Published: July 8, 2020
What is it like being hired during a pandemic?
As early as mid-March, the COVID-19 pandemic was closing businesses across the world, leaving many without a job and limited open positions for those looking for work. Around this time, Apotex employees were asked to work-from-home, if possible, but for many, it wasn’t. As an essential business, Apotex increased their hiring efforts since the beginning of the pandemic.
Applying for a new role in the middle of a global pandemic can be daunting. An external human resource consultant shares, “we’ve experienced many candidates who, two months ago, told us they were looking for new opportunities, now deciding to wait things out and resume their search when the pandemic ends.”
However, he encourages candidates to still apply to roles. “Candidates who are optimistic and enthusiastic about job opportunities are still getting offers. Employers are looking for candidates who are remaining positive in the face of current pandemic.”
“I started looking for a new role just as the pandemic began. As the weeks went on, I received emails from many companies saying the positions I was interested in, had been put on hold due to COVID-19. Eventually, job postings became less frequent. I thought I would have to wait until the pandemic had ended to find a job. It was nerve wrecking not knowing if or when the job market would return to normal. I feel fortunate to have found a job during a time like this when many businesses paused their hiring efforts,” said Jade Akinbade-Abels, Global Corporate Affairs Coordinator. “I was nervous about the virtual hiring process and connecting with my team without meeting face-to-face. I found that welcoming video chat introductions helped ease the first day jitters. I have been with the company for almost two months and I feel that I have been able to integrate well with my team and explore my new role – virtually.”
By late-March 2020, the Global Talent Management and Talent Acquisition teams adjusted both the hiring and onboarding processes by making these interactions completely virtual to ensure the safety of current and prospective employees.
“Onboarding was great, the virtual experience allowed me to explore some of the tools I would be using and learn about the business.” The onboarding process is an adapted version of the previous in-person New Employee Orientation. Over the course of five days employees attend various interactive – pre-recorded or live – modules and sessions hosted by different areas of the business such as Property Management, Safety, Health and Environment, Human Resources and more.
After onboarding, employees start their role, some onsite, others from home. “I thought it would be a challenge to connect with colleagues that I have yet to meet in person,” said Jade. “The technology we have makes connecting and understanding the team dynamic much easier, with meetings on Microsoft Teams and quick Skype calls to answer questions and provide guidance.”
“You learn about your colleagues through the variety of background interruptions that are bound to happen during teleconferencing meetings,” Jade continues. “These unique interruptions can be bonding moments with your team. You learn about their family and become familiar with the inside of each other’s houses.”
“Seeing how Apotex was handling the pandemic and thinking of its people, really shone a light on its values and culture which made my decision of joining the team, easy,” said Jade. “I’m grateful to join Apotex and have a positive experience during this uncertain time.”