Being in lockdown for months didn’t put a brake on WCL’s growth plans. When the company needed to recruit an Account Manager to help grow the business, there was only one way to do it – virtually.
The uncertainty caused by lockdown has caused challenges for many companies, which has forced them to come up with creative new ways to keep the businesses running. WCL realised that to keep the business growing, it would need to keep up the excellent levels of service to existing clients, as well as building long-term relationships with new ones.
This meant hiring a new Account Manager. Rather than put this important decision on hold until lockdown was lifted, WCL adapted its recruitment best practices to use video technology to recruit new Account Manager Nick Waghorn virtually.
Nick explains how the process worked, and points out that while virtual recruiting is unusual, it is not as daunting as some may think.
How did you come across the job at WCL?
I was actively looking for a new role and was approached via a recruitment consultant to discuss the Account Manager opportunity at WCL. He very quickly set up an initial video interview via MS Teams with Tim Ellis, Head of Operations, and Client Services Manager Ian Davies. This first conversation went well, and the next stage was a Microsoft Teams interview with Managing Director James Willison. Within two weeks, I was offered the job and signed a contract by email. It took just six weeks from having the initial conversation with the recruitment consultant to starting work at WCL. I did find it rather odd to go through all of this before meeting any the team in person. Tim and I live close to one another, so we met face to face for a socially distant coffee & laptop handover in Kingston town centre
What was the main challenge?
Culture is so important in the workplace, so it is was a challenge for me to work out the vibe, ethos and environment of WCL virtually to ensure they are a good fit. And I’m sure they felt the same way about me. The recruitment process was adapted slightly, and the focus shifted from personality, chemistry and qualifications more towards communication, collaboration, and deliverables.
It was strange not to walk into WCL’s offices in the City of London suited and booted. Instead, my first day was spent at home saying a digital hello to my new work colleagues. Nevertheless, I was impressed with the transparency and productivity of it all.
What was your first day like?
WCL’s Managing Director James Willison conducts a face to face MS Teams call with the staff on a Monday morning and he introduced me to everyone then. The internal document sharing used by WCL, MS Teams, allows everything to be shared among the team. I spent a lot of time that first week talking about account plans and sitting in on internal and external calls with clients, in addition to completing the various eLearning and compliance requirements. On Tuesday to Thursday mornings, we have a brief morning video meeting, and the week ended with virtual drinks with the team at 4.30 on Friday.
Face-to-face meetings with clients and friends is obviously preferable, but I can honestly say that they virtual orientation and onboarding has been a success.
What advice would you have for people looking for a job virtually?
Just because your hiring process is no longer in-person, it doesn’t mean that it has to be impersonal.
Here are my top five tips for acing a virtual job interview:
- Be Yourself.
- Dress for Success.
- Prepare Your Environment. For video calls, make sure your background looks tidy and professional
- Practise your communication skills so you are clear and succinct when you respond to any questions
- Get your technology in order. Be sure the technology being used for the virtual interview is installed and working before your meeting.