New consultant Kevin talks about his first experiences at Select

Published on: 1 June 2018
Antwerp's office is growing. At the beginning of January, an ambitious young man got his start in the Klipperstraat: Kevin Van Endert. He's coming on board to give the Technics Business Unit a boost. Kevin and his colleague will work as a team to create a talent pool of technical profiles that he can later present to companies. We asked him how the first few weeks at the office in Antwerp went and what he thought about our approach.

What made you decide to work with Select?

Consultancy in the sense of project sourcing was really nothing for me. I worked for one year and 9 months for an incredibly competitive company, and it was nothing less than body shopping. It was a never-ending drive to sell people, the constant push, push, push. I wanted to be able to put quality first again and keep working in the HR sector at the same time. HR consultancy is something that truly piques my interest, and in my opinion, the best, and most enjoyable part of that is conversing with candidates. It's for that reason that Select seemed like the best option.

How did you end up here?

‘By applying to a new opening listed on the website! I was invited in for an interview with the office manager and there was a click, right from the start. What I noticed was that at Select there was a clear plan of action. What’s more, unlike my previous job interviews, the focus was not on the range of duties. The key issue was that Select had a clear vision, which just so happened to coincide with my own: the candidate comes first.

The homely atmosphere, the open communication, the way of conducting interviews: for me these were all signs that I should opt for Select. After my second interview I came home and told my girlfriend, I would already be really disappointed if I didn't have the chance to start working at Select.'

How does this differ the most from your previous job?

My starting point was always the job vacancy, not the candidate. And everything had to go faster and faster: interviews lasted 20 minutes and and didn’t go any further than: ‘Are you able to draw using Tekla?’ Is it something you enjoy doing? How soon will you be available?’ At Select, it’s possible to have a much more in-depth interview with candidates. That way you’re also able to deliver quality and you can show genuine interest at the same time. It opens up the possibility to ask questions like: ‘What kind of job would you like to do? What are things that you enjoy doing?’ Afterwards, I always ask what the candidate thinks of the interview too. Out of six interviews, six had already been seen as a positive experience.

How did your first day go?

My first day started out eating breakfast with colleagues. It wasn’t just the usual, 'This is your new colleague Kevin' followed by everyone going back to their work after five minutes. No, we really took the time to get to know one another. Additionally, guidance is provided from day one, and a whole onboarding process is rolled out to bring you up to speed. It’s such a relief. You can get started at a relaxed pace and you and your manager can exchange ideas about targets and share your thoughts about the different expectations. The bar isn't set at an impossibly high level straight away. Instead the bar is gradually raised to a higher position through teamwork. The training courses are also a huge asset.

At Select, new employees do in fact follow an onboarding process, which also entails a kick-off. How did you experience that?

I thought it was fascinating. In a day's time you get to know all the other newcomers from the other offices. You notice that all the ideas overlap, but that there are still varying points of emphasis. Everyone works differently, but we all have something in common. We are all looking to aim for the same target, we're all warm and engaging people. I'm now also very aware that everyone in this broad Select network is prepared to jump in and lend a hand. There isn’t really a barrier between us. This style of communication is fantastic.

At Select we also try to foster this network by using a mentorship programme. Who is your mentor?

My mentor is Mieke, who works at Select's Hasselt office. She's a great person who's been working at Select for quite some time already. There's a serious benefit to having a mentor who doesn’t work in the same office. You can ask strictly practical questions about programmes and systems, but you can also ask how she would personally tackle a certain problem. This is yet another perfect example of how the entire Select network is open to communication and teamwork.

You started at the beginning of January, how did the first weeks go?

I didn’t make any major breakthroughs in the first few weeks. From my first day on the job, I noticed that I was lagging behind my more experienced colleagues. That means I still have to work hard to keep up, but I have every confidence that it will all work out. My colleagues give me continuous feedback, which I love. The mix between the young and the experienced is a healthy one, and my manager also gives me all sorts of helpful tips. She's a woman with real ambition, who has no trouble clearly communicating her expectations. That’s exactly the kind of person I enjoy working with.

What are your future plans within Select as an organisation?

To keep on growing: follow the training courses, attend the seminars. This is a place where the company's human capital is really invested in . Here I'll truly be able to develop in my profession, but it won’t stop there. There's so much more that comes along with it. In just the past few weeks, I've already learned leaps and bounds more than I did during my entire previous work experience. When I was there, it happened more than once that I was told to figure things out on my own. I'm pretty self-sufficient by nature, but still, the help pouring in from all sides is the perfect example of the warm and engaging communication at Select.