Joining the company during a pandemic: not the usual start, but a successful one



published on 22 July 2021


March 2020 – the pandemic hits Germany and the world. Within a very short time, entire office complexes were closed and people were no longer allowed to travel anywhere in the city without a valid reason – a previously unthinkable situation. This marked the dawn of the age of mobile working: Shift work because of VPN capacities, jerky video conferences without video, overpriced hardware from monitors to webcams.

Digital transformation – previously the most important buzzword in marketing and recruitment – what was that again? Some colleagues and customers unpacked an extra dose of humor, with which everything settled down well. On the one hand. On the other hand, I had been planning a job change for some time, and there were now clear doubts: I had already applied to Rödl & Partner in the summer of 2020, and it had been clearly com­mu­nicated from the beginning that the decision would not be made quickly. So will the new employer keep the job offer if perhaps projects fall away? What about the uncertainty of the probationary period?

The hiring process included two phone calls, a presentation, and another appointment where even future team­mates stopped by from vacation. I was impressed by the coolness with which the application process was handled. Everything always remained as discussed. No “ifs” and no “maybes.” The decisive difference to other company contacts: The team was not only busy at the moment, but also wanted to grow strategically – ex­plic­it­ly independent of the specific order book. I started at Rödl & Partner on 1 November 2020.

Well, a classic job introduction looks different. Apart from the first day, meetings took place via Skype. This meant that not only explanations and tasks, but also personal contact had to “go over the wire”. Nevertheless, it went without any problems most of the time. Everyone was in the same situation and did their best to make my integration easier. In typical consultant fashion, they kept asking me the question: “How can we make it easier and better?”

Not only my team in management & IT consulting made it as easy as possible for me to settle in and integrate during this special time. Rödl & Partner also gave an overview of the company and the different departments in an employee introduction event – which takes place once a quarter. Due to the situation, “my” employee event also took place virtually. Together with 80 other new colleagues who joined the company in the previous few weeks at the various offices in Germany, we got to know different contact persons and got more information about the different departments and services lines at a virtual fair. I particularly enjoyed a sequence of Skype speed dating in small groups. I was able to explain in a few sentences what Business Intelligence is and got an insight into the variety of topics of the other new colleagues. The employee introduction event was a good start for future networking with professional colleagues from auditing, tax consulting and legal advisory.

I have been working almost entirely from home for nine months now. The mix of external projects and projects for Rödl mandates results in a stable workload. Two team meetings per week keep the team spirit high. The circle of Rödl colleagues, whom I can approach at any time, is constantly growing, for example at an internal training among SAP developers. Of course, there is a difference between being allowed to work mobile one day a week (before Corona) and having to do it all the time. Skype invitations with an announcement are a bit more formal than the quick coffee in between. But Corona also brings new solutions, for example, a walk during the probationary period mid-term conversation. All in all, not a standard, but a successful start.

The first-day party is still to come in a beer garden. Because, as we all know, the greatest joy is in the anti­cipation.

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