How is ARQUUS onboarding its new recruits under lockdown?

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How is ARQUUS onboarding its new recruits under lockdown?

Arnold Ivray, who recently joined ARQUUS as Director of Logistics, has 30 years of industrial experience. His arrival with the company was a little unusual, falling as it did under full lockdown. Here, Arnold gives us his first impressions of arriving under such strange conditions.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF?

Of course, I joined ARQUUS on Monday 20 April, under full lockdown. I have thirty years of industrial experience, almost all of those working in supply chain and logistics services. I joined the industrial management team as Director of Logistics with the remit to optimise and standardise logistics practices across the various ARQUUS sites.

I will be based at Guyancourt, but I shall visit the industrial sites once a week. The idea is to support the logistics teams.

HOW DID THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS UNFOLD? DID LOCKDOWN PLAY ANY PART?

The INTERVIEWS took place in the first two weeks of January, so before the start of the pandemic. I had to give 3 months notice to my previous employers, so I arrived at ARQUUS in the middle of April.

WERE YOU AT ALL UNCERTAIN ABOUT STARTING, GIVEN THE CURRENT SITUATION?

At the start of lockdown I contacted my future manager and HR to see if the date was likely to be put back, but I was assured that that would definitely not be the case.

Right up to the week before I started, though, there was uncertainty about the terms I might start under, part-time or reduced hours. In the end, I am working full-time but remotely. The production sites were gradually starting up again when I took up my post, so things are getting going nicely.

HOW DID ARQUUS HELP YOU SETTLE IN?

I picked up all my equipment from Guyancourt the Thursday before I started. Everything was operational and ready for starting remote working from the Monday.

I began with meetings with my colleagues, just like a normal induction but over the telephone and Skype. It's true that it is a bit strange getting to know people without seeing them in the flesh.

ARQUUS uses a lot of acronyms for the equipment we use, and it's not easy to get fully up to speed without visiting the industrial sites. Mind you, it's easy enough to find the relevant information on the Intranet, the company website and LinkedIn.

Everyone is very helpful too, they send me the documents I need. People were very gentle on me during that first week.

Starting work remotely is definitely quite a challenge!

LET'S TALK ABOUT REMOTE WORKING - HOW DO YOU FIND IT?

I spent my last 3 weeks with my last employer remote working, which made the end of my old job and the start of my new one quite unusual! I was sort of used to remote working, like most people I would say, one day now and again to work on files in peace and quiet.

When you start a new job, you have to take in so many things quickly. In this situation, remote working is much more tiring than actually being in an office.

When everyone is working remotely, information arrives through lots of different channels (texts, email, Skype, for instance) and you have to be constantly alert, there are fewer chances to give the brain a break than in an office.

I IMAGINE YOU ARE IMPATIENT TO MOVE INTO YOUR OFFICE AT GUYANCOURT?

Absolutely, I'm really looking forward to meeting the other members of my team. So far I've only met them on Skype. I'm also looking forward to visiting the various sites and seeing our products. A first visit to Marolles has already been organised.