Insightful Walk: Ilse & Stéphanie
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Insightful Walk: Ilse & Stéphanie

Stéphanie, Business Development Manager, and Ilse, Managing Partner went for a walk in Ghent at the Watersportbaan. For Ilse an inspiring place, as she explains in the article below. They talked about how the past year has changed the recruitment market, the importance of good conversations and the joy of customer satisfaction. 

Why did you choose this place for the walk?   

Stéphanie:  Ilse suggested this place and I was happy to come to Ghent. Because of COVID, I hardly ever worked at our office in Ghent last year. Normally, I commuted from Brussels to Ghent almost every week to see my colleagues. 

Ilse:  The Waterstportbaan is the place where many residents of Ghent come to exercise. I find it an inspiring environment because our job has a link with distance running. Every assignment requires stamina and to complete an assignment successfully, we run a half or full marathons. Moreover, the biochemical substances that are released during the run and that give satisfaction, are similar to the job satisfaction we experience both during and after completing an assignment. Finally, both in sports and in our job, training and practice are of crucial importance to maintain and increase your skills.  

Have you noticed any changes in the recruitment market over the past year? 

Stéphanie:  What I have noticed in particular, is the increased focus on support and C-level positions in the legal profession and we receive many requests for e.g. the new Head of HR or Head of Business Development for a law firm. Last year, we also conducted research about C-level positions within the legal profession and more specifically into the COO role. You can read the results of this research on our blog

Last year was of course also the year of virtual recruitment and onboarding. It is clear that there are many advantages to a (partly) digital selection process, but personal face-to-face contact remains important, both during the selection process and afterwards during onboarding.  

Ilse:  That's right. In the future, recruitment processes will be able to run more efficiently and quickly if at least part of the interviews can continue to take place virtually. However, I would also recommend having the final interview in person before the parties decide to work together.   

Something else we noticed at YouConnect is that the number of recruitment assignments for legal and HR profiles is clearly on the rise. The number of legal searches has been growing steadily since the second half of 2020. This was remarkable because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We expect this trend to continue. 

Did you take more time for certain things during the past year?  

Stephanie:  Now that both my partner and I were travelling much less, we enjoyed spending more time with our three-year-old son. Having dinner together in the evening and spending quality time together is something that didn't happen as often before the lockdown. 

I've also been reading more books and listening to more podcasts for a year now. Before COVID, I hardly ever listened to a podcast but now I put one on several times a week while walking the dog.  

Ilse:  I took more time for conversations. The nature of the conversations we had with many candidates and clients was different. You could feel that everyone was less in a rush and the conversations were also more personal. The setting at home, sometimes in the living room, with or without a beautiful work of art (including children's drawings) in the background, clearly lends itself better to this. We are very grateful for all those open conversations in which we receive a lot of information.  

Did you recently receive a nice reaction from a client or candidate that you will not easily forget?  

Stéphanie:  Candidates who say very enthusiastically: I would advise everyone to come and speak to you if they want to change jobs. And then when I notice afterwards that candidates come to us because we were recommended by someone they know, that is really great. The same goes for clients who contact YouConnect because we were recommended by their network.  

Ilse:  A candidate recently said that YouConnect was the first recruitment agency that had been able to win his trust, and that we really make a difference in our approach. This is by far the nicest compliment you can get as a recruiter.  

Thank you Ilse and Stephanie!  

Ilse & Stephanie went for a walk at the Watersportbaan in Ghent. The Watersportbaan is officially called the National Watersportbaan Georges Nachez. It is 2300 meters long, 76 meters wide and a popular spot for rowers. The Watersportbaan is also very popular with joggers and runners. 

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