Vanilla New Recruit Gavin Owen Describes How His Employment Status Changed Swiftly After Signing Up to Vanilla’s Virtual Recruitment Day….

What a difference a DAY makes!

We’ve spent another week in lockdown, balancing the needs of our children’s home schooling while trying to get stuff done. The rise of mass vaccination centres provides a glimpse of hope for a return to normality and we avidly check the daily number of jabs while looking forward to the daily allowance of exercise that means a break from our same four walls. For me personally though, this week was slightly different as I began my new role as a Senior Consultant with Vanilla.

Towards the end of 2020, I became one of the growing number of victims of the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and faced an uncertain 2021. So, I dusted off my CV, updated my LinkedIn profile and began the process of looking for a new role. I’ve spent most of my career in the Construction and Engineering industry, and in the last few years I’ve been working in business change and ERP implementation. I was keen to find a new role that allows me to build on this experience and that is how I came across Vanilla. I was immediately attracted to their company values of Simplicity, Quality and Customer-focus which align nicely with my own principles. I was intrigued when I saw a post advertising their Virtual Recruitment Event and signed up, admittedly with little expectation of where this might lead.

As the day of the event drew closer, I was pleased to be contacted by the recruitment team, thanking me for my interest and requesting a copy of my CV to distribute to the department heads. Suddenly this felt a much less speculative exercise.

Still not entirely sure what to expect, I sat down in front of my computer to join the event. We began with an introductory overview of the company from Jason Belcher, one of the company directors. As Jason talked, I began to see that this was an environment I would enjoy being part of. The company values that had attracted me in the first place were not just words or some corporate branding; they were an integral part of everything they did and believed. Vanilla seemed to be small enough that I could make an impact, but with exciting growth plans that would align with my own personal development.

We then broke out into virtual rooms, in smaller groups based on the workstream track we were interested in. I joined a Consultancy room with Tim Hughes, the group lead for Projects. For me, this was an opportunity to get a bit more detail on how the company worked, how they approach and deliver projects, and what sort of roles they were looking to fill. I was also able to showcase myself as all the delegates were given the chance to introduce themselves, talk about their background and experience, and ask any specific questions they may have. Towards the end of this session, I was invited into another virtual room to have a one-to-one chat which was a lovely opportunity to make a deeper connection. As the session wound down, all the delegates were invited to visit other workstream rooms to introduce themselves and get a sense of how the company hangs together. I left the event in a positive frame of mind. Vanilla seemed to be everything I thought it would be and I felt I had been heard and able to give a good account of myself. I hoped that this may lead to something further, but I had no idea how quickly that would come about.

The next few days took place in a bit of a whirlwind. A formal interview was arranged for the following day where it became apparent that my experience would fit with an opportunity that had recently arisen. That went well, and the next day I was offered a role. Taking the weekend, I formally accepted the position on the Monday and started work for Vanilla two days later.

In life, optimism and gratitude are important, especially in this time. I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given and looking forward to an exciting future as part of the Consultancy team at Vanilla.