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Coaching and mentoring to fit every career background

  • mei 15, 2024
    • Posted in:
    • Team
    • Training

How do tailored mentoring and training support new team members from different work backgrounds? We sat together with three members of our Addestino team – a recent graduate, a former PhD researcher, and a technical specialist – to discuss their experiences with training throughout their careers.

Regardless of their previous experience, strong professionals always carve their personalised career path on their own terms. What are the deciding factors that made our team members at different stages of their career journey decide to write their latest chapter at Addestino? It turns out that training and mentoring programs were key.

“I was looking to dive into different industries and business contexts,” our recent graduate hire Henri begins. “What set Addestino apart for me during the hiring process was how the HR team worked with me during my interviews to outline a personal growth plan. This helped me to shape my future career around my interests, rather than having to conform to a rigid company structure.”

“Hiring is very transparent and well-balanced overall,” Francis adds. He joined the team after previous work experience as a data scientist. “My interviews included conversations with colleagues from different teams and backgrounds, which helped me to build an accurate picture of the work environment and company culture. At the same time, I didn’t have to undergo any lengthy programming tests to prove my technical skills. Instead, the focus is on the intellectual capacity and analytical skills to understand new technologies.” Sander, who joined Addestino after transitioning from an academic career, agrees. “The emphasis was always on how well I’d fit into the team, above all else.”

“My first client project started on my very first day at work,” Henri recalls. “At Addestino, there are no lengthy ramp-ups. Instead, there is plenty of time dedicated to on-the-job mentoring and coaching. In my case, our partner Maarten Heyse guided me through my initial client meetings and analysis tasks, serving as both a coach and senior project lead.”

Experienced hires have more autonomy to leverage their expertise right away, as Sander and Francis can attest. “Experienced colleagues are always available to help out in their capacity of project coaches,” Sander adds. “They provide a safety net by offering insights into the specific context of the company, ensuring we’re supported even if we’re missing some industry or company-specific knowledge.”

In addition to project-specific coaching by colleagues, there is also mentoring provided for every new hire – no matter their prior experience or background. “Mentors are colleagues who know Addestino inside out,” Sander notes. “For the first six months, they set up regular check-ins and are always on hand to answer practical questions, like who to go to for specific expertise, how to handle administrative tasks, and other tips that make our time at work easier. This type of informal mentoring is distinct from the more traditional HR check-ins, which focus on personal development, individual career track choices and long-term goals.”

Training plays a crucial role in the personal development at Addestino. To bridge any knowledge gaps among new hires from diverse backgrounds, there is an initial six-month training program that includes monthly standardised sessions. “These sessions cover both soft and hard skills, such as communication techniques and problem-solving methodologies,” Sander explains. “The practical nature of these sessions helps bring everyone up to speed. For instance, many PhD hires are well-versed in public speaking from their teaching roles, but they might lack industry-specific business context.”

Next to the standard training program for every employee, there are also monthly optional learning sessions on relevant topics. “These typically feature show & tell-style presentations on recent projects and a deep dive of specialised subjects relevant to most of the team,” says Henri. “Consultants are also encouraged to take the initiative if they identify a gap in training or an emerging business concept worth sharing.” Sander elaborates: “This additional learning avenue provides a wider array of educational opportunities, allowing us to explore niche subjects individually. This matches the kind of candidates we seek at Addestino: well-rounded, curious self-starters with a broad interest and the innate drive to learn.”

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