Going from strength to strength

17th November, 2020

  • At the beginning of 2020, I was fortunate enough to be offered an exciting new position with a start date of 16 March. That was when the world as we knew it seemed normal. We’d heard about a virus circulating in China, but no-one really thought it would turn our lives upside down.

    By the time my start date approached, everything was looking a lot less like normal! I received a phone call to tell me that my new employer, Dalriada, had transitioned all their staff to home working for the foreseeable future. Lockdown had begun. Naturally, I’d some concerns and many questions. I’d met my new team for a coffee and a chat, but was a little apprehensive at the prospect of joining a new employer virtually, without a face-to-face induction! 

    I needn’t have worried, as I was made to feel included from the very start. In fact, I probably had more face-to-face meetings in the first few days and weeks than I would had we not been working remotely. Using Teams rather than phone or email, I found that I could easily connect with colleagues across all our locations. 

    First of many 

    As it turned out, I was the very first of 37 to onboard virtually across our wider group since we began home working. In my role as Recruitment Specialist, I’ve been personally involved in overseeing the onboarding of the other 36! Over the last eight months we’ve been able to refine our process to make the journey as easy as possible for all our latest recruits.   

    We’re in touch with new joiners the week before their start date and send out all the office equipment they need to ensure they have a safe and comfortable home workstation, with set up assistance provided by our IT team. We provide a welcome pack with lots of information about Dalriada (and our wider group) and assign our new recruits a ‘buddy’, who is on hand to provide support and to help answer all formal and informal questions. Introductory calls are arranged with new colleagues over Teams. And, at our bi-weekly Town Hall presented by our CEO, all joiners are welcomed personally and given the opportunity to introduce themselves ‘virtually’ to the whole group.   

    Without doubt, onboarding virtually is a very strange experience. That said, we’ve made it easy to integrate into the company and engage with each other from home. We have regular check-ins within our individual functions, we hold fortnightly Town Halls to discuss financials, business wins and latest business developments, and our monthly Team Talk sessions provide an important platform for colleague feedback. We’ve even planned our annual training day and group social event for later this week (virtually, of course!) – we’re calling it our (Stay)Away Day! 

    Cultural fit 

    Looking back, I realise how lucky I was to have picked the right employer. One that values diversity and inclusion, and has flexibility, freedom and responsibility embedded in its cultural principles.  

    There are a great many people who accepted new roles in February/March just like me, only to find themselves on furlough, then made redundant, or with the role withdrawn. I joined an employer that has adapted to extremely challenging circumstances and continued to grow. In fact, Dalriada is going from strength to strength. We’ve recruited at all levels and in all regions throughout the pandemic, from placement students and new graduates to senior appointments at director level. We expect to continue hiring more Professional Trustees at all levels in 2021. 

    Since I joined, just as lockdown began, we’ve created 25 new roles across our group and onboarded 37 new employees in total, including 7 graduates and 5 placement students, with more still to join before the end of the year. We provide great career opportunities and will be recruiting again this year for our graduate programmes and for placement students. 

    You can follow us at: 

    LinkedIn: Dalriada Trustees Limited

    Twitter: @DalriadaTrustee

    Hear from our recent recruits 

    Alison Stewart, Professional Trustee: Back in February when I first interviewed for the role, none of us had any idea of what was to come. Even in the run up to joining, I thought I would only be working remotely for a couple of months – how wrong can you be! 

    All my kit arrived the weekend before I joined and  I was able to attend our Townhall on my first day – impressed, I certainly was! The tech is excellent – way ahead of anything I had experienced before (I sent a photo of it all in its box to my tech savvy teenage nieces and nephews who were so jealous!!!).    

    I was familiar with Zoom meetings, so video calls were nothing new but the ease with which I’ve been made to feel a part of the team, is down to the people – warm, friendly, helpful, and, the key ingredient, a GSOH! And these days, we need one.    

    I’ve only met three colleagues in person so far (and that was in February, before I joined) but it hasn’t really made too much of a difference in terms of settling in, getting to know my new colleagues, and understanding the business and our clients. And if I have any questions, I usually know who to ask. There is still no substitute for meeting people in person, but until we are able to do that safely, this is the next best thing!   

    Marcus Morris, Consultant: It is both an exciting and daunting prospect to start a new job when there is a certain normality to life. However, with the circumstances that have transpired this year, it has heightened that tenfold. That said, the induction I received in my first week was welcoming, warm and genuine. Everyone that I spoke to via a video call was eager to help and update on the various areas of the business.  

    I had been told about the professionalism of Dalriada before and so I had, naturally, created an image in my head of the culture. I was humbled that with the professionalism came a down to earth approach. When colleagues said “if there’s anything I can do to help then please ask” they really meant it. The induction was short and snappy, which helped by not completely bombarding a new starter. Coupled with the willingness to help and, reciprocally, take on my bombardment of questions, is something I was, and still am, very grateful for. 

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    • Published byZoe Monahan

      Zoe Monahan is the People & Culture Generalist at Dalriada and is responsible for leading the development of a talent attraction plan and building our employer brand. She is actively involved in the employee induction process, supports the People &...

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