Following the COVID-19 pandemic, we were faced with two options - cancel all the scheduled apprenticeship assessment Centres for 2020, or adapt to a virtual environment. Our apprentices play such an important role here at Santander, that we knew instantly that we would have to take up the virtual challenge.
We have been working hard to adapt our Emerging Talent programmes to suit the ‘new norm’. And how to recruit and onboard our 2020 apprentices has been a massive area of focus, adapting what used to be a face to face, half day, on site session, to a now new truly virtual experience.
Initially, there was definitely nervousness from both the assessors and candidates, on how this would actually work. But we powered on and developed fresh new content that allowed us to understand the motivations, abilities and potential of each of the candidates in a virtual way. At the same time we wanted to make it fun, not too daunting but also useful for all students taking part. Overall we’re very happy to report it was a great success.
We know that nothing beats the personal touch of an actual assessment center, but to draw on a few positives from this very difficult time, we have saved tonnes of time in tasks and travel for all involved, which we’re pleased to say has had a major impact on our global footprint. The virtual engagement approach will continue over the summer, utilising closed Facebook Groups and live events to keep in touch until the apprentices join us in October.
Don’t just take our word for it, click here to see what some of the participants had to say about the experience.