Interview with Chrissy Broeders
Hi Chrissy, you are currently on an assignment at VanderLande. First, could you tell us a bit more about the company?
Of course! I really think Vanderlande is a company that represents ‘Dutch’ pride. They have existed since 1949 and are located in Veghel but have since then grown into a global multinational with almost 8000 employees.
Vanderlande is the worldwide market leader for automated logistics systems at airports. These systems can now be found at 600 airports, including 12 of the world’s top 20. They have also grown into two other industries. The first is parcel handling services, such as UPS, which ship 4 trillion(!) packages a year around the world. And warehousing solutions as well, where distribution centers are fully automated with the latest technology. 15 of the largest food retailers use their solutions.
The focus of the company is very high-tech, working closely with their customers to improve and optimize their operational systems as much as possible.
Definitely something to be proud of! And what kind of internal culture does Vanderlande have?
Vanderlande’s culture can be described as a beautiful combination of the local Brabant family business and the large international corporate organization. The international character and professionalism are clearly present. In addition, people are absolutely central and there is an informal and helpful atmosphere. There is a certain pride and togetherness that makes it very nice to be part of this organization. This is reinforced by the “People First” strategy, personal wellbeing programs, very pleasant office spaces, the presence of internal fitness areas, game rooms and company restaurants, internal growth that is strongly motivated and all kinds of fun initiatives for the staff.
How nice to hear! And you, what exactly do you do at VanderLande?
I started at Vanderlande as a Customer Lead. I first started in an operational role to get a good feeling for the organization. From there I further expanded the team with other Successr colleagues and trained a sourcing team. We thought it was important to know exactly what kind of organization we work in, so we made two extensive company visits with a tour and a meet & greet with all hiring managers to really get a good picture. Over time, my role shifted from operational to more strategic.
How did this collaboration between Vanderlande and Successr actually happened? What did they need help with?
Our director Dorus had done an interim consultancy assignment within the global HR team of Vanderlande, so contact was made early on.
The most important question they had was to have a flexible layer around the permanent recruitment team. A broad capacity issue that affects many companies. When hiring and training a recruiter, there is always a fairly long lead time, which means that you will be behind as a company. As a Talent Design House, we therefore sat down with them and offered a solution. This consists of a long-term partnership, in which we make various recruiters and sourcers available from Successr in order to be able to scale up and down flexibly according to their needs. They do not necessarily work full-time but pick up a selection of vacancies according to need. In addition, we also provide service delivery in the form of full-time sourcing support to the permanent recruitment team.
This has proven to be very successful so far. About 120 vacancies were filled in the first year, for both the head office in Veghel and large customer locations such as Schiphol and the AH distribution center in Zaandam. We focused in particular on positions that are difficult to fill where there is a scarcity on the labor market and active sourcing was the key to success. Successr’s hybrid team consisted of 3 recruiters and 1 sourcer at Vanderlande internally and another 5 sourcers in the Successr back office.
Can you tell us a little more about how Successr approaches such an assignment? Where do we add (the most) value?
Sure! I think it’s the combination of recruitment and sourcing. We had a scope with vacancies that were very difficult to fill. So outside of operational recruitment, other actions are needed to find the right people. An example of this is our sourcing bootcamp. Under the guidance of a hiring manager and a very specific sourcing strategy, we found 500 new potential local candidates for the position of electrical engineer in 1 day. We add the most value in our original ways of seeking and from our determination.
What do you personally find most challenging about this collaboration with Vanderlande?
For me, those are the hard-to-find profiles. The moment you start working in recruitment, you build up a certain network, but in the long run it will of course be difficult to find people for similar roles. I think this is a big misconception in recruitment: that it is easier to recruit for many of the same type of profile. But this is exactly the other way around, every time you have to be more creative. The collaboration with Vanderlande went very smoothly. A good way of working has been established with the sourcing team, the recruiters and the business.
And finally, what are you most proud of so far?
We have appropriated a very scarce target group (all-round service technicians and electrical engineers) as a team. These are very difficult positions to fill, and I am proud that we manage to do this again and again! We also really make a difference in the alternative sourcing methods that we have developed. In the time we have been at Vanderlande we have been able to fill almost all those vacancies within a short time. This gives me a great sense of satisfaction and meaning!