We encourage our people to be themselves in the workplace, because we respect diversity of thinking and know different perspectives strengthen the way we work. Meet Resourcing Executive Dan, and hear about his journey so far at Hastings Direct.
Tell us a bit about your background and what brought you to Hastings Direct.
I began to lose my sight in 2013 and my vision declined over time, I was left with limited sight three years later. This period was challenging, it involved relearning everyday tasks which were once second nature and making use of my other senses. I had to grieve for my sight loss and then begin the journey to become independent once again. With difficulty, I set about using a white cane and after a year and a half I was given a new set of eyes and a companion, a guide dog called Reggie!
I’ve always strived for that normal routine. After seven years of sight loss, which involved a struggle, a guide dog and a few tears, Hastings Direct gave me an opportunity - an opportunity that I had dreamed of. I wanted to prove to myself I could flourish and work just like everyone else. My everyday aim is to prove that lack of sight is not a barrier and that I can add diversity and a fresh perspective to Hastings Direct.
Tell us a bit about the work you do at Hastings Direct.
Working within Recruitment, my team helps shape the business in terms of taking on the right candidates. Day to day I conduct telephone interviews, deciding whether to put candidates thro ugh to our assessment centre and face to face interviews. This works really well for me as I am used to talking to people, without sight and without any pre judgment. Therefore, I can easily use these skills to perform a fair and impartial interview over the phone.
Tell us about your journey at Hastings Direct so far…
The support given to me from the Recruitment team and around the head office in Bexhill has been incredible. I’ve needed a lot of support and guidance since starting in November 2019, as this has been my first job since losing my sight. I feel a sense of a community and family spirit here at Hastings Direct, one that is there to support, encourage and to include anyone, with any disability and a positive attitude to working life. It feels very empowering to work for a Company that not only makes available for each individual the tools to improve and grow but encourages Colleagues to give relevant feedback in order to develop and improve the business.
Reggie now confidently knows my weekly routine. He gets very excited when we commute into work each morning. When approaching the building, Reggie finds the front steps and we walk through reception, find the lift and the HR department, Reggie then locates my desk where I sit and work daily. When I take his harness off, it gives everyone in the office a chance to say hello and an opportunity for Reggie to have a sleep on his bed, which is one of his favourite things to do.
Everyone at Hastings Direct has made me and Reggie feel so welcome, creating an environment where I feel comfortable to be myself. I’ve recently been nominated for a Company recognition nomination which I am extremely proud of. My life has changed since working at Hastings Direct. I now have a purpose and enjoy coming into work every day. I am looking forward to my future with Hastings Direct.
To find out more about what makes us an inclusive company click here.