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From the inside

New kid on the (virtual) block

Posted by Baptiste |

Following stints in IT equipment sales and social media advertising, Baptiste was excited to join Criteo’s red-hot Retail Media business last fall. But, how do you start a new job in the midst of a global health crisis?

Hi everybody, I’m Baptiste and I’m still pretty new here at Criteo, having joined just 4 months ago. I want you to know that I mean it most sincerely when I say, “I’m really looking forward to meeting you.” In fact, I’m looking forward to meeting anyone!

That’s right. I have yet to have my first face-to-face meeting with a Criteo colleague. The Paris offices that so caught my eye when I was researching the company are still closed. That’s meant that every step of my recruitment, hiring, onboarding and launching into my new position has occurred online.

Making the connection

So, what’s it like to break into a new company when no one’s at the office? To be frank, it’s a bit strange. Gone are those little social moments of being taken around and introduced to co-workers. There are none of those informal opportunities to get to know each other by grabbing a cup of coffee or eating lunch together.

At the same time, I have to say that Criteo functions pretty well in an online environment. The HR processes for a new hire are impressively efficient. Meetings run smoothly and there’s a great deal of interaction. And, the people are nice. Like, really nice. It’s amazing how everyone is so generous with their time, always making themselves available to help out.

Start-up vibe

But, there are some inescapable downsides. One of the things that drew me to Retail Media is that it’s a cool business that shares a lot of characteristics of a start-up. We’re a small, agile, quick-reaction team with a product that is absolutely sky-rocketing. And, because Criteo retail media team doesn’t rely on soon-to-be extinct 3rd-party cookies, we have a major head start on competitors who do.

Start-ups, though, mean that not much is already documented. In pre-covid days, we would probably find a lot of info informally, stopping by each other’s work stations or exchanging a couple of words in the elevator. The knowledge sharing still happens, of course, but it takes longer, which slows our ramp-up process. OK, I’ll say it. I miss elevators!

The art of virtual ice-breaking

Being a virtual newcomer has taught me a few things. Most important: don’t hesitate to go knock on someone’s virtual door. Don’t become isolated or miss out by staying too much behind your screen. Like I said, everyone at Criteo is amazingly welcoming and willing to make themselves available.

I’m someone who is naturally social. I like to talk, to laugh, to go to concerts and shows or just go out for a beer. For now, I’ve been able to adapt to this online workplace. But, I hope the day’s not too far off when we’re able to interact in person. I can’t wait to see you!


Product Manager, Retail Media

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