Recruiting & Onboarding in the time of the Coronavirus
Lèa - Master's degree in Cultural Management specialising in French-Italian exchanges, Office Manager ERG France
- Introduce yourself...My name is Léa Cathébras. I am 26 and I come from Paris. I have been interested in Italian culture since I was a child and I began studying the language by myself. This passion convinced me to improve my written and oral Italian language skills by enrolling at university (3-year undergraduate degree in Foreign Languages – English-Italian – and a Master's degree in Cultural Management specialising in French-Italian exchanges).
- What is your role at ERG?I am bilingual French-Italian Office Manager for ERG France.
- What made you choose ERG?First and foremost, I chose ERG for its corporate culture. I want to play my part in the energy transition. I also want to work with people that have strong ethics, that love what they do, but that are most of all attentive to the wellbeing of their colleagues. Secondly, I want to combine my passion with my professional expertise.
I will therefore have a chance to grow thanks to this important Italian group present in various European countries.
- What was it like changing jobs during the Coronavirus pandemic?Quite unique. Being hired by a very solid company like ERG was very reassuring and has enabled me to relaunch my professional career.
- What was your onboarding experience like?The onboarding process went really well. I did my training both in-person and via online tools. I am lucky to have really helpful colleagues, even if the conditions were unprecedented!
I always see the positive in every situation: this unique situation enabled me to discover my colleagues one by one. Day to day I do not encounter many people, but I can learn to get to know each one of them on a deeper level.
The only problem for now is putting names to faces covered by masks. At lunch time, I discover what my colleagues actually look like (from a distance, respecting the social distancing rules).
- What do you work on in particular at ERG?As Office Manager, I oversee the administrative coordination of ERG's French offices (Paris, Troyes, Nantes, Chartres, Amiens, Strasbourg, Fruges). I manage the business trips of my colleagues and general expenses. I provide support for various internal and external events (work seminars, openings, visits, working lunches, etc.).
Paulina, Operations Poland - Graduated in Management
- Introduce yourself...Hi! My name is Paulina, 32 years old, born in Warsaw. I graduated in Management on Warsaw University of Technology. I started my career in Deutsche Bank, first in Relationship Management for Corporate Clients then moved to Operations – Settlement Department. After few years in Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas Security Services I took the chance to join Orsted (first: Dong Energy) and switched to a different industry - Energy Market. I was the one from the first 4 people in Warsaw who migrated Back Office from Denmark to Poland. Firstly, responsible for German Offshore Market, during almost 4 years I have gone through different markets and responsibilities related to operations activity. From May 2020 I am working for ERG. Privately wife and mum of amazing 2,5-years old boy Teo
- What is your role at ERG?Support of Operation Manager in Poland.
- What made you choose ERG?Before the recruiter called me about this opportunity, I must confess that I didn't know much about ERG as I didn't work for Polish Market before. I've been doing some research for interview, and I was impressed by all of work and vision for the future particularly in Poland. Three wind farms with 82 MW of installed capacity and new 36 MW wind farm to be constructed by the end of 2021 – it was, and it still is a huge opportunity to learn more about Onshore Renewable Market and be a part of green transformation in Poland.
- What was it like changing jobs during the Coronavirus pandemic?To be honest – quite uncertain - many people shift to working from home; millions have lost jobs. Another rough moment was to say goodbye to my old colleagues by Teams. I arranged online meeting for different groups of my colleagues and it actually worked really well! I could celebrate drinking virtual wine and chatting with them, but for sure it wasn't "normal" farewell.
My recruitment process for ERG started in 2019 - I can say that I was lucky that I had opportunity to meet and talk to my new colleagues face to face before the pandemic. That actually helped me a lot during onboarding process.
- What was your onboarding experience like?Everything virtual! In the virtual space getting up to speed means lots o video meetings, and they are quite exhausting. In the new place you try to build rapport and figure out the way of working of new organization and this was much harder to do on video calls. Especially because of that I am really grateful to all of my colleagues- they gave me a lot of support when I asked the same questions several times. I really felt very welcome even not in face-to-face interaction.
- What do you work on in particular at ERG?Our department in Poland manages all operation-related commercial, financial, business development, administrative/tax and market/regulatory activities according to the established standards for Country assets in Poland. We are working very close to Technical Manager supporting activities aimed of ensuring compliance. We carry out activities supporting the active cycle such as energy sales, provision of incentives (green certificate), but also passive cycles (contracts, land leases fees management, concessions). Our responsible is also define the budget for investments and operating costs.
Stefania, Environmental Engineer - Back Office Specialist
- Introduce yourself…Hello, my name is Stefania Calace, I am 30 and I live in Rome, although I am originally from Basilicata. I am an environmental engineer and I have a research degree in engineering for innovation and sustainable development.
I love travelling, reading and good food but do not ask me to cook, my partner is the chef of the house. What else? I am excited to have become part of the ERG world.
- What is your role at ERG?At ERG, I am a member of the Back Office team at the Rome headquarters and my position is Back Office Specialist.
- What made you choose ERG?I chose ERG because it represents the perfect combination of my academic studies with the private sector. In fact, environmental issues are not just taken into consideration at ERG - they are part of the company's philosophy.
I also think that in the current global climate, environmental awareness, applied to the energy sector with the support of scientific progress, is an absorbing challenge and an area in which to grow and develop my expertise.
- What was it like changing jobs during the Coronavirus pandemic?It was quite a unique experience. I finished my research doctorate at the end of February, a few weeks before lockdown, and was ready to start work immediately but the pandemic cast a huge shadow over the world's economic and financial institutions.
There was lots of uncertainty in the job market, particularly for those, like me, who were looking for their first position in the private sector. Despite this, ERG offered me an interview and then the opportunity to work for the company.
I must admit that I never expected to do an interview during a pandemic, but the safety protocols followed throughout the entire selection procedure enabled me to return to reality for a moment and focus on the opportunity the company was giving me.
- What was your onboarding experience like?Just the term ‘onboarding' is special, it makes you realise that you are about to become part of a new world. And that is how it was for me. Even though I had to work from home and I could not meet all of my colleagues in person, the onboarding process gave me an insight into the organisation of the company, its values, its history and its evolution.
In the first few weeks, lots of virtual calls helped me to feel part of the ERG world and to understand the important role played by its people, who work in synergy to achieve common goals. It was an interesting and highly inclusive process and I never felt "alone in front of a screen"; on the contrary, I felt like I was part of a big team from day one.
This is a feeling I get every day thanks to my Back Office colleagues. Though I have never met them in person, I hear from them on a daily basis and their incredible guidance and assistance enables me to grow every day. In fact, I cannot wait to finally meet them all in person and put their voices to a face.
- What do you work on in particular at ERG?At ERG, I focus on contract management, metering, settlement, liquidation and reporting activities for various energy contracts. The objective is the punctual control and verification of the data associated with the activities of the various businesses, with complete respect for all regulatory obligations. The working environment is very stimulating and teamwork is essential.
Every day I find myself facing new challenges and coordinating my work with that of numerous colleagues, also outside of my office. Interacting with different figures on various issues really stimulates my interest in the company's numerous activities, at the same time enabling me to improve my soft skills.
Mariagiovanna, graduated in Business and Economics - Operating Treasury
- Introduce yourself...Mariagiovanna Puppo, 39, born and raised in Genoa, a city I love because it is honest and genuine, a "take it or leave it" city which I have chosen not to leave. As a result, I attended the University of Genoa and graduated in Business and Economics, after which I began working straight away in the treasury offices of companies in the energy sector.
After a couple of years at Carbotrade Gas S.p.A, I moved to Axpo S.p.A where, as well as carrying out treasury activities, I was able to develop my Project Financing expertise managing contracts for the construction and financing of two power plants in southern Italy.
After six years, I took the chance to join Ansaldo Energia S.p.A and work in the Head Office of an international group, setting up and managing the central treasury office. Today I am the mother of a beautiful 1-year old girl called Futura, and when I am not with her and my husband I dedicate my free time mainly to sport and reading.
- What is your role at ERG?Operating Treasury.
- What made you choose ERG?The main reason was the history and evolution of ERG. I think that nowadays companies can no longer afford to sit on their laurels and remain anchored to the things they have always done as the market that surrounds them is always on the move. For this reason, I think it makes sense to follow the market but also to try and pre-empt it sometimes.
- What was it like changing jobs during the Coronavirus pandemic?Very strange because it was a complete contrast to everything that was going on. In fact, in a situation where everything else seemed to be paralysed, this change was extremely positive and stimulating.
- What was your onboarding experience like?Although the Coronavirus has made social distancing a necessity, I enjoyed the complete support and assistance of my colleagues even if we were working from home.
- What do you work on in particular at ERG?In the Operating Treasury office we mainly manage the Group's short- to long-term liquidity, with the aim of ensuring the efficient circulation of cash flow both inside and outside the Group.
Lorenzo, Mechanical Engineer - Scheduling and Project control
- Introduce yourself...Hi! My name is Lorenzo. I am 36. Husband and father. I have been working since 2008. My previous experiences were all in the energy world, first nuclear and then renewables. I have worked in Italy, France, Slovakia, South America. Now I have embarked on a new adventure in Genoa.
- What is your role at ERG?I am a "Scheduling and Project control" manager in the Engineering Development unit. My team and I help the engineering unit to manage project times and costs in both the development and executive phases for the whole of Europe.
- What made you choose ERG?From my first dealings with ERG it was clear that the company was ambitious and determined to play a leading role on both the Italian and international market. Having been an important player in the oil business, in the space of just a few years the company has been able to completely transform its identity and anticipate the global trend towards renewable energies: a tricky process, even risky at the beginning, but one it has carried through with great foresight and excellent results.
- What was it like changing jobs during the Coronavirus pandemic?A bit of a gamble. We were all confined to our own little bubbles. Changing jobs, company and city at that moment certainly was not easy to manage, either for me or ERG.
The entire recruitment process was carried out via Teams and by phone: we never met in person. The interviews began with an analysis of that day's Covid figures.
Having said that, the whole scenario was much more informal: with everyone at ERG working from home, I had seen inside the homes of my future colleagues before I was even hired...
- What was your onboarding experience like?The onboarding process was quite unique. Although there was a series of introductory meetings arranged by HR to present the company and various broad-reaching topics, I got to know my colleagues very gradually. With staggered shifts in the offices, we organised a tetris of individual meetings so I could learn about their action areas in detail and understand how we could work together effectively.
Unfortunately, after almost 4 months I still have not been able to meet everyone in person and that is a real shame for me. I hope things settle down and we can return to normal soon.
However, I have to admit that people have been very generous with their time, despite their packed agendas of meetings every day, and this has helped me to settle into the company very quickly.
- What do you work on in particular at ERG?As mentioned, I am a project control manager in the area of cost planning and management. We work very closely with the Project Managers to ensure that all projects are concluded according to the economic forecasts and timeframes we established beforehand. This year we are managing repowering and reblading projects at our Italian wind farms and projects for new sites in Europe.
The company has even bigger expectations for next year and our expertise, determination and motivation will be decisive factors.
Page updated at 4 Nov 2020