On March 21, the Pauwels Consulting Job Application Academy had an interesting conversation with Inge Geerdens. Inge Geerdens is the CEO of CVWarehouse and a thought leader in the fields of entrepreneurship and recruitment. She is therefore the ideal person to tell us more about the latest trends in job applications and recruitment.

Inge, can you tell us more about yourself?

I am an entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in recruitment. In the past I owned a recruitment office, which I sold to Acerta. Currently I am the CEO of CVWarehouse.

Inge Geerdens on Job Applications and Recruitment in 2013 - Pauwels Consulting Job Application Academy

“CVWarehouse offers Software AND A Service.” ~ Inge Geerdens
CVWarehouse… that sounds like a database with resumes?

Exactly. But CVWarehouse is much more than a database. CVWarehouse offers online recruitment software for businesses. Our software makes the recruitment and application process on company websites easier for companies and applicants.

You can think of CVWarehouse as an extension of a company’s website. With CVWarehouse companies can optimize the efficiency and the overall success of their primary source of candidates: their own company website.

Why did you develop CVWarehouse?

We developed CVWarehouse because our customers were asking for such a solution. CVWarehouse has been developed as an internal tool by and for my previous recruitment office. After I sold that office I continued with the development of CVWarehouse. At the moment we are helping companies and job applicants in more than 40 countries around the globe.

What makes CVWarehouse different from other recruitment software?

CVWarehouse is very user-friendly for companies and candidates, it has a strong reporting system and we offer a 24/7 service. We are therefore not only offering Software As A Service, we are offering Software AND A Service.

“Consider the world as a village and work harder than the rest.”
Inge, how has the rise of the internet, social media, smartphones and tablets changed the application process?

The application process has become much faster, and social media have made our world much ‘smaller’. You can now establish and maintain professional and private contacts in the blink of an eye. And above all, nowadays everyone can build his or her own personal brand.

How can applicants benefit from all this?

This depends on the kind of job you are looking for. Above all else though, make sure that your are better and that you work harder than the rest. Take care of your communication and build your personal brand consciously. A strong brand does not grow on trees. It requires hard work.

It also helps to consider the world as a village. Get out of your comfort zone and work hard. Don’t see your iPhone as a device to take pictures of your children, but as a device to check your emails.

Do applicants with good social media skills have an unfair advantage over other applicants?

Is it unfair to benefit when you put hard work in building a brand and an audience? I don’t think so. Make sure you are an early adopter and use the internet and social media to distinguish yourself from the rest.

“Old school recruiters: It is time for a new business model!”
What are the biggest changes in recruitment?

Recruitment is much faster than it was 10 years ago. And it goes on all day! 90% of the candidates apply during office hours from their workplace, but recruiters have to be accessible after office hours as well.

Furthermore, the concept of exclusiveness has disappeared. Previously, as a recruitment office you could often search candidates for your clients as an exclusive partner. Nowadays more and more candidates apply independently through company websites.

How do you think the recruitment process will evolve in the coming years?

Old school recruiters should seriously question their business model. Traditional recruiters work at a fixed rate: they search for candidates and they receive a reward after the hire. The higher the salary of the successful candidate, the higher the reward.

This is not a win-win situtation, because the companies that hire the candidates are paying high fees. Without a win-win situation for the candidate, the recruiter AND the recruiting company, this business model is no longer sustainable.

How can recruiters adapt?

Recruiters and employers need to realize that the best resumes are not necessarily submitted through job boards or by recruiters. More often than not, the most valuable applications are received through the company website. Unfortunately, most companies do not have the time to screen all these resumes.

Here lies an opportunity for recruiters: recruiters can help companies from the inside. Companies can employ (freelance) part-time or full-time recruiters to screen resumes and to support the recruitment process.

What do you think of recruiters using social media?

I Google everybody! I often hear that work and private life should be kept separate, but that is outdated. If that would be true, then employees should not visit social media during working hours either… If employees and applicants are not separating private life and work, then why should I?

“Believe in yourself. If you don’t, then why should I?”
Inge, what is your ‘golden tip’ for applicants?

Believe in yourself! If you don’t believe in yourself, then why should I or any other employer believe in you? Confidence is often the biggest enemy of applicants. Get over your fear and show your confidence with a smart financial proposition.

A sales manager should not expect to earn 5,000 euro fixed, but he may earn 15,000 euro on target. And a developer who wants to work ‘on code’ looks much more confident than a developer who expects a fixed monthly fee.

What advice would you give to recruiters?

Partner with your clients and create mutually beneficial relationships. Unilateral contracts that are only for the benefit of one party will not live long! Such business models are not sustainable. Aim at being a valuable partner instead, and you will be much less susceptible to the economic climate.

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