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Remote recruitment: Making a career move during covid-19

My experience of joining the Foundry4 team in the middle of a pandemic

Making a career move during covid-19 made for a really interesting experience. I was looking for a role in what was the most unprecedented global situation since WW2! The impact of covid had been felt in every sector - so many of my colleagues, friends, family, and clients old and new were being made redundant or furloughed indefinitely, only to then eventually be made redundant. Honestly, it was depressing!

One good thing about having lots of HR and recruitment contacts was I could easily pick up the phone and start networking with people to refer me. I quickly discovered that a lot of companies had used covid (rightly or wrongly) to get rid of historic employees who were not performing, so surprisingly there were a lot of sales roles on the market.

However, as there was a flood of great salespeople, competition was tough. Clients had a strong bargaining position so were offering reduced salaries as they knew people were desperate.

I decided very quickly these were not the companies for me!

The "new job wish list"

Covid highlighted my absolute resolve to work from home full time. I have spent the last eight years doing this in one capacity or another, so it was a key aspect of any future job that this should continue.

Again, this did reduce the offer pool as a lot of companies were stipulating harsh back-to-the-office rules once covid was over (I wonder how that is working out for them now?!)

Taking the time to assess what I wanted and find the right role was really important to me at this point in my career. I have had a few roles in the past that were not the right fit, so I wanted to find a company that made a difference, that took sales seriously, that was proactive but at the same time ethical in its approach.

The new job wish list was looking like a challenge. But then I spoke to a wonderful HR lady from Foundry4…

Painting a picture of Foundry4

By the time my interview with Foundry4 came around we were in the tail end of 2020, so everyone was used to doing things remotely. After a couple of calls with the fabulous Sarah Williams in HR the scene was set for the organisation and its wider parent group, The Panoply. (In some ways it actually sounded a bit too good to be true!)

Hoping it was true, and fuelled by my natural investigative abilities, I set out on a mission to discover everything I could about the organisation both online and through my network. Truthfully, I got no bad feedback and everything I read was ticking boxes on my new job wish list.

Then came the super important interview with David and Ciara, co-MDs of Intelligent Automation.

A two way conversation

I have NEVER been nervous for an interview, I always believe it's as much of an opportunity for you as it is for a company to ask questions. It's a two way conversation not an inquisition!

That said, as I was so keen on Foundry4 and I suppose because of the whole nature of the covid environment - I was nervous for this one. I wanted this job.

The interview took just under an hour. We spoke about the role, the company, me, my expectations and those of Foundry4. For me, we were aligned on all points, even the final question about what dog I had. (For the record she's a gorgeous rescue - terrier mix!)

I could tell even virtually that David and Ciara had the drive, knowledge and sales gravitas that I wanted to be part of. By this point, I wanted the job even more.

To work in sales you have to have a natural ability to read people and situations. Normally after a meeting I have a good sense of how things will pan out… But during my interview, I am not sure if it was my nerves or the fact David and Ciara have amazing poker faces but I could not get a read!

After two excruciating days of not knowing, I got the call thankfully telling me it was a yes.

The relief!!! (I had a celebratory gin or 2 that evening!)

Joining the team

Because of my career background, being part of a remote sales team isn't new, so I think this helped me to see meeting a lot of people virtually as the norm when I started at Foundry4.

My first few days on the team went smoothly. My laptop was delivered by courier in advance, on my first morning SysAdmin was on hand to get me set up, and management had a deck ready for me to plan my first few weeks. As is normally the case when you start a new job (but particularly important in a remote setting) week one was all about introductions, so I spent most of my time speaking to various different people within the organisation.

I was amazed how friendly everyone was from the word go. People were inclusive, helpful and spent time with me to make sure I understood what they did and what my working relationship was to be with them. I must have spent hours on calls with my colleague Milly who really showed me the ropes and got me ensconced within the business very quickly.

The benefits of being remote

I actually found a virtual onboarding far more productive than a face to face one.

It allowed me to plan my days, to have some meetings, but also to schedule in some time to absorb what I was learning. This gave me a great platform for success.

3 months in… probation period passed, and with my first deal and insights articles under my belt, I can honestly say I really enjoy my job!

Author

Holly Hare-Scott Headshot
Holly Hare-Scott
Sales Manager Intelligent Automation
Foundry4

Holly has extensive sales experience selling IA technology solutions. Her focus is selling agile technology that can help future proof organisations by enhancing performance and productivity

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