Joining Sumo: New Hire Stories

18th May 2020Posted by: Sumo Digital

The thought of starting a new job is nerve-racking at the best of times, let alone starting at a new studio during the midst of Covid-19. 

Because of this, it’s been especially important to make our new team members feel as welcome as we would in the studio. So, how exactly do we do that with so much distance between us? 

We caught up with two of our new recruits to hear first-hand about their onboarding experiences and what it’s been like starting at Sumo Digital. 

Ahmed El-Badawi is a Project Planner and Arica Langston is an Executive Assistant, and both have recently started at Sumo Sheffield.  

Hi Arica and Ahmed! Welcome to Sumo Digital! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us about the process of starting your new jobs.  

How has the onboarding experience been for you, especially since we’re in lockdown and all studios are working from home at the moment? 

Ahmed: Since I joined the week following the lockdown, I was very pleasantly surprised by it all! I received the kit I needed before I started, I had no technical issues at all, and was given time to manage the new paperwork and absorb all new information. 

Arica: I agree – of all the onboarding experiences I’ve had in my career, this has been the best. I think it’s because people have more time at the moment. My equipment was dropped off to me at home and IT were on hand to make sure that I was properly set up, and that I had access to all the drives, folders, and diaries that I needed. My induction was very relaxed too, and I was able to “meet” members of my HR contact’s family. It put me at ease while still being able to cover off the important information that I needed to know.  

Is there anything your new teams did to make you feel welcome?  

Arica: I’ve been able to have a lot of virtual coffees with people across the business and everyone that I’ve spoken to has been really lovely and welcoming. Through these, I’ve learned both about people’s roles in the company and about them as individuals. This is something that I don’t think I’d have the luxury of doing as much if we were in the office. 

Ahmed: Getting inducted into the team was really smooth – I was able to meet the team over the first week and given the time I needed to get to grips with things and understand what was planned for me. There was no sense of pressure! 

Arica: It’s been really heart-warming to arrive to emails sent from the company about how we’re all in this together, to do what you can when you can, and showing their support and understanding for all differing situations in these times. Everyone that I’ve spoken to or that has helped me to make sure that I have the tools I need to do my job have gone above and beyond. 

Another thing that has made me feel a part of the Sumo family is the Virtual Pub Quizzes. They’ve played a large part in bringing everyone together with a little fun in these very strange times! 

Arica’s #SumoFromHome set up!

What was the interview process like for you? 

Ahmed: The interview process was straight forward, just a few video interviews over MS Teams. And they didn’t even require for it to be video for the whole duration so it was a lot easier to speak without the nerves I would have gotten from being face to face! 

Arica: For me, I had my interviews before lockdown started. The relaxed environment made me feel comfortable any time I was in the office for an interview, and I really enjoyed the culture. 

Were there any things you were maybe a little nervous about beforehand? 

Arica: Whenever you start a new job, there’s always going to be a case of nerves, so there was nothing in particular. But meeting the people that I have, having the conversations that I’ve had, has eased any nerves that may have cropped up. 

Ahmed: I was worried there’d be no one to really ask the many questions I would inevitably have, unlike being in the studio. But I was lucky to find my team were open to all sorts of questions remotely and were relaxed with the pace of working as I was finding my legs in this role. 

Finally, do you have any advice for anyone about to start working remotely in a new role? 

Ahmed: Don’t hesitate to ask questions and set expectations you think would work for you. It’s a difficult time and everyone I’ve met here is understanding enough to appreciate it 😊 

Arica: And be a sponge – learn what you can! With working remotely, there’s more time, especially since there hasn’t been the travel time to and from the office, so I’ve taken the time to learn as much as I can. Also, make sure to stick to a routine and take breaks when you need to. 

Thank you so much Arica and Ahmed for taking the time to share your new starter experiences with us!  

All 9 of our studios across the UK and in Pune, India are hiring, across many disciplines – you can check out our open roles here. We look forward to welcoming you to the team!  

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