Insightful Walk: Marie & Birgit
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Insightful Walk: Marie & Birgit

Even though we see our colleagues every day in virtual meetings, we noticed that there is less room for a spontaneous chat about our work experiences. An inspiring conversation with a client or candidate, an interesting article about recruitment or a fascinating blog post about the HR or legal market, we sometimes forget to share these experiences with each other.  

That is why we sent 2 colleagues out to meet each other physically, to exchange information and above all to have a nice chat. On a sunny day, Marie, HR recruitment consultant, and Birgit, HR partner, set off together and the result was a good conversation about what the past year has brought for them and the HR market.   


There are many interesting trends that we have observed in the HR market over the past year. If you had to pick out two, which ones have you noticed in particular?  

Marie:  One clear trend is that digital recruitment is now established in just about all companies. Only in the final phase there is the occasional request for a live interview with the candidate. A second trend is a result of the fact that freelancers were often obliged to work from home as well. I expect that we will have to search less regionally for suitable freelance profiles. They too are asking more frequently whether remote working (part-time or otherwise) is possible.   

In addition, we noticed that the tightness on the freelance market is increasing. We already observed this for the permanent positions, and the increasing scarcity in that area seems to have led to a greater demand for freelance consultants as well.   

Birgit:  Yes, that's absolutely right! The last few weeks we’ve been able to notice this very well. In terms of vacancies, we have noticed that all the positions in the "talent acquisition" domain are extremely popular. Whereas last year the shortages were mainly in the field of payroll consultants, the applications for recruiters can now hardly be counted. It’s important to note that there are quite a few candidates who "also" want to recruit, but I do not consider that the real recruitment professionals.    


Who do you consider to be real recruitment professionals?   

Birgit:  I mean the real professionals who see recruitment not as a starting job but as a craft. Just about all companies that are doing well today, need expert recruiters who understand how important it is to execute every step of the process according to the rules of the art. A good recruiter has a huge impact on both the growth and the image of the company he or she works for.    

Marie:  Yes, that is so true. A recruiter is someone who does more than just finding the right profiles for a particular company. You contribute to the employer brand of the company you work for, you guide candidates through the process and have to think outside the box for complex vacancies. Communication is also a very important skill. I think that is where you can really make a difference.   

Birgit:  Quite a few companies have been cautious for a while. With the relaxations in sight and the rising vaccination rate, job openings in all companies are rising sharply. I read last weekend that in Belgium we have the highest economic growth since 1988. Since 1988! That's impossible to grasp. We need so many new employees, in all companies. Therefore, in order to deal with those vacancies, we need the best recruiters possible. So, if you're reading this and you're hesitating to take the step to a freelance status as a recruiter: if you really like your job and you're good at it, don't hesitate! You will have the luxury of being able to choose where to work.   


For which things did you take more time during the last year?      

Marie: Haha. I took more time to work hard for YouConnect.  

Birgit:  Yes, Marie, you certainly did. Although it’s very important to keep the balance right.  Personally, I have to acknowledge that I didn't handle the continuous homework well. I got into a situation of "always on" and didn't guard the work-life balance. I should have handled that better. Even though it's out of my comfort zone, I have now taken the bull by the horns and started a very meaningful coaching program in that area. In addition, I've been hiking quite a bit too!   

Marie:  Yes, walking is part of my routine as well. With my 38-minute "walk around the block", I have found the ultimate way to boost my productivity when things are not going so well. I often have to force myself to go out but as soon as I get around the corner, I already feel the benefits. 

Birgit:  Besides walking, my energy level always gets a boost from talking to people. Consultations with my colleagues can really lift my spirits as well as conversations with candidates and clients.   


What are the nicest customer experiences you can think of right now?    

Birgit:  Every time a customer or candidate explicitly lets us know that we have made them happy by helping them finding the right candidate or the right job, you can't help but feel delighted. That happens quite often, and I am very proud of that.    

Marie:  For me, the icing on the cake is not just a satisfied customer but even more so a returning customer. For example, last year we got a lot of recurring business. An HR candidate becoming a client, that is the best feeling.  


Marie and Birgit went for a walk in Puyenbroeck, a provincial domain in Wachtebeke. Marie learned about the walk through the booklet "Routen". It is a flat walk with distant, beautiful views.  

For more information on the article or HR related issues, feel free to contact Marie & Birgit here




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