One thing (among many others) that’s required some adjustment during the pandemic, is the process of finding and starting a new job.
As a company that’s been fortunate enough to continue operating as usual during this time, recruiting hasn’t stopped either. WeMaintain has welcomed 15 new starters since the first lockdown in March - including myself as Marketing & Sustainability Associate in the new London office.
The remote recruitment process
In light of the pandemic, WeMaintain’s recruitment process wasn’t too different to other jobs I’ve applied for - although it did feel slightly strange when even the final interview was done over video call and I was offered the job without ever having met my new manager, Sixtine, in person! Out of a pandemic, I wouldn’t have turned down a trip on the Eurostar to meet the whole team at WeMaintain’s headquarters in Paris…
Even though the entire process was done virtually, I still was still able to get a good sense of the company and people. My final interview was with Benoit and Tristan, two of the three co-founders. I was surprised to have a meeting with them, as I wasn’t used to such senior members of the team being so involved with the recruitment process.
It was soon obvious though that WeMaintain rejects a typical hierarchy, and encourages a more equal level approach to working as a team. They explained to me the importance of a good company culture, especially within a start-up, and it became clear why it was important to them to meet each potential new employee.
With the company HQ in Paris, and me joining the newly-launched London branch as the only UK marketing contact, I was always going to be on video calls back and forth with my manager. In some way I drew comfort from this, knowing that - pandemic or not - this way of communicating would be the norm.
But although I consider myself a fast learner, I can’t deny I had some reservations about my ability to fully understand the new role and my responsibilities, with the on-boarding being almost entirely virtual.
However it quickly became clear that this was something that the team was prepared for. I came to learn that remote working was encouraged within the company anyway, so the communication was thorough and well practiced from all employees.
In fact, I’ve really admired and appreciated the way I’ve been supported by my colleagues during my first month at WeMaintain, and for any businesses reading this that are still hiring - take note!
Over the course of the past month, there hasn’t been a day in the week where I haven’t had at least a 15 minute call with someone from my team or the wider company. Whether it was one of my thrice weekly catch-ups with my manager, a check-in with my assigned buddy from a different team in Paris or a weekly team meeting, I’ve always felt connected to and up-to-date with the company’s operations.
My manager also arranged 1on1 introductory video calls with people from different teams, some of whom I may be occasionally working with in future as I progress in my new role, and some who I may not typically interact with. Both, I felt, have been essential in getting to know the team and also to understand the company and its offering much better.
In addition to this, a weekly call with the co-founder, Jade, really made me feel seen within the company. Having that line of communication with a much more senior member of the company (and also outside of my immediate team), really emphasised the flattened hierarchical structure and inclusive environment.
At no point during my short time at WeMaintain so far, have I felt isolated or unable to ask for help. Being new to the industry, there’s been a lot that I understandably haven’t known, but I have learnt that I’m not alone in unexpectedly finding myself in the world of lift & escalator maintenance (can’t say I dreamed of it as a little girl!). Everyone has been very welcoming in their efforts to make me feel confident in my new role.
Although the business is still young, WeMaintain is clearly on the up, with innovation and people at the core of the company. It’s great to be a part of a team that loves what they do and who truly believe in the company and the offering, so that it doesn’t feel like work.
Remote working (and recruitment) is clearly WeMaintain’s forte, although I still can’t wait to meet everyone in person when this is all over!