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Here we are at the third episode in our series of articles behind the scenes at Persistent Systems France. In the previous episode, we reviewed our “official” values, which we share with our 17,000 colleagues around the world, but also those perceived by our employees in the recruitment phase, and which make people want to join our staff.
In this article, we tell you a little more about our hiring process and how we welcome new recruits, thanks in particular to the testimony of two “mentors” who are very much appreciated by our staff.
Recruitment at Persistent France: a successful plan from day one
The development of an effective recruitment and onboarding process was a priority for us from the outset. Three years after the creation of Persistent Systems France, my goal and that of Christophe Gaget is unchanged: to help our future employees feel welcome.
Our roadmap for getting there is in several parts:
1) First of all, a training programme with a duration that varies between 4-6 weeks, and which can go up to 4-6 months for a junior who is retraining. This essential step is handled by two employees:
- The new recruit’s line manager, who makes sure onboarding goes smoothly and that the new employee settles into the company completely. Regular meetings provide an opportunity to review both positive feedback and areas for improvement;
- A mentor chosen from among the other members of the team, who offers support on internal processes (project methodology, invoicing, leave request, etc.) and makes sure that everything is going well.
2) Discussions, mostly by videoconference, with all of the colleagues throughout France, to quickly introduce themselves and get to know each other. The duration of this aspect has evolved over time: initially, as long as the number of employees allowed, these early interactions could take place on a one-to-one basis. Today, given the speed at which our workforce is growing, these introductions take place in two stages: a 30-minute video session with everyone, then 30 minutes with his or her team, either face-to-face or remotely, depending on the situation and everyone’s diaries.
3) Skills development through training provided by our internal “Technical Hub”, targeting Salesforce products or other topics.
“When I arrived, I was supported by two colleagues, Gaël and Matthieu,” says Gabrielle Freymann, a Salesforce consultant at Persistent Systems France since December 2020. “I had a lot of room for improvement on Salesforce: I was supported by Gaël, a Senior Consultant with 5 Salesforce certifications and more than 10 years of experience in CRM. So my training started right away, and the duo really helped me progress quickly, and find the answers to any sticking points.”
Testimonials: Matthieu and Gaël share their experience as mentors
Matthieu Gironnet, Senior Business Analyst and Project Manager, has been with Persistent for over 10 years. Since he knows the company very well, he has already been assigned the role of mentor several times, both for the technical aspects and for the purely administrative processes: holiday requests, customer invoicing, internal tools, etc.
“Persistent Systems France’s workforce tripled in 2021,” says Matthieu. “This is why some aspects of onboarding have been delegated to certain members of the team, rather than being handled by a single manager. I am therefore regularly asked to welcome new employees and introduce them to Persistent France’s internal processes. I arrange for participants to be in groups, and I organise 2-3 sessions of about two hours each. Then I invite them to give 15-30 minute updates as needed during the first few months, to make sure everything is going well, and to answer any questions they may have. “
“Mentoring takes time, not only during the “training sessions”, but also before and after, especially to prepare documentation on internal procedures, as we try to consolidate the relevant information so that everyone can access it if needed. Our managers allocate a certain amount of our time to these tasks, so that it is detached from our main roles (project management, sales, etc.).”
Gaël Burneau, Senior Salesforce Consultant at Persistent in Nantes, joined the Nantes team in December 2020, along with Gabrielle, who he accompanied in her skills development with Salesforce. Sharing expertise has always been an important part of Gaël’s work. However, this was the first time he had been officially assigned the role of mentor. “My schedule allowed for an average of one hour a day with Gabrielle, at least for the first few weeks,” says Gaël. “It didn’t feel like extra work at all! First of all, because Gabrielle progressed very easily, and she immediately got results. Secondly, because she was able to assist me with her first client project a few weeks after she started her training. It allowed her to put into practice the theoretical notions we had covered, and to absorb them better.”
Soft skills: an aspect that should not be overlooked
As we have seen, the way new members of Persistent Systems France are onboarded is changing as the workforce grows, but what is NOT changing is our desire to ensure that everyone feels welcome from the outset. Not only that: we put a lot of emphasis on the importance of mutual support, and this still applies even when you have been with the company for a long time!
“Not daring to ask is a mistake: this is our motto! I often quote this to new recruits, because it is important not to get stuck, to ask for help straight away so they can move forward,” says Matthieu.
In this third article in our series dedicated to recruiting and welcoming new employees to Persistent France, we have unveiled our constantly evolving recruitment and onboarding process.
How does everything we have just mentioned work out day to day? What do we see in our dealings, both internally and with our customers and partners? You’ll find out in the next post!