TDM Academy – Week Two – Rob Francis

Starting a new job is always an interesting time, there are new colleagues, clients, and candidates to get used to, plus you wonder each morning if your old office clothes are suitable for the new environment. There’s good and bad in most situations, it’s just with this one if it all goes wrong you also loose money. That was where my head was a couple of weeks ago when I walked into TDM; it’s not the best idea to think like that but the unknown is scary, and we live with that every day. What actually happened was I went into a room with three other new starters, introduced myself, signed the 1,001 documents everyone signs on their first day and settled in. I settled in so fast I didn’t look at the clock, until someone mentioned it was 5:30.

The environment here is very similar to most offices, lots of white walls, opinions about air conditioning and a large open planned space full of the clicking sound of key boards. What sets TDM apart is the separate environment you are brought into initially; the Academy is shaping up to be the most well thought out induction and training plan I have ever been a part of. Day one was a blur but day two and beyond has included meeting my personal mentor, (a senior or principal consultant from one of the teams) shadowing different departments and their unique ways of working and well thought out theoretical learning backed up with practical application.

Being told I had a mentor was a highlight of the week, it seems obvious to say but if you support someone in the right way you get better results. In an academy setting the mentor allows you to step away from the training and get an extra perspective, you can question the training itself or just use them as a sounding board, (They also give you an escape if you want to break away from the team and have a chat with the other people in the office.) The mentor system has also meant that the ever daunting “meet the team” activities are a little easier, now there’s a friendly face, who’s name you remember, amongst the 20 or so other ones who you refer to as “mate” or “buddy” until the names finally click a week later.

As I mentioned we have been in and out of the meeting rooms, sat with different teams and climbed a paperwork mountain, but this office is not a place for a team to stay isolated for long. Day two we were given names, numbers and the chance to prove ourselves on the phones; monitored from a far our future team leaders who were given the opportunity to shadow us and see who they wanted in their teams. Being thrown in the deep end is something that a lot of newbies go through and we were no different. It also gave us the opportunity to see how we all deal with the same situation; being from different backgrounds we each approached it slightly differently. My background in recruitment meant I was more than happy to start and knew that making mistakes is sometime the best way to learn, and that first day of calling I learnt a lot. It was at this point that I realised how the academy benefits the company by bringing people in with different types of work experience. A call centre makes you resilient, retail gives you quick wits and customer service skills, my recruitment know how was just a bonus.

As soon as you walk into the offices you realise there is a great deal of energy in the company, the proactive candidate sourcing and the amount of work that goes into making sure we find the right talent is impressive. To make sure everyone gets the best out of each client and candidate search, we all share tips and techniques; I didn’t expect to be giving out advise in my first week on the job but that’s exactly what happened. The ethos of sharing everything and making sure that each person is supported means that everyone’s opinion is valid no matter how long you’ve been in the business.

In the short time that I have been here I can already see that I want to be with the company for years to come. The office is populated with young and ambitious employees, working on bringing in three or four more academies each year, ensuring that the energy persists, and the results increase. I was attracted to the company initially because of the results driven, not time served, promotion. From day one you can see that results driving the company forward, we weren’t thrown in the deep end to see if we can get along with the CRM, we were thrown there to see if we had what it takes to pass the academy, (or even show up for week two.) When you belong to a team that is willing to push you to achieve, and you work for a company that will reward those achievements you come each day ready to work and beat everyone else in the company. A leader board is only fun if you’re leading.