Emma told us “The application process started for me in February and was very efficient- an online application form, an invitation to a telephone interview and then the same for a discovery centre in the Reading Head Office. I felt very well informed the whole way”. Whilst Amir having completed his application form and passed the telephone interview “was excited to attend the discovery centre. My dreams were edging closer to becoming reality!”
Both Emma and Amir were able to participate in one of our face-to-face Discovery Centres in Reading, but as we continue to recruit Apprentices to start with us from September we are now running these events virtually.
For Amir “The day passed in a bit of a blur, but I must have done ok with the individual and group activities as I got the call the very next day that I had been accepted. I can’t tell you how happy I was!” and Emma too received her job offer “the next day, followed by the contracts a few days later.”
But for both it was a concerning time, ‘Lockdown’ was beginning to be discussed as a very real possibility and understandably doubts started to creep in. “With coronavirus spreading, will I still be needed? And if so, might I be looking at a long delay to my start date?” were Amir’s first thoughts and Emma too wondered if “the job offer would be removed or delayed indefinitely.” But for both their concerns were soon put to rest “Thankfully, my soon-to-be manager kept in contact with me, the hiring process could continue and I could start off working from home” and the same for Amir too “Virgin Media stayed in regular contact by email, calmed these concerns by assuring me I could start, I’d just be doing so working from home”.
There are some practicalities of course to getting new starters onboarded with us and both visited our new Head Office in Reading to collect IT equipment and get set-up, Amir described it as an “eerily” empty office as most of our team usually based in Reading had already begun working from home, but they got to meet a few colleagues and pick up what they needed to get started.
Now set-up they were able to begin working from home the very next day, Emma recalls it all very well “the induction was really thorough and I felt very reassured that we would all have enough support with plenty of people to contact if we had any issues. Starting a new job from home was quite a learning curve, especially as I had never even had a professional office job before. Luckily I never felt stressed or under too much pressure. In fact, there is a great emphasis on keeping everyone connected – this is important in the office but now more important than ever.”