Attracting new colleagues is a mission-critical priority for Schuberg Philis. In 2018, more than 65 new colleagues were recruited, almost twice the number in 2017. There's also been encouraging progress toward greater diversity: more women, more young talent, and more colleagues with different cultural backgrounds, from within the Netherlands and from outside. Recruitment specialists Tjeerd de Graaf and Elvira Schuurman share their experiences and look ahead.
"We are evolving as a company, and new roles are emerging."
Given our substantial growth and changes in our responsibilities in relation to customers, we are actively looking for people who are a good match with our existing teams. Tjeerd de Graaf: "We are evolving as a company, and new roles are emerging, for which we need to recruit people with different characteristics. For example, engineers with a more consultancy-style background. In addition, the search for young talent is a relatively recent development."
Fortunately, Tjeerd and Elvira don't have to do all of this themselves. Tjeerd: "Recruitment has always been 'mission-critical' for Schuberg Philis. Being aware that recruitment is not a department, and that we need everyone to chip in if we want to do it well is an essential mindset. We are happy to see that awareness has increased and that teams have been stepping up. We even see younger engineers asking to participate in the interview process." Elvira Schuurman is a new colleague in the team. She recently joined from Booking.com: "It's quite special to see that the entire company is so involved in finding new colleagues. The engagement of engineers and other colleagues is essential to ensure that we recruit the right people at both the company and the team level. This kind of attention and involvement is not self-evident in other companies." Building on this attention and engagement, the Recruitment Team sees many opportunities to improve the applicant journey and onboarding process, and also to support the learning and development experience; they are developing a seamless interview experience and a broader onboarding process within the teams in addition to the current week-long company-wide program, young talent programs, and diversity initiatives.
Recruitment is by its nature a support function. With the current desire to grow and to innovate, recruitment intend to ramp up their game to ensure that the company can develop to its fullest potential. Elvira: "Big wins can be made by increasing the visibility of the Schuberg Philis employer brand in the market. There are too many people who haven't heard of us, and to be honest, I was one of them when I was approached last year. This is a great company with amazing people and innovative approaches. There's a lot of knowledge and many exciting opportunities to share with communities what we do, what we represent and what we're working toward. Together, this shapes a story of who we are and where we're going. This work involves elements of recruitment, employer branding, and marketing. For example, you can engage people and communities with content that matches the interests of these audiences.
Events are not new at Schuberg Philis and we can build on these initiatives and continue to arrange more opportunities for people to engage, network, and feel welcome to discuss a topic or to learn something new. We can clearly agree in advance whether an event is a recruitment opportunity or not so that we manage expectations and ensure a pleasant way to socialize.
Ultimately, by doing employer branding well we aim to make sure we're on people's minds and establish a situation in which people already know about the company, personally or through their network, and have a positive impression of it. Then, whether they apply on their own initiative or when approached by one of our recruiters, they're already excited about our DNA and the tech we work with."
The 100% story
In the coming months we want to raise our visibility with a more consistent story in the places where we want to be seen. This requires us to be in tune with the larger Schuberg Philis story, with a clear picture of what 100% means for our colleagues. Elvira: "We should also be better at putting ourselves in the shoes of our candidates. For example, if we want to recruit more people from overseas: what does the 100% story mean for them, in terms of colleague well-being? It entails shared responsibility and making a difference. For example, at Booking.com we had a partner program, which included social activities for the partners of new recruits, so that they could connect with one another and find their feet in the Netherlands."
When we look at trends in the world of recruitment, it's no surprise that AI is also well represented there. Elvira: "Every recruitment conference in recent years has picked up on the potential of AI; however, I see limited possibilities for AI in recruitment given the need for a human touch. Technology can match buzz words within a vacancy and a resume, but finding an authentic match still requires a human approach. This is currently at the core of what we do. I do recognize the benefits of automating steps and processes and being able to provide valuable insights by using the right technology (e.g. an application tracking system, candidate relationship management tool, and scheduling system). We have exciting plans to do something concrete in this area soon."
Naturally there's still a lot more to be done. As a 'newbie', Elvira sees many great opportunities, such as improving our current onboarding program and establishing an official young talent program. Education and capacity building are becoming more important and can be better structured; the Schuberg Philis Academy is a great example that can be expanded. Tjeerd: "I, and many of my colleagues, are increasingly enthusiastic about a talent program. We realize that a younger group has specific needs, but the talents, energy, and different perspective that they bring with them are very positive for developments within the company."
We continue to set high standards, because it's the only route to sustainable success and, to succeed at Schuberg Philis, you need strengths in several areas: technology, but also a capacity for learning and personal skills. In return you will work on mission-critical projects with engineers of the highest caliber, and you'll have all the room you need for growth. Expectations are high on both sides. That makes finding a match more labor-intensive, but also more rewarding.