Insightful Walk: Mieke & Paulien
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Insightful Walk: Mieke & Paulien

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. 

That is why we are sending 2 colleagues out to meet each other physically, to exchange information and above all to have a nice chat. Two of our recruitment consultants, Paulien and Mieke, had an interesting chat about trends in the HR market and their advice on how to handle the challenges we all faced during the past year.  


As recruiters, what trends have you noticed in the legal market over the past year?    

Mieke:  We can't ignore the fact that the pandemic has set a lot of things in motion. Just think about remote working on an unprecedented scale, the strong digitization in various areas, such as in the online selection process and the onboarding, and the even greater importance of a digital presence and employer branding as a company due to the elimination of all events etc. This has proven to be a huge challenge for many HR professionals.   

Paulien:  We saw huge differences in how companies dealt with these challenges. For the companies that already had a digital edge, it was a less drastic adjustment. They already had the right online tools, were used to paperless working and already had a home working policy. For others, it was a period of complete digital conversion with all the associated challenges and problems.  

Mieke:  We also saw that many HR professionals were under strong pressure due to all the changes and were challenged in their creativity. Because we are in contact with many different clients, we were regularly asked by HR managers how other companies dealt with all the challenges that arose. Topics that often came back included working from home, monitoring the well-being of employees, managing a team from afar and the challenge of maintaining the team's involvement with the company and the cohesion within the team.   


As a recruiting company, what advice have you given to your clients and candidates?   

Paulien:  A value we hold dear at YouConnect is empathy. In addition to focusing on results, our advice as a company was to also focus enough on the well-being of employees and literally ask "How are you doing?", "Can you create a good workplace at home?". In other words, touch base with your employees on a regular basis.   

Mieke:  The companies that continued to focus on well-being and on the connection with their employees, made the difference in terms of employee retention. The work experience of candidates sometimes changed significantly and led to them also becoming more emotionally distanced from their work because of the continuous homeworking. In addition, informal contacts with colleagues and customers fell away, leaving candidates more strongly confronted with pure job content.   

Paulien:  Yes, I also came to this conclusion during my interviews. Where we saw that the 1st lock-down led to a strong decline in job mobility, it then rose again. The uncertainty did not stop certain candidates from taking the step towards a new challenge after a period of reflection. We saw that the less seniority candidates had, the more they changed jobs.    


What are some great client experiences, of both candidates and companies, that you can share?    

Mieke:  We organized a pilot project with YouConnect in which we helped young law graduates in their search for their first job. We introduced them to the legal market, simulated an interview and gave them a helping hand in preparing for their first job interview. When you then receive a message from your candidate that they have accepted a job offer shortly after this project thanks to your help, it gives you a lot of satisfaction.   


Mieke and Paulien opted for an early morning walk in the Liedekerke forest, a central location for both and close to our co-working space in Brussels. Animal lovers will definitely appreciate the Liederkerke forest. During their walk, Paulien & Marie stood eye to eye with a deer! Fantastic right?   

For more information on the article or Legal related issues, feel free to contact Mieke & Paulien here

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