ProudConnector Unveiled: Paulien Stuer | Legal Recruitment Consultant
What is your function within YouConnect?
I started as a Legal Recruitment Consultant on 1 April 2019.
What did you do before you joined YouConnect?
In the final year of my master's degree in law, I worked in a branch of an independent bank, dealing with day-to-day banking and private loans. I then worked for four and a half years as a lawyer in a medium-sized law firm in Mechelen, where I focused mainly on corporate and contract law. A very instructive experience, but I still wanted to take a different path.
What is your daily motivation?
Having pleasant conversations with like-minded people, getting results in our searches, and finding the rare bird to fill a legal vacancy.
What attracted you to your role within YouConnect?
The daily contact with candidates and clients and the fact that in a small company like YouConnect you can find yourself taking on various other roles, in marketing or in team building, for example.
What do you think are the most important skills a recruitment consultant should have?
A natural interest in what drives people, good communication skills, and active listening.
What makes YouConnect so unique as a company?
YouConnect is a value-driven company that inspires confidence, not only in its employees but also in its customers and candidates. What’s more, there’s a consistent focus on sustainability. In choosing work locations, for example, or in building lasting relationships, and in organizing team building activities. YouConnect is also totally committed to digitization and clearly intends to be prepared for the future.
How would you describe the atmosphere among your colleagues at YouConnect?
Everyone is one hundred percent committed to the growth of YouConnect every day, and we all help each other when needed to deliver true quality every time. There is no room for competing against each other, but rather for lots of enthusiasm and feeling good about being part of a truly great company.
What kind of networker are you?
I’m a networker by nature—but not “on command” with a particular purpose. If I’m at an event for private or professional reasons, I will naturally be open and have conversations that will get me in touch with new people.
Which workplace do you prefer to work in and why?
I like a variety of work locations. But my favorites are the Stokers coworking space in the Green Quarter in Antwerp and Fosbury and Sons in Brussels. Trendy interiors, healthy food, and yoga classes make the work even more enjoyable.
Where do you get your energy from?
You can get it from every conversation. Every candidate or client can teach you something, and that is absolutely fascinating. Sometimes it’s rather technical, sometimes it is a life lesson. I get the most energy from candidates’ feedback when they tell me after the interview that they too have learned a lot from the interview.
Which characteristic do you value most about your interviewee?
Enthusiasm and honesty.
How do you deal with social media?
I try to deal consciously with social media and limit my scrolling time as much as possible. I mainly use it to discover new trends and/or bars and restaurants. A great app I just got to know is "mapstr," which helps you keep track of all your favorite places around the world, as well as looking at friends' recommendations.
What are your ambitions within YouConnect?
In October 2020, I started attending a course in digital marketing at the Ehsal Management school in Brussels. With this training, I want to get to know and be able to apply what I know on digital marketing, and more specifically, its essential concepts and tools. At YouConnect, we also focus on smart marketing, and I look forward to implement my learnings.
Which interview question do you invariably find to be the most revealing?
Where and in what circumstances do you see yourself professionally within ten years?
What type of interviewer are you?
Flexible. I prefer to schedule an interview at a time when the candidate has enough time, and we can have a thorough interview. I also make sure that I can quickly put nervous candidates at their ease.
What is your favorite season and why?
I am a lover of the mid-season, and fall in particular. In the fall, days are often sunny still and lovely for walking or a coffee date. Maybe it’s because my birthday happens to fall in that season.
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Evening is a time of day when I’m often still brimming with energy. I love evenings! I sometimes find it difficult to end the day, and can be busy until late at night with all sorts of things.
What is your record at 5 km?
I am a fervent endurance runner, but I don’t really follow my time per kilometer. Rather, I focus on the running itself—the music in my ears and the green environment to get into a runner's high.
What was your last online purchase?
A bouquet of wildflowers for a good friend who started a new job.
What is your favorite Eurovision hit?
I like the song "Euphoria" by the Swedish singer, Loreen. I didn’t watch the festival itself at the time but heard the song later on the radio. It’s one of those songs that is sometimes belted out by friends late in the evening.
What is your ultimate dream for yourself?
I don’t have a specific dream. But I would like to continue to have the opportunity to travel a lot, to meet new people and experience new cultures. "The true source of knowledge is experience."
What would you like to do one day that you have never done before?
Visit the most beautiful diving spot in the world, which would probably be on the Raja Ampat Reef in Indonesia.
What would you like to spend more time doing?
I try to make the most of the time that remains after work and household chores. I then really use "free" weekends for myself for sports, trying out a new dish, having fun with friends, and city trips if I can.
If you were going to spend some time on a desert island, what would you be sure to take with you?
A fishing line, scuba gear to discover the underwater world, music, potable water, and a knife.
What bothers you most?
Pollution, people who now unabashedly leave their used facemasks lying around on the street. Scandalous!
If you could go back in time, what time would you go to?
The flower power period! A period colored by music, freedom, experimentation, and activism.
Which famous character would you have liked to meet?
Zorro, the masked hero who fought injustice and corruption in the Old California of the Old West.
Do you prefer to cook for yourself or eat out?
I like to cook and experiment with dishes to surprise friends with a tasty meal. I really love the recipes of Ottolenghi and Donna Hay. Fine restaurants in Antwerp are BUN bar, Fiskebar, and bistro Chicane.
What moves you?
Music can really move me. I really enjoy seeing talented musicians live on stage. Oh, how I miss those concerts!
Are you a big music fan? If so, what is your all-time favorite?
Yes, enormous! I like very diverse styles like Sharon Van Etten, Billie Eilish, Local Natives, RY X, Maribou State, Against All Logic, Nu Guinea, Foals... Music can really respond to my mood of the day. It's nice to discover new music and to get a certain feeling for it. I think the Discover Weekly list on Spotify is a great tool.
What was your last holiday destination?
Gran Canaria! I got my PADI open water certification which is a diving license and saw a fantastic underwater world with octopuses, trumpet fish, butterfly rays, and stingrays.
Which 3 words best describe you?
Driven, social, and sporting
What is your favorite spot and what can you find there?
I am someone who quickly feels at home in other places. I don't really have favorite places—I like to explore new places and I would never go to the same place twice in a row. Variety is the key!
Are you a country person or a city person?
I have chosen to live in the city. I like cozy crowds, impulsive dates with friends, strolling through shopping streets and markets, and so on. But I can just as well enjoy a walk in the countryside. I recently went out for a week in the Dolomites. Trips like that into nature really recharge your batteries. The scenery was breathtaking.
What is your favorite city and why?
I have several favorite cities, and it is difficult to choose just one. I lived in Amsterdam for six months, and I have to visit that city at least once a year. Berlin, Copenhagen, and Montreal are also favorite places of mine.