Things are moving fast at Pauwels Consulting and there’s no sign of slowing down any soon. We hired 14 recruiters in 2019, 6 in 2018 and 2 account managers for our internal team in Belgium. In 2020, we foresee the same growth.
We sat down with Valentijn Velghe, our senior recruiter in charge of internal recruitment and coaching, to learn more about the growth of our recruitment team.
Valentijn, you’ve been at Pauwels for almost 3 years now. How did / do you experience the growth of the company?
When I started in 2017, we had a rather small internal team, mostly based in Ghent & Diegem. Now, almost 3 years later, our internal team consists of more than 80 people and is working from Diegem, Antwerp, Brussels & of course still in Ghent as well. It was really great to get to know all those people and see them evolve throughout the years.
But not only our own internal team experienced serious growth, also our consultant group grew exponentially. I don’t know the figures by heart, but I do believe it’s around + 650 people in Belgium This all makes the environment more dynamic & interesting for everyone – not only during business hours but also at our afterwork drinks & events 😉
Does your internal recruitment approach differ from freelance/consultancy recruitment?
Not really actually. As a commercial recruiter, I always tried to find the best fit for our clients & the candidate itself, but I mostly put a strong emphasis on the candidate experience and wanted to make sure that first of all he or she wanted the job I presented. What our clients thought or wanted at this specific point in time was not that important for me – but that’s our little secret 😉.
The reason for this quite unique approach is because I firmly believe that motivation, drive & passion are still key indicators if your candidate will perform well in his job and during his possible future application. During many cases I was right and while on paper the candidate wasn’t always the perfect fit, he or she blew the hiring managers away during the interview(s).
As an internal recruiter, I would like to keep the same approach. Motivation, drive, passion, interest & curiosity are key indicators for me if my possible future co-worker will outperform on his new job or underperform.
When you look for new Pauwels people, what are you hoping to find?
We are looking for people who really fit into our family. We’re an ambitious, dynamic and a bit crazy team and that’s what I expect from new colleagues as well. If I don’t feel a genuine interest in our story & our company policy, then most of the time they won’t fit that well with the co-workers.
Actually, co-workers might be the wrong way to phrase it. Friends & companions is, I think, a better way to say it. We truly are a brady bunch so people who like to keep it 100% professional will be a bit blow away by our eccentric & active friends 😊.
However, don’t be scared by this! Most of the time – after seeing some candidates – people are truly overwhelmed & enthusiastic by Pauwels Consulting – it’s a part of my job after all 😉
Do you actively look for complementary personalities in a team?
Yes, yes, yes! It’s very important to me that colleagues can learn from each other and complement each other. This is a key success factor in order to become a top-performing team, but for this to happen, people need to have characters & personalities that go well with one another.
Do you think there could be a recruiter in everyone, even if they didn’t study anything like it?
Absolutely! I think I am a perfect example of this 😉 My career started as a 5th and 6th-grade high school history teacher. It was a job I truly liked & loved, but sadly in 2017, there were no longer career opportunities for me in my area. Then I started looking for a job in the private industry where I could use my social skills, creativity and actually – now that I think about it – my silly & humorous approach to live and working all together. This latter aspect was very important to me since I didn’t want a job where I would gaze at the clock until it was 16 o’clock. I wanted a job with a big fun factor, but also with a clear goal ahead. This is something I truly found at Pauwels Consulting 😊
So as you can see, your educational background or previous experience isn’t that important for me. Your personality on the other hand is!
Curious as to what a Pauwels Consulting recruitment consultant does? Take a look at our little video: a day in the life of a recruiter
What does the onboarding phase look like?
We have quite an extensive onboarding phase & training scheme – for which I’m responsible together with my colleagues Tijs & Saskia. The new recruitment consultant will start with the basics of the course and will gradually get more difficult tasks & subjects. One of the more fun & challenging obstacles our newbies have to face is the Commercial Training with Tijs where the newbie has to outperform & outsell Tijs in a personal one-on-one battle. No one has ever won – me included 😉
No reason to stress though! Some people are up and running after only 2 months, some after 6 months. This is also the reason why we have 3 people who are in charge of training & coaching since we want to make sure that everyone gets the attention they need & deserve.
And after that?
After this training period, we, of course, keep guiding & coaching you and even start to look possible future endeavors of tasks. As an example, some people truly love to go to job fairs and enjoy this overall experience. Well, then we make sure that, that specific recruiter can go to many job fairs and even can get involved in a new ‘job fair strategy-team’. There is plenty of work to go around 😉
Do you have some kind of proud father feeling when they have their first placement or start excelling?
(laughs) Actually I have. As an ex-teacher, I love it when coworkers give me feedback that they closed their first deal thanks to me or that they were able to find the perfect candidate based on my tips & tricks. My nickname at the office is Mr.Teacher for a reason of course 😉
Are we looking for any candidates right now?
Always! Although our recruitment group has grown a lot lately, I am always looking for new enthusiastic colleagues & friends – I can barely keep up with the growth 😊. But do remember; I need them to have passion, motivation & an overall insightful way of working.
Do you have any advice for people that would like to apply?
Get in touch with Valentijn: