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Bad practices – Onboarding process – Place of work and accomodation

We recently had the opportunity to speak to someone that is currently working at one of the Big Four companies in consultancy within an european country. You would imagine that their Recruitment and Onboarding process could be fantastic, as they have the budget and the team to get everything ready. You would imagine that their new employees have everything clear from the very beginning.

And this is true,  most of the times at least. Unfortunately this young professional mentioned that when she was recruited 4 years ago. At that time she was asked to attend to the first month training in the main office. They explained that the training was happening in a hotel close to the office and that they were expecting her on an specific date to sign the contract and  to start the training on the following day.

So,  there she was, just coming out of University,  applying to one of the big four, and getting hired. She is from a small city in the north of the country, and when she was looking for recent grads opportunities, she initially looked in her area. However, She knew she may have to move to get the job she wanted. But she was really hoping to stay there.

After doing a long recruitment process, they spoke to her just to mention that she would have to be in the capital city on a certain date to sign the contract and start the training.  Without any further information, she took for granted that the role was within the main office.

If you signed the contract there, and the trainin is there… Wouldn’t you?

We could put ourselves on her feet, specially when these big companies don’t have a specific job offer for recent graduates,  they only open a recruitment process every 6 months and start selecting people. It is true that after the second year these companies have a high turnover. The training they receive is fantastic and the economical conditions are good considering their previous experience, but they always need plenty of people ready to take the next step of the ladder. 

So,  these young lady told her parents,  her grandmother and her friends that she was moving out.  She had a lot of goodbye parties and a couple of presents. Her mom cried, and they took her to a hotel in the capital. Her plan was to stay there until she had more news on where the first project was going to be. As she didn’t know the city, she prefered to stay at a cheap hotel and chose wisely afterwareds.  

On her first day she signed the generic contract mentioning the name of the company and the  capital office (where her contract still refers to) as reference office.

On her last week of training,  the HR person when to her and say, on a blaming tone, that the hotel that they paid for was saying that she didn‘t stay at the hotel during her training.

” If you are staying at a friend’s house… Why didn’t you tell us? We could have saved some money in paying for hotel that you didn’t use”

She looked at her and says: ” Nobody told me I had a hotel, so I booked 4 weeks at a cheap hotel close the training’s hotel” Apparently the HR person didn’t know where to look 🙂 

embarrassed shame GIF

Please don’t stop breathing, because it gets worse!

On that same day,  this young employee goes to the HR person to confirm whether if they have already the project assigned to her as she has to start looking for an apartment and it would be fantastic if she knew where the office of the client would be.

The  HR person says,

“Oh, we didn’t  think you needed to move away from your parent’s house as the project is close to where you went to university”

She was young and innocent and didn’t want to create trouble, but she obviously didn’t have a good experience. She  is still working there as the pay is good and she is learning everyday. But the experience was obviously not good.

You would say that explaining to the candidate that they are not moving cities or the city where they are going to work, would be interesting, right? Obviously they didn’t think on that.

Ok, we give her the credit and play the devil’s advocate… If I don’t tell you that you are moving, why are you thinking so?

  • Because… she applied to a generic country website for their graduates program nationally.
  • Because… on her contract stated the capital. In fact, she is still part of the capital’s office, not the one close to her home town.
  • Because…. she was asked to do the training in the capital and nobody told her they were paying for the trip, which usually means you are not based there, at least when they are that junior.
  • Because…. she didn’t know where the project would be.

Lessons to learn: Basic things as working hours, location and who will your boss be, it is simple but essential.

Don’t take for granted certain things. It is better to repeat yourself than creating a problem to the other person.

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