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Press release: Pauwels Consulting takes over 4People

22 Jan 2023

Pauwels Consulting acquires 4People to consolidate its place in the Dutch market as a project sourcer in IT, engineering and life sciences and hereby completes 12th acquisition with 3D Investors in 7 years’ time. 

From left to right: Bert Pauwels, Ronald Ter Beek, Joost Hordijk and Stef van den Broek

Belgian consultancy firm specialized in IT, life sciences and engineering Pauwels Consulting has acquired Dutch project sourcing company 4People. Pauwels Consulting aims to broaden its foreign activities in engineering after recently acquiring other Dutch firms in life sciences and IT, to match its activities in the Belgian market. The core motivation is to grow as a people-minded company and to carry its employee-centered values internationally. 

The Dutch company 4People is specialized in secondment and placing of executives in construction, infrastructure & environment and engineering and employs over 200 people nationwide. Their vision is to help their clients build a livable future through knowledge-sharing of cutting-edge technologies. While doing so, the people remain at the heart of the business. Ronald Ter Beek, founder of 4People, explains: “The name of our company speaks for itself. We place people to help create a better future for people. We believe in investing in our employees, as they invest in their projects.” 

Bert Pauwels, managing director of Pauwels Consulting, found in 4People the missing piece in his foreign ambitions: “We have been expanding Pauwels Consulting in the Netherlands through the acquisition of other players in IT and Life Sciences, and 4People brings outstanding expertise in engineering to the table. In this way, we mirror the activities of our Belgian home base.”  

Stef van den Broek, Managing Director of 4People, considers Pauwels Consulting a strategic partner: “We prioritized a partnership with a company that shows genuine interest in our culture and people. That way, 4People can keep growing in the direction that we have built the foundation for, and our clients and employees will be able to look forward to a future of acceleration.” Bert Pauwels adds: “4People and Pauwels Consulting have in common that we want to service our clients with expertise and respect for their vision. That is exactly what we intend to keep doing, with the only difference being that we now combine a larger pool of experience and resources.” 

Stef van den Broek: “As management, we are excited for this new chapter and together with our employees, who have continuously proven to be a great asset in creating our success story, we are looking forward to keep growing.” 

Following this acquisition, the Pauwels Consulting team numbers more than 1,500 experts in the fields of life sciences, engineering and IT. Founded in 1999, Pauwels Consulting has grown into a successful consulting group active in Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland under different brands and specialized divisions. Together with 3d Investors, Pauwels Consulting has made 12 acquisitions in 7 years and increased its revenues fivefold from €25 million to over €149 million. 

Read the interview with Bert Pauwels (Managing Director Pauwels Consulting), Ronald Ter Beek (founder 4People), Joost Hordijk (Head of Sales & Strategy 4People) and Stef van den Broek (General Manager 4People).

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Pauwels Blog

Pauwels Consulting takes over 4People

22 Jan 2023

Pauwels Consulting duplicates its Belgian success story in the Netherlands with the acquisition of 4People with 200 engineering, construction, infrastructure and environment specialists. 

Pauwels Consulting is doing extremely well in the Dutch market. In the slipstream of the previous acquisition of Science@Work, it is already taking the next step. Managing Director Bert Pauwels, who established the group 23 years ago, has always been clear about the ambitions of his project sourcing model. What once started with secondments for IT projects has now expanded into a prominent market share in engineering and life sciences in Belgium. With 4People on board, Pauwels Consulting is now also serving the Dutch market in the same way. 

We spoke to Bert Pauwels and Ronald Ter Beek (4People founder), Joost Hordijk (4People Head of Sales & Strategy) and Stef van den Broek (4People General Manager). The venue immediately set the tone: Expo A16 Rotterdam, an experience centre on a new major road in Rotterdam. It is a mega project to which 4People is making a real difference. 

Expert explanation at A16 Expo

Ronald, why did you start 4People 21 years ago? 

I came of age in the business world as a consultant at Brunel. After eight years and an IPO, I established 4People in 2001. Initially we focused on IT project sourcing, but that wasn’t really our thing, so we stopped that. I felt we could make a far bigger contribution in civil engineering. That’s where we could really make a difference. We set up in Deventer in the middle of the Netherlands. From there we went to Hengelo. We continued to expand our activities with branches in Groningen, Den Bosch, Rotterdam and Utrecht and more than 200 employees. 

You’ve had 21 years of growth. What sets 4People apart from the rest? 

Without a doubt, it’s the human side of things. People is in our company name for good reason. I saw a lot of good things during my training, but what I missed is having people as the central focus. They are still the success factor. We’re a business, of course, but we grow by building things around and with people. They make or break everything.

4People is a coveted business, so why did you choose Pauwels Consulting?

You’re right: there was a great deal of interest. Our top five included a few strategic players and some financials. In the end, we chose a strategic partner. We really appreciated that Bert Pauwels showed a genuine interest in the company itself. In the people themselves. And he has a whole group behind him that will help 4People thrive even more in the future. 

Stef, you were in the cockpit of this acquisition together with Joost. What’s your take on this?

Now we can keep thinking bigger and bigger. The company is already at a great place, and there’s far more to come. The collaboration with Pauwels as a strategic partner can only accelerate this. And importantly, our content, core values and culture are very well aligned. 

Can you describe 4People’s DNA for us?

We truly reflect the Dutch eagerness to do business. We’ve always been very inventive, especially now that our civil engineering projects need to enter into a dialogue with urbanisation and nature. We’ve been at the forefront of technology with the support of clusters such as Brainport Eindhoven and the Rotterdam area. The place we are now, Expo A16 Rotterdam, is a testimonial of what our team is marketing in the technical field. Tunnelling, bridge construction and engineering: they all come together here. Of course, we’re facing considerable challenges, but we achieve great solutions on a daily basis together with the customers.

Joost, how do you see this?

We speak the language of technology. For this A16 project, we deliver people in positions that others may only experience once in their lives. Contracts like these are full of special technology you need to have expertise in. We make choices according to feasibility and profit in projects of this size very early on. Our teams are put together even before the award process, which often makes us the first and only one who gets to deliver. Our reputation and profits are earned outside, with our feet in the mud. 

Bert Pauwels, if we include 3d Investors, this is the 12th (!) acquisition in seven years. What attracted you to 4People?

We clicked straight away, not just business-wise but on a personal level as well. You can have the best people, the best technical concepts and the right vision, but having the right relationship is very important as well. 4People’s story so far was perfect for us. Our Dutch organisation was particularly strong in IT, whereas in Belgium we offer IT, engineering and life sciences. This was our chance to expand the organisation in a similar way in the Netherlands. We had already developed our life sciences in the Netherlands with the acquisition of Science@Work. In terms of engineering, we’d also been working with Bruggenbouwers already, but now it was time for a significant expansion. Both countries are now at the same high level in all three industries thanks to what I can only describe as a match made in heaven. 

What’s going to change for 4People’s employees and customers?

What is definitely a positive signal to the market and employees is that many people from the current management are joining the new capital structure. This shows 4People’s belief in the company’s further growth. That’s also how we jointly approach the people and the market. I’m really looking forward to presenting the Belgian organisation and letting people discover how much overlap there is in culture, management style and job content. Pauwels Consulting tackles every new tailor-made collaboration with great respect for everyone involved. We have our story, but 4People has also developed a unique DNA as established by Ronald. We’re here now because 4People do many things well, just like us. Now we can learn best practices from each other to accelerate growth. In the long run, we’ll see a healthy culture we create together.  

Stef, as Managing Director, what challenges do you see approaching in your industry?

This acquisition process focused on two questions: who is from a cultural perspective the best party for us as a company and how are we going to do business together? Sometimes you have to look at that separately from the numbers. Of course, as our new partner, Pauwels Consulting can support our acceleration, but the way we do this is just as important. Bert has made a huge difference from the first meeting. We spoke to other people who literally had no idea what we were actually doing and then just pushed out a bid. Bert has both vision and respect for who we are and what we stand for. 

And where do you see the next challenges in your sector?

The war for talent, which will also affect our internal organisation. Fortunately, we’re ever more successful at retaining the right people. This is because we are very clear and specific about our culture and core values. Unlike our competitors, we are much less transactional in our business. We make a difference in job content. Talented people are obviously recognising this when they make their next move in their careers. We also notice this in job interviews. We often hear that starting to work with us is a refreshing experience for many people. Of course, we present a critical front – there has to be a good match – but cultivating the experience afterwards is the real win for our employees. And of course, the key to growth is our internal organisation and the connection with extremely loyal customers. Their commitment only contributes to our joint growth. And it doesn’t stop at the front. Ambitions need to blend. Bert has taught me how much Pauwels Consulting is committed to the continued training of employees’ hard and soft skills. I was happy to hear that there is a wide range of learning and development, coaches and talent managers on hand. In my opinion, we can always learn from a model like that. 

Joost, how do you experience this war for talent from a commercial perspective? 

Success is a choice. Of course, you are dependent on economic factors, but we are in an essential position in the market. Our people are in places that are crucial both in engineering and construction. The biggest challenge is not to find people, but to find people who understand and can convey the vision of 4People and Pauwels Consulting and who can implement the acceleration we want. We expect a lot more from our people than a normal secondment agency, but when we share our plans, you can really feel the urge to achieve them together. As Stef said, applicants experience us differently: personal contact and content go hand in hand here. Both our consultants and our customers endorse this.

A16 Expo

Back to the man who was right there at the very beginning: what will be the next challenge for founder Ronald Ter Beek? 

In any case, I felt the need to distance myself a little after 22 years. That’s why I had already attracted Stef as CEO. However, I did notice that I couldn’t distance myself mentally like I’d wanted to. It goes against my nature, I suppose. You always stay involved and people don’t call you for all the fun things. They tend to call you if there are problems (laughs). They stay with me and it was difficult to let go. So, then I thought: why not make my long-term plan happen a little sooner, knowing that I have a top team ready? What I’m not going to do is sit still. I adore Italy, so I’ll do things there. What I don’t know yet – I’m sure I’ll stumble upon something. I don’t worry about that. 

Bert, how do you see the management team? 

When Stef presented his vision as managing director for the first time, I felt the business undercurrent as well as his insistence to always include the employees of 4People in the story. Success may be a choice, as Joost just put it so nicely, but I really feel that the entire organisation is making that choice. That only works if everyone has a well-developed sense of empathy, and for that alone I have the greatest respect. That’s why we literally started moving forward after just a few weeks to the point where we are now. Of course, 4People are the best in their job; that’s not based on ego, but on pride in proven merits. Joost talks about the market with unprecedented depth. He knows exactly what his customers are doing. The fact that he has a very broad technical knowledge certainly helps, but what also keeps emerging is this empathy for the customer. The fact that Ronald has given his trust to this top team seems logical from a distance, but of course you need that talent to take the company to a higher level. Ronald’s focus on people always went much further than what is suggested by the company name 4People. After all, companies are made by people, but also for people, and at 4People you see very clearly how the team is built on that. 

Nice words for your team, Stef. 

Thank you, and I agree with Bert. Besides ratio, a person has feelings, and I had a good feeling about Bert from the very beginning. You can clearly sense this in all our interactions. We were soon talking about content, constructive questions and, above all, Bert’s enthusiasm to make Pauwels Consulting an even greater success. And we are part of that. 

Bert has a habit of challenging his partners in sports.

Ronald: Absolutely not. I enjoy riding my rally motorbike in the desert or having a nice glass of Italian wine, particularly the latter. But Joost, Stef and Bert are always welcome, because of course I want to find out how the 4People and Pauwels Consulting story continues!

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Education

Word design consultant op je nieuwe job

16 Nov 2022

Word design consultant op je nieuwe job 

Heb jij zin in een nieuwe uitdaging en motivatie om bij te leren over een nieuwe sector? Via het Training Program ga je aan de slag als consultant en stap je tegelijkertijd in een aansluitend leerprogramma. Het leertraject is gemaakt om jouw vaardigheden en kennis aan te vullen, zodat jij de beste match voor de klant wordt. Ondertussen word jij betaald voor je werk, natuurlijk.

Lees verder en ontdek onze unieke kansen voor technisch tekenaars, junior of met meer ervaring.

Training Programs voor technisch tekenaars

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Maar ook zakelijke, sociale vaardigheden komen aan bod om van jou een top professional te maken. Denk hier maar aan Problem Solving, Workflow Management, Stakeholder Management, Project Management, etc.
Dit leer je allemaal in combinatie met persoonlijke begeleiding en gecertificeerde coaching om jou zoveel mogelijk nieuwe inzichten en leermomenten te geven.
Tegelijkertijd leer je de knepen van het vak in de praktijk kennen. Je gaat meteen aan de slag in een bedrijf waar je nieuwe kennis onmiddellijk kunt toepassen.
Heb jij zin in een nieuwe uitdaging en motivatie om bij te leren over een nieuwe sector?
Dan zoeken wij jou! Wie ben jij? Jij…
  • Hebt grondige kennis van de bouwsector: HVAC, elektriciteit, sanitair
  • Weet wat P&ID is
  • Hebt minstens een A2, bachelor is een plus
  • Hebt een eerste ervaring gehad met technisch tekenen met AutoCAD 2D, Revit of Eplan
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Met onze Training Programs start je onmiddellijk op een project en krijg je tegelijkertijd gepersonaliseerde opleidingen.
Mogelijke projecten in dit programma
⚡Van AutoCAD tekenaar tot ambiteuze BIM Consultant in West-Vlaanderen

⚡Van elektrische tekenaar tot straffe Elektrisch Design Specialist in Brussel
Klik op de functietitel om onze vacature te lezen. Herken je jezelf maar deels in de omschrijving? Heb je een andere motivatie om te solliciteren? Aarzel niet en neem contact op. We nemen elke sollicitant serieus.

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Pauwels Blog

Pauwels Consulting celebrates graduates Acceleration Program

14 Jun 2022

On May 31, 2022, Pauwels Consulting celebrated the graduates of the second edition of the Acceleration Program. The Acceleration Program is a high-paced training program for ambitious Pauwels Consultants who want to further hone their professional skills. We organise this yearly program in collaboration with Ormit Talent, our sister company specialized in talent development.

Big shout out to all graduates and the superb trainers of this program. It was a pleasure working with you, feeling your energy, watching you grow and hearing your wonderful feedback on this program. We’re confident you’ll put your newly acquired insights and skills to good use, and we look forward to watching you thrive in your future projects.

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Join our next Acceleration Program

Are you an ambitious Pauwels Consultant and do you want to step out of your comfort zone to take on the bumpy road to growth? Invitations for the third edition will go out at the end of the summer, so keep a close eye on your email, or go ahead and send us a message below. We’ll get in touch with you shortly to discuss your candidacy.

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Stef Bal launches the Green Challenge 2022

24 May 2022

Last year Pauwels Consulting launched the Green Challenge. During the week of World Bicycle Day (June 3rd) we encourage our consultants to leave their cars aside and travel by bike or on foot as much as possible. 

To motivate our colleagues even more, we will donate to Think Pink an amount based on all registered ‘green’ journeys in that week. The more hours our consultants are active, the bigger the amount for Think Pink!

We spoke with Stef Bal, the Pauwels consultant who last year recorded the most green hours. We are curious to see whether he will defend his title this year!

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Stef, can you introduce yourself? 

Stef‘I am Stef Bal, 29 years old and I am a Quality Engineer and Validation Expert.’

Interesting! What exactly do those jobs entail? 

Stef‘I started at Pauwels Consulting as a Validation Expert. In that function, I set up complex analyses and performed risk analyses.

I am currently working as a Quality Engineer on my project. The first months I was lab supervisor. A very varied job in which you deal with many stakeholders and often need to be able to switch quickly.

In the meantime, since February, I have been responsible for Quality Assurance and I handle customer complaints, audits and all other tasks related to quality assurance.’

"Pauwels Consulting is a big player, and that opens the door to big companies and interesting training opportunities."

How did you end up at Pauwels Consulting? 

Stef: ‘In 2020 it was time for the next step in my career. Through my professional network I came across an interesting vacancy at Pauwels Consulting. And look, now I have been working here for 2 years!’

And that makes us very happy! What are the advantages of working for us? 

Stef‘First of all, Pauwels Consulting is a big player, which opens the door to big companies and interesting training opportunities. The internal team is always available and follows up on me, which I would like to thank them for!

Furthermore, I’ve been able to work on a lot of different projects. I could never have gathered that experience as an internal employee, and that is precisely what makes a Pauwels Consultant so valuable.’

Last year you were the winner of our Green Challenge. Are you going to defend your title in 2022? 

Stef‘Of course I am going to defend my title. (laughs) Unfortunately I have less time this year, so it will be more difficult. But in the end, it’s all about the idea behind it. Getting out more, enjoying nature and getting to know your colleagues… Participating is already winning in the Green Challenge.’

Last year you collected 29 green hours in one week. How did you manage that?

Stef‘Wow, I had already forgotten that I had spent 29 hours exercising. Quite crazy actually! 

I mainly walked. I didn’t have a bike at the time and if I had to run all those hours, I would never have made it to the end of the week.’ (laughs)

 

"The Green Challenge is the ideal initiative to bring consultants closer together."

Why did you take part in the Green Challenge? 

Stef: ‘I thought it was a fun challenge and of course I also wanted to do my bit for a good cause. We all know someone who has had to deal with breast cancer, and Think Pink does wonderful things. And of course, sustainability is also important.

Enough reasons to participate! What did you like most about the Green Challenge? 

Stef: ‘The connection with my fellow consultants. We are usually so spread out that we do not always know who our colleagues are. Thanks to the Green Challenge I got to know other Pauwels Consultants via Strava, LinkedIn and other social media. So this is the ideal initiative to bring consultants closer together.

And finally, one more question: what is your ultimate tip for colleagues who also want to participate?

Stef: ‘Everything is about planning. Last year, I worked a full-time job and had a flexi-time on Fridays and Saturdays. So I had to plan in advance on which days I had to perform more in order to move as many hours as possible.

Hence my advice: motivate yourself, make a good plan and go for it. Go crazy!

Stef, thank you for this interview and your tips!

Will you break Stef’s record this year?

Do you, as a Pauwels Consultant, also want to raise money for Think Pink? Quickly check your mailbox, register on Strava and start warming up for the week of 30/5 to 5/6. We wish you the best of luck!

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Tailor-made talent development: The Pauwels Consulting Training Programs

22 Apr 2022

Finding talented employees for technical and technological bottleneck professions is not easy. That is why at Pauwels Consulting we consciously focus on talent development and competence training.

We do this by means of Training Programs, tailor-made for our consultants and our clients. From now on, we do not search feverishly for the perfect match between consultants and projects – we create that match by training and coaching the most suitable consultants in a goal-oriented way.

We caught up with Koen De Borle, our new Training Program Manager, and asked him about the advantages of the Pauwels Consulting Training Program for customers and consultants.

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Koen, you recently made a switch within Pauwels Consulting. You are now the very first Training Program Manager. Congratulations! Can you tell us more about your new role? 

Koen De Borle: Thank you! My new role is an exciting combination of new challenges and acquired insights in the consulting world. Previously, I worked as a Recruiter and Account Manager in the Engineering Unit. Now I am focusing on talent development and managing our Training Programs, through which we as a company aim to meet the changing needs and trends in our industry.

On the one hand, we see a scarcity of qualified personnel to fill the needs of our business partners in a timely manner. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find candidates who have all the required skills, and who are quickly and fully available. On the other hand, we see the need for consultants to develop skills they currently lack.

Our Training Programs provide a solution for both parties. In an adapted service model, we now develop custom learning solutions for young & high potentials. This enables us to prepare them for specific projects in a targeted way. A win-win situation for our consultants and our clients.

"We constantly monitor our consultants and actively encourage them to continuously develop their talents so that we can ensure that 'perfect fit.' "

What exactly are these ‘custom learning solutions’? 

Koen: Our Training Programs are custom programs in which we optimally gear the knowledge, expertise and skills of our consultants to the needs of our clients. The duration of these programs can vary between a few months and 2 years. During this time, we guide our trainee consultants with a team of coaches, trainers, mentors and experts.

We have been stimulating active learning and talent development in our organization for some time. We have our own Pauwels Consulting Academy with seminars and webinars that our consultants are free to attend. We have also embarked on the digital road with some pilot projects in the field of e-learning. We have also been working for years with external training partners and a team of internal expert trainers.

And now we are literally going a step further. In our Training Programs we constantly follow up on our consultants and actively encourage them to develop their talents. In this way we can continue to guarantee the perfect fit with new projects.

Koen De Borle, Training Program Manager at Pauwels Consulting

That sounds interesting! What are the main benefits of the new Training Programs for the customer? 

Koen: Our new Training Programs enable us to prepare our consultants for new projects in a targeted way. So we no longer have to look for the perfect white ravens; we find suitable consultants and prepare them for their next projects.

Our clients get consultants who match their projects almost perfectly in terms of skills, knowledge and mindset, now and in the future. That is a strong added value at a time when the newspapers are full of the war on talent, and literally everyone is having a hard time finding suitable employees.

Because we have a strong network of consultants and can quickly set up Training Programs, we can quickly help our customers meet urgent needs. At the same time, we can also provide a good match for the long term because our clients have a direct say in the development of our consultant(s) in their teams.

"Our clients no longer have to search for the perfect candidate for their projects. You often can't find those anyway. We look for a good match, and we create the perfect fit through individual training and personal guidance from our consultants."

What skills are taught? 

Koen: Attitude is key, skills can be trained. At Pauwels Consulting we are completely convinced of that. Our recruiters therefore screen and qualify new candidates primarily based on their DNA. It has to match the DNA of Pauwels Consulting and the DNA and values of our clients. If we find such a high potential, we start up a Training Program.

We focus on 2 types of skills: knowledge and professional skills that need to be acquired to be able to do the job optimally, and soft skills that enable a seamless collaboration with the client’s team.

These professional skills, by the way, are constantly changing. After all, the current technological revolution means that our customers have to adapt even faster to an increasingly complex reality. Digitization, internet of things, AI, robotization and other developments constantly require new knowledge and skills from employees.

In such a changing environment, human skills are also becoming increasingly important. Emotional intelligence, modern communication and collaboration skills, proactivity, dealing with change and new digital tools, data and project handling… These are just a few key skills we can make a difference with. We ensure that our consultants are an optimal fit for our clients, in the short and long term.

Barbara De Greve, Account Manager Engineering at Pauwels Consulting

Sounds good! You’ve already indicated it a bit, but what are the benefits of the Training Programs for consultants? 

Koen: Our consultants receive in-depth coaching, training and mentoring with a strong focus on talent development. In this way they acquire skills that are currently scarce on the market. Here you can think of technical skills such as IT development, process validation and CSV, design engineering, prototyping, automation and project management, but also soft skills such as stress resistance, resilience, communication and collaboration.

Because every consultant is different, we work towards individual learning goals. We provide personal guidance and test the acquired knowledge and skills in modern and demanding settings by working together with professionals, peers and fellow trainees.

Young potentials get the chance to develop their talents through a tailor-made program, and high potentials can also further develop their career and gain additional knowledge and experience. At Pauwels Consulting, the growth and talent development of our consultants is more central than ever! This creates a win-win-win for our consultants, our clients and Pauwels Consulting as a company.

"We screen candidates to check whether their DNA matches that of Pauwels Consulting and the DNA and values of our clients. If that click is there, we make sure that our people's talent is developed further. Attitude is key, skills can be trained.

You mention young and high potentials. Who exactly qualifies for the Training Program?  

Koen: We focus for these programs on candidates who want to develop further or transform themselves within a particular expertise. These can be people of 25, 37 or 44 years of age. Age is not a deal breaker with us. We are looking for consultants who want to build on their level of knowledge at leading companies and give their best.

Some tips for interested candidates: curiosity and the ability to learn quickly will be decisive selection criteria, as will perseverance and a positive mindset. We screen for the skills that are key to success today: emotional intelligence, collaborative skills and the ability to handle change. If candidates have the right attitude, we can further develop the right skills with our Training Programs.

That’s all completely clear, Koen! Thank you for this interview and good luck with the roll-out of the Training Programs within Pauwels Consulting!

Maarten De Soete, participant Training Program

At Pauwels Consulting we are proud of our newest service that meets the scarcity in the candidate market and the development needs of our consultants.

Would you like to participate in a Pauwels Consulting Training Program? Check out our webpage, discover the benefits and contact us today to develop your talents.

Are you interested in discussing the benefits for you as a business partner? Contact our Training Program Manager Koen De Borle via the form below.

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Pauwels Consulting is once again a Great Place to Work!

20 Jan 2022

Last year, the Great Place to Work™ Institute and Vlerick Business School awarded the Great Place to Work™ label to Pauwels Consulting for the first time. The label is a wonderful recognition of the job satisfaction and other feelings experienced by our colleagues at Pauwels Consulting.

After we achieved the label last year, we took many steps to further improve our internal operations and added value for our consultants. We sent out a new survey to all our permanent staff in November and we could hardly wait for the results.

This year’s feedback from our internal colleagues and external consultants at our customer locations was again very positive and valuable. And as a result, Pauwels Consulting has yet again been named a Great Place to Work™ in 2022, which we continue to be very proud of!

To celebrate this wonderful news, we interviewed Céline Van Puymbrouck, our Learning & Development Coordinator. She is one of the driving forces behind the achievement of the label.

 

First of all, Céline, congratulations on achieving the Great Place to Work label! So what exactly does a Great Place To Work™ mean?

Céline: Thank you! The Great Place to Work™ label is awarded to companies with a sound work culture, companies where employees like to work. Like last year, we worked with the Great Place to Work™ Institute and Vlerick Business School to send out an anonymous survey to our staff. The survey looked at their experiences at Pauwels Consulting. And for a second year in a row, the answers were very positive. That’s why we can now officially call ourselves a Great Place to Work™ for the second year in a row!

Of course, we are very grateful to our consultants and back-office employees for their time and feedback. It is thanks to them that we have received this label again and we can continue to improve our organisation, so a big thank you to everyone who helped make this possible!

Why is the Great Place to Work™ label important to Pauwels Consulting?

Céline: The aim of this survey was to gather anonymous and therefore honest feedback from our staff. That’s important to us to keep improving our internal operations and the added value we offer to our consultants. This year, we were able to add some extra questions ourselves and we could break down the answers from our consultants (at our customer locations) and those from our internal employees (our back office). That has led to some interesting insights! The results from the survey have allowed us to define specific areas for improvement for the future.

We are very happy with the added value of the survey and with the Great Place to Work™ label we received for the second year in a row. It was the icing on the cake for us. The label is a true endorsement of the company and our staff, so we are all very proud of it!

Are there any specific issues that have clearly emerged from the answers?

Céline: It was interesting to compare the new results with last year’s responses. For example, the score of the statement ‘In general, I can say that this is a very good organisation to work for’ went up from 85% to 91%.

That immediately illustrates why we are participating in a Great Place to Work™: we want to continuously improve ourselves and make sure that everyone feels – and continues to feel – happy at Pauwels Consulting. ‘Always challenge the status quo’ is one of our core values. ‘Be a warmhearted family’ is another one. The results show that we are on the right track.

Céline Van Puymbroeck, our Learning & Development Coordinator

Of course, we are also curious about the other answers… So what really makes Pauwels Consulting a Great Place to Work™?

Céline: For that I would like to take a look at this year’s results. Firstly, we score very well on diversity, inclusion and community. That’s because we are actively committed to these issues: we avoid discrimination and encourage inclusive behaviour. The family feeling that pervades our company is very precious to us.

We also keep our work atmosphere very friendly and open. And there are plenty of opportunities for fun as well. Our staff are proud to work for Pauwels Consulting and they don’t mind going the extra mile every now and then. Our people have also indicated in the survey that they can count on each other and everyone feels welcome here. That was wonderful to read!

Pauwels Consulting also received some constructive feedback in the first Great Place to Work™ survey. So what exactly have we done with these areas for improvement?

Céline: We’ve sure been busy this year. To make the management’s communication even more transparent and proactive, we have introduced our six-monthly status update meeting in which Bert and Mélodie inform everyone about Pauwels Consulting’s results and future plans. We are also sending out more surveys, we have created a Culture Book and we are setting up pilot projects on mobility and e-learning. 

We also focus even more on personal follow-up via our Talent Managers, and we have hired a new coach. We also encourage the mentoring of junior consultants by senior consultants even more than before.

We have also noticed that our staff really want to bond with each other. That’s why we are very committed to our ambassadors. They are experienced consultants at customer locations who are always there for the other consultants. They also organise meetings so that even more joint activities are planned. Unfortunately, many meetings couldn’t go ahead because of Covid-19, but we will certainly get back to this again as soon as we are permitted!

Luckily, however, we were able to organise quite a few general after-work drinks at the end of last year. Our consultants and back-office employees had the opportunity to get to know each other better at various events. There were drinks, we went bowling, we broke out of an escape room… And we will resume all these activities as well as soon as it is safe to do so.

Sounds great, Céline! And what will you do with this year’s results?

Céline: Of course, we want to continue to focus on our consultants’ growth with training courses, and we are also committed to mentoring, coaching and our Pauwels Academy. As there is such a wide range of learning opportunities, we would like to draw up a clear overview this year. We will be sending out a learning and development survey to our staff to see how we can best offer such an overview in a transparent way.

We have also noticed that our staff are missing a platform. First, we are going to map out the specific needs and then we will look at how we can meet those needs. Finally, we will also keep expanding the cycling project and get back to our after-work drinks again as soon as the COVID-19 situation allows. That’s a promise!

And on that cheerful note, we will end this interview. Céline, thank you for your time and answers. Congratulations again and we hope to speak to you next year about our third Great Place to Work™ label!

Do you want to join our Great Place to Work?

Take a look at our job offers and you may just be joining us at our next after-work drinks!

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Pauwels Consulting takes on the Corporate Cycling Challenge

08 Sep 2021

On Sunday, September 12th , Pauwels Consulting will participate in the Corporate Cycling Challengethe unofficial Belgian championship for corporate cycling in Ostend. Our 2 teams, a mix of back-office colleagues and consultants, will compete against other companies in 3 cycling disciplines: a team time trial, a sprint and a criterium.

It is with great pleasure that we introduce you to our cycling heroes below!

Meet our riders

Björn Nachtegaele

Senior Accountmanager

Bike: Scott

KM on Strava (2021): 2839

Type of rider: “Kasseifretter”

Favourite race: Paris – Roubaix

Favourite rider: Yves Lampaert

Favourite mountain: Molenberg in Zwalm

Koen De Borle

Senior Accountmanager

Bike: Bianchi

Type of rider: Pedaleur de charme

Favourite race: Ronde Van Vlaanderen

Favourite rider: Miguel Indurain

Favourite mountain: Berendries

Tijs Billemon

Business Coach

Bike: Ridley

Km on Strava (2021): 5023

Type of rider Climber/Puncheur

Favourite race: Giro d’Italia

Favourite rider: Laurens Ten Dam

Favourite mountain: Alpe D’Huez

Jens Vriendt

Mobility Manager

Bike: Scott

KM on Strava (2021): 4105

Type of rider: Baroudeur

Favourite race: Strade Bianchi

Favourite rider: Thomas De Gendt

Favourite mountain: Mont Ventoux from Bedoin

Kurt Quinot

Marketing Manager

Bike: Eddy Merckx

KM on Strava (2021): 3343

Type of rider: domestique

Favourite race: Liège – Bastogne – Liège

Favourite rider: Remco Evenepoel

Favourite mountain: Congoberg in Vollezele

Thomas Bertin

Accountmanager

Bike: Scott

KM on Strava (2021): 1312

Type of rider: Wheelsucker

Favourite race: Ronde Van Vlaanderen

Favourite rider: Wout Van Aert

Favourite mountain: Overpoort in Gent

Frederik Coppens

Recruitment Consultant

Bike: Trek

KM op Strava (2021): 1557

Type of rider: The Wim Vansevenant of Pauwels Consulting

Favourite race: Strade Bianchi

Favourite rider: Alejandro Valverde

Favourite mountain: The Poggio in Sint-Antelinks

Pieter Willenkens

QA Complaint Officer

Bike: Canyon

KM on Strava (2021): 1652

Type of rider: Climber/puncheur

Favourite race: Ronde Van Vlaanderen

Favourite rider: Wout Van Aert

Favourite mountain: La Redoute

Pascal Verbaere

IT Support Officer

Bike: BTWIN

KM on Strava (2021): 2932

Type of rider: Climber

Favourite race: Paris – Roubaix

Favourite rider: Wout Van Aert

Favourite mountain: Mont Ventoux from Bedoin

Join us as VIPs in Ostend!

We can use all the support we can get. So, are you looking for ideas for a fun day out on Sunday? Come and join us at the finish area in Ostend for a full-fledged VIP experience with:

  • food trucks
  • drink stands
  • promotional stands
  • an amazing atmosphere.

Let’s make Sunday a memorable day, and let’s have a great day out with our riders and supporting colleagues.

More information about the Corporate Cycling Challenge can be found here.

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News

Pauwels Consulting is a Trends Gazelle 2021

04 Mar 2021

Every year, Trends Magazine selects the 250 fastest-growing companies in each province in terms of added value, workforce and cash flow. Being selected is no easy feat, but Pauwels Consulting has just managed to receive its 10th nomination. Time for a chat with Bert Pauwels, founder and managing director of Pauwels Consulting.

Congratulations on this new nomination, Bert! Pauwels Consulting is now one of the fastest-growing companies in the province of Flemish Brabant for the 10th year in a row. How does that make you feel?

Bert: Thank you. Every time we’re chosen as one of the Trends Gazelles, it makes me feel happy and proud. All the more since this is a team effort! Pauwels Consulting doesn’t yearn for recognition, but we do know that this award is an external indicator that confirms we are doing a good job. And that’s great!

We do our utmost every day to make sure we support our customers and employees in the best possible way, our figures keep improving and we give something back to society. I’m pleased and grateful that we can offer so many people job security, satisfaction and prospects, especially in these challenging times.

I certainly agree that it was a bizarre year, Bert. How do you look back on the past COVID year?

Bert: 2020 was a challenging year, to put it mildly. And the challenge is still there. Everyone has had to give up some certainties and freedoms, and the lack of future prospects can really wear people down. Many of us have seen loved ones, friends and acquaintances experience problems both on a personal and professional level. I sincerely hope that soon we will all find the resilience to pick up where we left off together. I’m counting on everyone’s understanding, solidarity and sense of civic responsibility, because we need to get through this together.

COVID-19 and the lockdowns also put Pauwels Consulting in a situation that we’d never experienced before. All our consultants usually work at customer locations, and our internal employees are used to going into the office. Suddenly, this was no longer allowed. Or it was allowed, but to a much smaller extent. It was a pretty radical change.
“Business as usual in exceptional circumstances.”
How did Pauwels Consulting respond to COVID?

Bert: We took a calm and well-considered approach with a very clear focus on the long term. We’ve always considered COVID-19 as a temporary situation, a ‘short-term problem’. Short-term issues shouldn’t be tackled by changing our strategy. On the contrary, they require us to stick to our strategy. We talked, evaluated and adjusted a lot over the past year, but our focus and philosophy always remained strong.

This allowed us to continue to recruit people and invest in the training of our staff. We’ve also completed two impressive acquisitions in the past few months. We managed to keep furlough levels to an absolute minimum, and we haven’t had to let anyone go because of COVID-19. It’s been business as usual in exceptional circumstances. It hasn’t been easy, so I’m proud that we succeeded and that we’re now reaping the benefits, which has now been confirmed again by this Trends Gazelle nomination.
Trends Gazellen 2021 - Pauwels Consulting
How do you see 2021?

Bert: Hopeful and ambitious. When spring arrives and we find the right way to live with this virus rather than be controlled by it, our society will be able to move forward again. I look at nature for inspiration. A sunflower doesn’t exactly look its best at night, but during the day it raises its head, follows the sun and displays its colours in all their splendour.

Pauwels Consulting will continue to focus on our momentum. 2021 will be characterised by further growth in Belgium and abroad. Our primary focus in that respect is the Netherlands. Last year, we acquired the ambitious engineering company Bruggenbouwers and two attractive IT companies, Developers.nl and more recently Open Web. We now have five offices in the Netherlands. If we can add a life sciences group to that, that would mean we can also serve our customers in the Netherlands with our three key areas of expertise.

What is the ultimate goal?

Bert: There is no ultimate goal. That would be too final and too restrictive. Over the next five years, we certainly want to become an international consultancy group with more than 2,500 employees and a 250 million turnover. That’s a big but realistic ambition, and I’m convinced that our team will achieve it.

By the way, we’re always looking for extra talent to join our wonderful crew! So if you’re an engineering, life sciences, IT or HR professional with the ambition to step things up a gear, you’re invited to get in touch so that we can get to know each other. We have ambitious plans, and we would love to discuss how you can be part of them!

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Good news in challenging times: Pauwels Consulting acquires DCI IT

01 Mar 2021

2020 was a challenging year and 2021 will be no different. As a result, more and more companies are facing difficulties. One of these companies is DCI IT, the IT consultancy firm in Sint-Niklaas. The company was founded in 1997 but unfortunately went bankrupt recently. We are pleased to announce that we have found a great solution for 18 IT employees: we welcome them to our team today!

This injection of knowledge means a great addition to our IT team, a carefree new start for our new colleagues and an extra boost for our growth ambitions. We spoke with Bert Pauwels, founder and managing director of Pauwels Consulting, about this acquisition.

Bert, congratulations with this acquisition! How are you feeling?

Bert: “Tired but satisfied. The acquisition of DCI IT went very quickly. The company was only declared bankrupt in February 2021. The judge appointed a curator and candidate buyers were sought. We reacted quickly and worked hard, and I am pleased that we can offer a good outcome and future to 18 employees of DCI IT, who are also a welcome reinforcement of our team.

We have already invested considerably in expanding our IT team in recent years. We have hired strong consultants and have also taken over 2 IT companies in the Netherlands last year. Now we are also taking over 18 IT consultants from DCI IT in Belgium. This strengthens us in our ambition to become one of the most complete consultancy companies in Europe.”

Can you tell us more about the services of DCI IT?

Bert: “Until recently, DCI IT offered various IT services. The company consisted of two departments: their Field Service department offered a full service, while their IT Resources department offered consultancy services. The Field Service department was less compatible with the growth plan of Pauwels Consulting, but the consultants of the IT-resources department, with a focus on IT infrastructure, complement our team perfectly.”
Logo DCI IT
How did the acquisition go?

Bert: “It all happened very quickly. DCI IT was declared bankrupt just one week ago. The judge appointed Mr Reyns as curator. Our team immediately went to work to see which components and consultants we could acquire and under which conditions. During the weekend, we came to a respectful proposal that was favourable to the employees and the customers of DCI IT. The employees keep their salaries, and they get new career opportunities at Pauwels Consulting. Moreover, we can guarantee the continuity of services to the customers.

A bankruptcy is a traumatic experience and employees are often hurt and dissatisfied. That’s why we acted quickly, accurately and tactfully. From the start we had a good feeling during our talks with master Reyns. We wanted to create a win-win situation, not drive a bargain. If you don’t do that, then you can’t build a long-term relationship with your new colleagues and customers. We wanted to do things differently. This is the beginning of a great new story for the consultants and customers of DCI IT.”

Where do you envision Pauwels Consulting in 5 years?

Bert: “We are healthily ambitious: in the coming years we want to become one of the most complete providers of consultancy and project sourcing in Europe. In five years’ time, we want to grow to a group of 2,500 consultants and a turnover of 250 million euros. Because our clients operate internationally, we will also continue to support them across borders. That’s why, since our partnership with 3d Investors in 2016, we have been explicitly accelerating our organic growth with strategic acquisitions of interesting life sciences, engineering and IT companies. For example, last year alone, despite the crisis, we acquired a strong engineering company (Bruggenbouwers) and 2 strong IT companies (Developers.nl and Open Web) in the Netherlands.

Now we have taken over another great IT company in Belgium. It will certainly not be our last acquisition, since we see a lot of potential in the market, and we will always enjoy working with interesting customers and specialists, and supporting them as best as we can in their professional growth.”

For more information : marketing@pauwelsconsulting.com
Looking for a project?
Are you an ambitious starter or an experienced specialist in the field of engineering, life sciences or IT and would you like to work in a team where you are heard and optimally supported?

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Joke Roggeman Welcome Officer