Sophie Murray

Sophie_Murray@gmail.com


Starting a new role is daunting at the best of times, let alone whilst in the middle of a pandemic and working from home. Over the past few months we have had numerous candidates starting their new roles whilst not being able to leave the house, firms have had to come up with inventive ways to try and make new starters feel welcome and part of a team, that they often have not even met.

As recruitment specialists, DMJ has better insight into the marketplace and the new normal than most. Hiring managers have had to adapt quickly and wholesale changes have been made to the hiring and onboarding processes. I have shared my insights on what to expect when taking on a new role.

Onboarding

How does this work?

In the height of the pandemic your typical city life was tued completely upside down. Law firms closed their office doors for the first time in decades (or potentially the first time ever) and moved to a fully online working from home model. This means that your typical onboarding process is going to be quite different. Instead of popping into the office to get yourself logged on, set up and ready to go – this all now is done virtually.

Pro-Tip: Be sure you have a dedicated workspace at home. With minimal distractions at home, you’ll have a much better chance of hitting the ground running.

Will I be sent a laptop?

Yes, all firms are aiming to get equipment across to new starters as soon as possible – admittedly some firms might be a bit quicker to do this than others, but it is the aim. One lawyer at an inteational practice in London mentioned that she had a laptop, phone, screen and printer couriered to her house – where it was set up for her, so she was ready to go from day one.

Pro Tip: Ask your new employer what systems you’ll be using. You’ll be able to prepare in advance and have a head start.

Is there any IT support?

Yes. Most inteal IT teams have gone to an online model which enables them to remote access your PC if you are having difficulties.

Pro Tip: Reach out to a member of the IT team straight away. Establish a dialogue and understand how the team works before there is a problem.

First Day

How will I be introduced?

Most teams have a weekly, if not daily, catch up over some type of video call, be that Zoom or Microsoft Teams. On your first day you will most likely have an initial call with your line manager/partner and then join the wider team call where you are able to meet the rest of the team (some of whom you hopefully met at interview stage). After this call your new colleagues will most likely drop you a line during the day for a bit more of a personal welcome.

Pro Tip: Be proactive. Take some time each day to meet virtually with your co-workers. A shared cup of coffee and a quick chat will show that you’re willing to get involved with your new team.

Who do I ask if I have questions?

Your line manager is always there to help if you need and with the ease of online messaging systems it is as if you are sitting next to someone. Of course, the personal element does feel a little removed but most people we have spoken to said that after a few weeks you do get used to it.

Pro Tip: Don’t shy away from asking questions as it’s very acceptable in this new environment. Asking questions shows dedication to your new role.

 After a couple of weeks, you will have settled into your new role and “met” the majority of your team, albeit through a laptop.

However, having spoken to many of our clients, it should not be long until you meet your new colleagues face to face. Lots of firms are looking to start to reopen their doors in September with some already open.

Are you feeling some trepidation about starting a new virtual role? You’re not alone and we have had many new hires over the past several months who have felt the same. Use our experience to your advantage. Contact me directly for any advice and support.

Posted 20/08/2020 By Sophie Murray

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