Pauwels Consulting is constantly looking for smart, social, articulate and slightly eccentric people to strengthen our team.

It’s quite a challenge to find the right consultants for the right projects on a daily basis and to introduce those people to our customers in a swift and professional way.

That’s why we hosted a Recruitment Day for graduate students on Tuesday, April 26th at our office in Ghent. After all, we noticed, ‘Recruitment Consultant’ is still a relatively unknown job. That has to change!

Welcome aboard Ilse!

What does a Recruitment Consultant do?

As a Recruitment Consultant, you have a very varied job. You work with lots of people every day, you speak different languages, you need to be creative and – of course – you have lots of fun!

And if that’s not enough: you make people happy every single day. After all, you make sure that clients find the right people to join their project teams and you help people find a job that really suits them. Nice, right?

A Recruitment Day, what is that?

Back to the Recruitment Day! The day (or evening) started at 18:00 with drinks, sandwiches and a warm welcome from Van and Jan, Operations Director and Key Account Director at Pauwels Consulting.

Then the participants, 27 sympathetic and smart graduate students with very diverse backgrounds, were divided into three groups. Each group was to follow three workshops.

The workshops reflected the typical tasks Recruitment Consultants get on their plate at Pauwels Consulting: interviewing techniques, commercial skills and administration.

After the workshops, our Managing Director Bert Pauwels gave an inspiring speech and invited all participants for some drinks. It was a lovely evening. We hope all participants learned interesting new things!

But that wasn’t the end of it!

We were looking for new colleagues!

In fact, we were looking for one or more new colleagues to strengthen our team. That’s why some of the workshops’ participants received good news on Wednesday, April 27th: they were invited to take part in an online assessment.

After the online assessment, several job interviews were scheduled. And after a series of interesting job interviews we were very excited to welcome a new colleague!

As of next week, Ilse Coopman will be our new Recruitment Consultant. Last week, she signed her contract at Pauwels Consulting and on Juli 4th, we will welcome her at the office. In the meantime, we already had a lovely talk with Ilse!

Ilse, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Ilse: Of course! I’m Ilse Coopman, born in Ostend and raised in Bruges. I just graduated, and on July 4th, I will start working as a Recruitment Consultant at Pauwels Consulting.

Congratulations Ilse! Nice to have you on the team. What did you study?

Ilse: First, I followed a teacher training ‘Dutch / History’ at the Katholieke Hogeschool Brugge Oostende (KHBO, now Vives). After that, I followed a Master of History at the University of Ghent.

So you already know your way around Ghent then?

Ilse: That’s right! I lived in Ghent for 3 years as a student, so I know the city very well.

Good! What do you do in your spare time, Ilse?

Ilse: I’m politically engaged as a board member of N-VA Bruges and as a board member of the local youth branch. And I will probably join the daily board of our national youth branch soon.

That sounds pretty intense. Does it take up a lot of your time?

Ilse: That’s quite all right, actually. The national youth branch holds two big monthly meetings. The local branch of our party organizes 2 meetings and every 2 months there is an additional board meeting. All boards of the local branches are allowed to send representatives to this extra board meeting. There is also one meeting each month for the local youth branch. And then there are the local events and actions of course…

Local events and actions?

Ilse: We regularly organize actions to recruit new members and to discuss our future plans, but we also organize fun initiatives to keep in touch with the needs and demands of the people on the street.

We handed out bottle openers on Father’s Day, for example, and flowers on Mother’s Day. And we also host lectures on a regular basis. In March, for example, we organized a debate with Rudi Vranckx and Theo Francken. Very interesting!

I can imagine. And what exactly is your role in all this?

Ilse: As a board member or daily board member I take part in shaping our vision in the run-up for the elections. I ‘m involved in the development of the election manifestos for the different levels of the party, in the promotion of the interests of the youth and in the preparation of the electoral lists.

Is there any time left for other “hobbies”?

Ilse: Of course! I like football. A lot! My boyfriend is a true supporter of Anderlecht. So we try to attend their games as often as we can.

Wait a minute, an Anderlecht supporter who lives in Bruges?

Ilse: That’s right! (laughs) It’s not always easy but I love Bruges as a city, football as a sport and Anderlecht as a team. Next year I will be an official delegate for the U15 Daring Bruges. My boyfriend takes care of their workouts and I will take care of all the action at the sidelines.

Interview - Ilse Coopman

Back to the Recruitment Days, Ilse. Why and how did you apply?

Ilse: I saw an ad for the Recruitment Days on Facebook. I clicked on the ad and that’s how I landed on the Pauwels Consulting website.

I noticed that Pauwels Consulting has a young dynamic team and that Pauwels Consulting wants to give young people a chance. A perfect combination!

Did you apply with a job as Recruitment Consultant in mind?

Ilse: Not at all, actually. At first, I did not even realize that Pauwels Consulting wanted to recruit one or more of the participants at the Recruitment Day. So that was a nice plus!

What was your first impression when you arrived at the Recruitment Days?

Ilse: Well, I received a warm welcome. We got drinks and sandwiches and all employees of Pauwels Consulting introduced themselves spontaneously. That was really nice of them.

I got very excited during the three workshops as well. The workshops provided a good overview of the tasks you face as a recruiter: communicative, commercial as well as administrative tasks. The workshops were really interesting!

But you were not hired immediately after those workshops, right?

Ilse: No I wasn’t. After the workshops, I first had four interviews with different people from the team. Those conversations were all very nice, and I am glad that the feeling was mutual.

On July 4th, you will start working as a Recruitment Consultant. Are you going on a holiday first?

Ilse: Yes and no. I still have a few days off now, of course, but I’m going on a longer holiday in August. That holiday was already planned. Fortunately, that was not a problem for Pauwels Consulting. (laughs)

And were will you spend your holiday?

Ilse: I’m going to visit Lake Garda in Italy. From there, we will visit Venice and other beautiful places. A nice mix of culture and relaxation, I like that.

Lovely! Last question: if you had to give one final word of advice to graduate students who are looking for their first job, what would that be?

Ilse: Good but tough question. (Laughs) Hmm … I would advice them to think outside the box. Take it all in, be open to new ideas and options and do not focus on a specific kind of job or a specific region.

As an eight year old, the thought “I want to become a recruitment consultant” will never cross your mind. And yet, here I am, happy with my first job as a Recruitment Consultant. This would never have happened if I had not been flexible and eager to learn.

There’s still this general perception that jobs are really scarce and that you won’t find a job without experience. In my opinion, that’s only partially true. Finding a great job may not be the easiest thing, but if you stay flexible you will have a much bigger chance of finding a job you  love.

Those are fine words of advice, Ilse. Once again, welcome to the team and good luck at Pauwels Consulting!

And you?

Are you looking for an exciting (first) job? A job that poses new challenges on a daily basis? A job in which you can make people happy every day? Be sure to keep an eye on our jobs page, LinkedIn and Facebook page.

Pauwels Consulting is always looking for smart, social, articulate and slightly eccentric people to strengthen our team! Click here for more information or send us an unsolicited application.

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