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Sylvie Rooms


Job applicants appreciate it when you genuinely listen and make them an offer that's right for them

Sylvie Rooms

International recruitment: a (challenging) role for specialists

In 2019 Sylvie Rooms was shopping at Carrefour, when the building across the street suddenly caught her eye. That same evening, she sent her cover letter and two weeks later, it was a done deal. Soon, it will be four years that Sylvie's been with us as a sourcing consultant. "My own recruitment period went very smoothly. So, now I'm trying to bring that to candidates myself. It's a question of not missing out on the best talents."

The hunt for talent at home and abroad

As a sourcing consultant for the Maritime & Offshore business unit, Sylvie looks for experts in the Netherlands and Belgium and for our own engineering offices. "I operate in a very international and multicultural environment, where candidates from all over the world can be eligible for a job. There are currently 22 different nationalities employed by or one of our partners."

A challenging time to be a sourcing consultant

There's a great shortage on the labour market, making it a major challenge to find the right people. "As a sourcing consultant, these days, you have to even more actively seek people out. It's an advantage that we can approach an international pool of candidates. If we are specifically looking for a Dutch-speaking profile, it's a tremendous challenge."

There's a lot to consider when recruiting new employees from abroad. "Our role doesn't end once the contract is signed. We also help them with everything that's involved in a relocation to Belgium or the Netherlands. We apply for a residence and work permit for the whole family, look for schools in the area, and so on."

Employees are ambassadors

In order to select the right candidates, as a recruiter, there are various things that you should pay attention to. "When we go about recruiting candidates for one of our engineering offices, we carefully check whether the person is MULTI-minded. As an employee, you are always an ambassador for your company. This naturally also plays a role in the search for experts for our customers. But on the other hand, you also have to fit in with our customer's company. So there need to be two matches."

Motivation and personality are key

During a job interview, it's important to listen carefully to what kind of experiences the candidates have had, why they are looking for a new job and what they consider important. After all, every person has their own story. The personality test that everyone completes already gets us on the right track and serves as a guideline in the second interview.

"The motivation of the candidate sitting across from you is important. You can tell from their preparation whether they're enthusiastic about the position. Have they reviewed the website and job content? Do they ask questions about the company or the job? In order to be able to contribute to the company in the long term, the job needs to arouse their interest. As an organisation, you invest a lot of money and time in training new employees. So I have to check carefully how they see their future, especially if they are going to move here from abroad. Do I sense that they still have doubts? Then I'll suggest myself that they think it over some more. It's more valuable to wait than to get someone in as quickly as possible."

The importance of a good network

It takes time to build a substantial network. Meanwhile, Sylvie has more than a thousand people in her online network. Although it's not always easy to maintain those connections. "I try to post regularly to keep my visibility high. I also occasionally send emails or call attractive profiles in my network, so that I can keep my finger on the pulse. And it pays off, because good people know good people. For example, my connections will sometimes let me know that friends of theirs are looking for work and ask if has a job for them. That shows that they appreciate it when you genuinely listen and make them an offer that's right for them."

Good follow-up, flexibility and team spirit is a medium-sized company. This makes it possible for there to be personal follow-up from HR. There's also a lot of flexibility, both in terms of workplace and hours. "I work from one of our offices in the Netherlands once or twice a week. It's a nice change from working from home. It's also often easier to physically sit together with Dutch colleagues, so that we can take action more quickly. To minimise the risk of traffic jams, I usually leave at 6:30 am, so that I can also get home on time in the evening."

Sylvie feels that a lot of initiative is taken to do fun things with the team. "For example, there is the monthly lunch-at-the-office at our engineering offices and in June we celebrated our 25+1 anniversary with a big party at the Felix Pakhuis in Antwerp. Events like these ensure a good atmosphere both at work and after hours and allow colleagues to bond. You don't always realise it, but those aspects are of great importance in job satisfaction."

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