Tell us about your background and what led you to Hastings Direct? 

I left Leicester University with an ‘ology’ in the late 80’s (google 'BT ology advert' if you’re under 50!) and then got a job with Brown Brothers (a national, US owned motor factory) as a graduate trainee. I progressed into sales and then branch management. I’ve worked for a few different companies in leadership roles and even started my own company, Velocity Motor Solutions.  I joined Hastings as a Commercial Manager in June 2020.

Tell us about your journey so far at Hastings Direct. 

Being on-boarded remotely wasn’t something that I was looking forwards to, but Hastings have done a great job. Ellen, the Talent Acquisition Manager, was brilliant in the couple of weeks prior to my start date. We got the various checks and references done, she set me up on the system and with a week still to go, I already felt part of the company. My manager, Vic, wrote out and asked people to ‘greet’ me via Skype, which they did; I’ve never felt so welcome coming into a new role. I’ve made a positive start, which has made me feel really confident! It’s the complete opposite to my last on-boarding experience – even though I was in the office for that.

Who would you say has been your biggest support during this time? 

I know it sound a bit cheesy, but it is hard to single out individuals – everyone has happily squeezed in meetings and then follow up meetings as soon as I’ve asked, despite the fact that everyone is really busy. Ellen certainly made it a great start, Vic has been there to support but also let me find my feet. There have been huge efforts by the rest of my team to help me hit the ground running and include me in anything of value. Again, every single colleague I’ve spoken to couldn’t have helped more.

What advice would you give to someone looking at career opportunities at Hastings Direct?

I’d happily encourage anyone to join the team based on my first few weeks here – it’s such a friendly and inclusive place. For those wanting to develop their career, I think it’s significant that so many colleagues have worked at Hastings Direct for a while, but moved around and developed as a consequence. We have to start with ourselves – know what you want, communicate it, ask for feedback (it’s a gift!), understand the gap and use personal development to close it. I’ve already seen how Hastings invests in training and genuinely promotes diversity, so I don’t see why anyone couldn’t develop their career here if they wanted to.

Finally, what do you love most about working for Hastings Direct?

I’m a real believer in clarity of purpose and I think for the first time I’ve found it in a large organisation. Hastings is underpinned by a simple clear vision, to be the best and biggest digital insurer, and driven through the 4Cs values. It’s straightforward to understand how our everyday actions and how we perform them will impact on the company’s performance. Finally, there is regular and respectful communication internally, which I’m sure we all appreciate. 


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Date added: 28th July 2020