candidate, the process does not end. On the contrary: joining a team already formed, knowing the place and the space where you will have to work, feeling –for better or for worse- the welcome of people who become new colleagues (and superiors) is a complex experience, with highs and lows, going through people starting a new job.

Then the stage of induction, where the incorporated person has a few days to become familiar with the environment, the ways and work processes, learn their new tasks, etc. While in technology companies, which generally have positions that are 100% remote, This stage of work is not always done remotely. Sometimes that induction requires the person to go to the offices, at least for some meetings or to be presented to the team.

“We have already made several incorporations digitally via Zoom, and we send all the material and a welcome kit by email to those admitted. Given that Wildlife Studios is a native digital company, adapting the incorporation process to its remote form did not prove to be a problem, although we consider that it is always better to welcome new members in person, presenting them with their teams and showing them the atmosphere of work in which they will find themselves, “Mones Cazon told, for example, iProfessional.

And even though this is not the case and people who join technology firms do not go through any face-to-face selection stage, it is not the same when this occurs with limitations that currently imposes the mandatory quarantine. What did the companies that took on staff in a pandemic do to correct these incomplete stages?

“After the first day’s induction, which was done through Zoom, people continued to work with their respective teams and we approached from Human Resources to see how they were adapting. Also the CEO of Baufest, Ángel Pérez Puletti, had a call with the new people who joined“Laboudigue said about it.

Prior to this step, of course, the company had been in charge of sending each of the incorporated computers the computers with which they were going to connect to the organization’s platforms. “Before shipment we organize ourselves to carry out a task of exhaustive hygiene of the teams, we hired a trustworthy driver to take them and we took all preventive measures to avoid any type of contagion in the transfer, “said the Baufest executive.

Also at Etermax they gave the extra mile to assimilate these remote induction processes to those that would have occurred naturally in the company, in another context. Ungaro told this media that they were scheduled extra instances of induction and introduction to virtual business. “Not only from human resources, but also from different areas were linked to the new income so that they live it as similar as possible to what it would be in the office. We have even organized a video game tournament or generated video calls between the teams where the premise was to talk about the day-to-day, as if it were a talk in the office hallway, “he said.

Pandemic and isolation: from the bad, the good

Among all the bad news that occurs around the covid-19 pandemic, give work to a person in a context in which job and financial stability is unknown to thousands of Argentines, it is always good news.

It is also true that companies that were able to continue with their tasks, essential or not, with remote personnel, begin to capitalize on that experience, whether it be to continue applying regularly some of the practices that arose in social isolation or to be prepared for a future situation that requires extreme measures such as the current ones.

At Etermax, for their part, they assured that the revaluation of the teamworkNow that it was impossible to be together physically and obstacles such as home Internet connections and instability had to be overcome, or comfort issues offered by offices and not by family homes.

What we learned is that the people who joined during the quarantine takes more time get to know their colleagues and all the details of the work, experiencing the culture otherwise as they would in the office. To help them in this situation, we are developing more company-wide events and processes that go digital.“Mones Cazon from Wildlife Studios said about it.

Something bad is not a failure if you learn from it. And therein are these companies. “One of the lessons we learned is that we can achieve closeness –One of our fundamental pillars– virtually, despite the situation and social distancing “, reflected Laboudigue from Baufest.

“It is also important to be aware of the needs of people so that they have a good adaptation and always take care of our health,” he added.

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