Business Case Össur

Interview with Alexander Snoeren


Hi Alexander, can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

Definitely! My name is Alexander Snoeren and I’ve been in the recruitment profession since 1999. Right after my studies personnel management, I started working in the field and I am still enjoying it!


Can you tell me a little more about your strengths?

I am really a ‘people person’ and that is directly where my greatest strength is located. I heard several times that people have experienced an interview with me as pleasant. Humor is important to me in this. Also, I have a diverse background in recruitment. I recruited for many technical roles for example, so connecting with a technically minded candidate is no issue for me as well!


Currently you are working on an assignment at Össur: can you tell a bit more about the company and their culture?

For sure! It is an Icelandic organization that aims to help people around the world improve their mobility. They do this by making prostheses and braces. Clients are therefore mainly clinics and physiotherapists. They work together with ambassadors: top athletes who use the prostheses and braces. There are also dedicated spaces in the office where these can be tested.


Personally, I find their slogan ‘Life without Limitations’ a very strong one. It is an organization where anyone may wants to work, because it has such a strong purpose and offers product(s) that are very meaningful in people their lives.


In terms of culture, it is an organisation that truly cares about their people. This becomes evident in every single aspect of the company. To name some examples: at the office they arrange a very extensive lunch for only a small compensation. Besides, there are spaces in the warehouse where employees have to stand up for a long period of time. To ensure employees do not suffer from their joints, they purchased special mats.


Össur has around 4000 employees, of which around 150 in The Netherlands. They are characterized by being fast paced, efficient and flexible. I personally find this a very pleasant environment to work in!


How exactly does your project look like?

Össur was looking for a permanent recruiter, and that vacancy had been open for a while. They then made the decision to hire an interim recruiter. That is where I came in. I ended up at Össur, due to Successr and my own network.


It was initially supposed to be an assignment for 2 months, but in the end, I worked there for 7 months and it went very well. I have filled a lot of different roles internationally. From Turkey to Mexico, and many countries in between. The atmosphere at recruitment department is very friendly and works together well with the business.


Why are Össur and Successr such a good match?

At Successr, sustainability and ‘doing the good’ are very important. It is very important to us that a company has a strong purpose and does something good for the world. Of course, Össur fits in very well with this! The human aspect also makes the organization very suitable within Successr.


Can you tell a bit more about your approach with the assignment? Where do you add (the most) value?

I usually just start with recruiting right away. But first, I did an intake to get a sense of the kind of culture. My strength is in ownership. Flexibility is important for the recruiting at Össur, as roles often need to be filled internationally. Interviews were often held in the afternoon or evening because of the time difference in, for example, Brazil and Mexico. In terms of approach, I work closely with the business, and I keep the HRBP invested.


I had never recruited in Brazil before for example, so for this assignment I really had to do some environmental research: how is the country divided? Which candidates are interesting, and which are not? These kinds of emerging markets are very interesting, and nice to see that the organization is growing so much.


In terms of roles, I have recruited very diverse: from customer care and quality inspectors to marketing communication, project management, HRBP and Program Management roles. I mainly deliver the added value in the human area. I developed a flawless sense of who is a good fit for Össur and who is not.


What do you find most challenging about your project?

The most challenging is the flexibility that is expected of you. A new function suddenly pops up sometimes, and then it must, of course be filled in. It is important to keep certain people (such as the HRBP and hiring manager) involved in this. What is very nice is that everyone is very well willing, and that people transfer tasks from each other on an ad hoc basis. You can clearly see the flexibility and fast-paced culture coming back here.


Recruitment is done on an international level. As a result, you must deal with different countries that all have their own culture. You must take this into account in your communication, and that can sometimes be quite a challenge. I always try to level with my candidate as good as possible and try to reach the same level.


What are you most proud of so far?

In general, positions are quite easy to fill in for Össur, because they are such a great company. I am most proud of the fact that I have been able to fill several important marketing and communication roles in emerging countries quite quickly. Furthermore, I am generally proud to be part of such a meaningful organization!

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