interview with Octavian RADU,
Learning and Development Manager at HERVIS Romania
Why did you make the decision to integrate people with disabilities into your team?
We really appreciated the attitude and desire to work of these young adults. Additionally, our company’s philosophy is to give an equal chance to all people who want to work. We like to integrate people with a proactive attitude and who want to go beyond their limits. The young adults with whom we have interacted within the LEAD project have shown us that they belong in this category.
Your Company has hired three young adults with disabilities, beneficiaries of the LEAD project. Why did you make this decision?
From our point of view, this was a project from which both the young adults and my colleagues have had something to learn. On the one hand, the young adults have had the chance to find out how our activity is carried out, thus acquiring various skills. On the other hand, the attitude of my colleagues has improved, due to the fact that they noticed how involved and determined these young adults are in achieving the goals that were set for them. The final goal of this approach is to make young adults with disabilities feel integrated. We are very proud to have joined this project, being a natural continuation of the other social projects in which we are involved.
The young adults’ entry into your team took place with the support of specialists of Constanta Services Centre for Supported Employment. How did you collaborate with our team?
We were pleasantly surprised by the collaboration with your support team, during the integration process of the young adults into the teams of our stores from Constanţa. Together, we carried out all stages of young adults’ integration: from their selection, to interviews and to effective integration into the collective. We have benefited from professional services and real support, which we continue to rely on, so that current employments become a long-term solution. The whole process was quite clear and easy, so we do recommend this kind of collaboration to any company.
How have the young adults integrated into your team? How were they received by your colleagues?
Their integration was quite fast, due to their abilities, but especially because of their positive attitude, which could be seen from the first interaction with them. The adaptation of these young adults in our daily work has had a very strong impact both socially and professionally. Our colleagues received them very well, and we were glad to see that the young adults have benefited from real support at a local level. Store managers Cusa Dimciu and Gabriel Dumitrescu were truly a positive force, and real promoters in the integration of our new colleagues. We are glad to know that both our colleagues and the young adults with disabilities who work for us enjoy now a very pleasant work atmosphere.
Do you intend to employ young adults with disabilities in other stores from the country?
We are currently integrating people with different disabilities in cities such as: Bucharest, Iasi, Ploiesti, Galati, Roman, and we will continue to expand most likely in all cities in the country where there are Hervis stores.
Do you recommend to other entrepreneurs to employ people with disabilities? Why?
We wholeheartedly recommend to other employers, regardless of their activity field, to take this step. It is extremely useful both for increasing team cohesion and for integrating people who really want to work and to become independent.
Thank you for your kindness to have us interview you and we wish you good luck in business!