COVID-19 has impacted the UK job market across the board from corporate to creative industries, and while we have undoubtedly experienced a fall in new PA and support role vacancies since the beginning of lockdown in March, the last 6 weeks has brought about a welcome change and we have been busy recruiting for new roles as our clients adapt to the new norm of #remoteworking.
We have placed a handful of PA’s who have been successfully onboarded during the lockdown period from March to today, and the feedback has been remarkably positive. We interviewed one of our private equity clients as well as the PA we placed with them in April, to find out about how they managed the onboarding process remotely and their experience.
1. What were your biggest concerns about making a hire during lockdown?
I was concerned that the new PA would not bond with her executives as well as she would be able to in an office, building a virtual PA/Executive relationship can be difficult. I also wanted the new PA to see the benefits of our office, as if times are stressful then there is always such comfort in having a nice tea break with a colleague.
2. How did the onboarding process differ from your usual practice?
Virtual training rather than physical shadowing in the office (done via Teams).
3. Were there any unexpected positives to making a hire remotely?
How easy it has been! The EA's have daily Zoom meetings to ensure that everyone is working at full capacity and that the executives are being looked after optimally.
4. How did you find the service offered to you by RMS Recruitment?
Wherever I have worked, we have always used RMS Recruitment because they truly care about matching the candidate to the position (caring about their client and their candidate equally). A lot of recruitment firms value their fee more than the job fit, RMS is a lovely change from that. They provide the best service out there in my opinion.
5. Do you have any tips for other companies who are onboarding during lockdown?
Don’t be afraid to do it - the results are just as good as normal.
1. How did you feel about starting your new job remotely? What were your concerns?
I was apprehensive at first with no face to face training and no physical team to ask questions to.
2. What technology/tools did your employer provide to get you started?
Microsoft Teams has been amazing for virtual team catch ups and calls with my new bosses.
3. How have you found getting to know your colleagues online rather than in person?
I think in many ways it is better than in person as it forces you more to speak to the relevant people as opposed to just asking the nearest team member in the office. I have found that virtual catch ups make building relationships stronger as you really need to keep an open dialogue and in contact the whole time.
4. Are you given enough work to fill a full working day?
Yes definitely. I would say the work load is more than usual, filled with more calls to take and schedule.
5. Can you offer any tips to other PA's being onboarded remotely?
Have virtual catch ups with your boss every morning or regularly at the start of the day (on Teams and Skype) and keep an open dialogue with the other PAs on mobile. Team catch ups are important I think to keep feeling part of a team atmosphere.