Insightful Walk: Kathleen & Diether
Kathleen & Diether, both recruitment consultants at youConnect, took us to the Wal-Zwijn nature reserve alongside the Schelde for a good talk about their personal experience with remote working, new hobbies and happy moments in life.
Did you notice changes in the recruitment market over the past year?
Diether: It will not come as a surprise, but remote working has really become a hot topic. Many companies, also in the law firms, have always been somewhat skeptical about it but in 2020 everyone was forced to change course. During my conversations with candidates, the subject of flexibility invariably comes up. Our clients, too, are increasingly proactive in mentioning their flexible working hours and even use it as a selling point to convince a candidate. For me personally, working from home is definitely an advantage, but it is not sacred either. It can sometimes undermine the team atmosphere. For example, I find it very nice to arrive in a full office and work together with all my colleagues. With the current flexible working arrangements, those moments have become the exception.
Kathleen: As far as I am concerned, the big advantage of teleworking is that both clients and candidates are more willing to have an online introductory meeting. The fact that the conversation can take place virtually, requires less time investment. The downside of this is that you sometimes go through a full or partial recruitment process with a candidate who, as it turns out afterwards, is not 100% convinced of the vacancy. If the interviews take place face-to-face and on location, more commitment is required from the start and candidates drop out more quickly for vacancies they find less interesting.
Are there things that you took more time for during the past year?
Diether: Cooking! I used to be in a routine and often fell back on the same dishes. During the first lockdown, I did not enjoy going to the supermarket and I switched to the well-known food boxes. So far, these have been a great success. I once again enjoy cooking and often learn about new, delicious dishes.
I am also a big music fan and last year, unfortunately, I couldn’t attend many music events. To compensate, I started listening to music more intensively at home. The result is a paid digital music subscription and the purchase of a modest DJ installation. As a lover of mainly electronic music, this is a successful new hobby.
Kathleen: As a mother of two teenagers, I am frequently called upon as a taxi service. Although I drive them around with much pleasure, it does result in a schedule of working, shopping, transporting children, waiting for the children, sleeping, and then again the next day. During the pandemic, the team sports fell away and so did the weekly training sessions and matches for my children. I suddenly had more free time and I used it well to do more sport and exercise myself. Combined with a slightly healthier way of eating, this led to a few kilos less on the scale and a better physical condition.
What made you smile recently?
Diether: During the Wishbone Week, a charity event that we organised with YouConnect, I often had a smile on my face. It was great to see how colleagues, candidates and clients supported us and really enjoyed participating. We collected € 1200 for ZOI and the chairman himself came to collect the cheque in Ghent. I enjoyed meeting him, he is a very enthusiastic and nice man.
Kathleen: I can laugh about a lot of things: the stupid comments from my children, photos, drawings or films that you see online, making fun of the current situation. Also, nice reactions from candidates who I have helped to find a new job and who genuinely show that they appreciate my intervention, bring me a lot of joy.
Kathleen & Diether went for a walk in Sint-Amands, on the banks of the Shelde, and took the ferry to the Wal-Zwijn nature reserve. Wal-Zwijn is located along the Schelde in Hamme and is partly laid out as a controlled flood area and partly de-poldered. Definitely worth a visit!