It is unusual but doable: hiring someone without ever having seen him or her in person.

Due to the current staffing needs we had to adapt our customary hiring processes to the new situation. We spoke with three members of our staff who were involved in revising the company recruitment process or themselves took part in it as job candidates.

Hanna Christ (Head of Human Resources). As the head of the HR department Hanna has been involved in a significant number of virtual recruitment processes.

“The coronavirus crisis has had a strong impact on the way we work. Almost overnight, mobile working has become what we call a new normal. The pandemic has also affected our recruitment process, and while the new situation has certainly created new challenges, it has also provided for new opportunities. Before Covid-19, the recruitment process took place mostly in the form of personal interviews. Now recruiting is for the most part virtual. I see a new opportunity in the new increased flexibility in terms of time and space. This however cannot really replace the importance of a personal meeting, especially as job candidates also want to see their future work environment and the coworkers who they will be seeing on a daily basis. But, there are practical solutions. We have successfully addressed the new challenges, and this is evidenced by the fact that we have already hired several new employees by applying the new virtual recruitment process. “

Timothée Gauthier (Head of Projects). Timothée started working at NUKEM during the pandemic and was later himself involved in the hiring process:

“Sourcing new talents relies more and more on digital tools and this became critical with the latest COVID-19 restrictions. Candidates are now required to present their skills and competencies in a more structured and detailed manner to compensate the lack of meetings in person where non-verbal information can be exchanged. NUKEM on the other hand, had to adapt its online presence and working methods to the new digital age in order to increase its competitiveness and eventually attract new partners. Our challenge now is to invigorate cooperation and team spirit despite all restrictions and uncertainties.”

Berthold Geiger (Quality Assurance Inspector). Berthold started working at NUKEM as a quality assurance inspector in December. His job includes acceptance procedures which are held at suppliers‘ premises even during the pandemic.

“I started working on 1 December, during lockdown. Classical meetings with live participation were not possible. Everything was done over MS Teams, but we still put special emphasis on being in the office. Whenever personal attendance was required, for example during acceptance procedures, the necessary hygiene rules were applied. Our suppliers provided rooms that were big enough to ensure the required safe distancing. Hotels are well adapted to the new situation, breakfast buffets are offered in spacious rooms, gloves and disinfectants are available. Personal contacts with face masks make it difficult to put names to faces and to assess the overall sentiment of the meeting correctly. Normal free contacts would make things a lot easier. “

The COVID pandemic has multiple effects on different aspects of our work life. At the beginning of the pandemic we even tried to re-schedule job interviews, but as time went by it became clear that this was not an option. Job openings needed to be filled. Over the past 12 months we have hired 20 new employees. The on-the-job training and adaptation of the new staff took place using a digital onboarding process. We have undertaken the necessary measures to make it possible for all employees to work both from home and in the office. Thus, during the initial phase, new employees could get to know their working environment in Alzenau. The overall outcome is therefore positive – despite the current circumstances.

NUKEM Technologies in Alzenau, Germany, is world-wide active in the areas of management of radioactive waste and spent fuel, decommissioning of nuclear facilities, engineering and consulting. Since 2009, NUKEM Technologies is part of ROSATOM-Group.

Bea Heinze
NUKEM Technologies Engineering Services GmbH
Industriestrasse 13, 63755 Alzenau
Tel: +49 6023 91-1549,
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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