Investing in
people pays off

Chapter

01

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3 min

The interviewees

José Brenninkmeijer, Elvira Schuurman, Patrick de Zoete

We invest a lot in our people, even before we hire them. In the recruitment process, the interviews are set up very carefully with in-depth conversations, and new colleagues follow an comprehensive onboarding program. In addition, we offer extensive guidance through buddies and coaches, and will soon launch the Schuberg Philis Academy. Three colleagues from our People team – Patrick de Zoete (Mission Critical Engineer and coach), José Brenninkmeijer (Managing Director) and Elvira Schuurman (Recruitment Lead) – explain why investing in people pays off.

José: “Treating each other like family is part of our DNA at Schuberg Philis. During the current Covid-19 crisis, we catch up regularly through livestreams with many colleagues at once. The questions people send in before these calls are all very similar: how can we help each other out? Because we are a very stable company, we care about our environment and feel responsible for everyone connected to Schuberg Philis. That includes the cleaning staff, our go-to bakery, and the weekly donation to the food bank, which we haven’t missed once.”

Patrick: “We want everyone to feel included. We keep an eye on each other and have a lot of mutual trust, but we do ask something in return: active participation. You have to have an opinion, tell us what you think. You’re part of the family now, so you’re entitled to have a say about what goes on here. And as what we excel at is embracing new challenges, we always welcome new perspectives to keep us on our toes.”

The people we’re looking for have a kind of authentic engagement that really makes a difference.

Elvira Schuurman

Elvira: “Being transparent and inviting active participation is typically Schuberg Philis. During my own introductory conversation, the interviewers started talking immediately about recent changes to the governmental 30% tax ruling for expats. They started on that topic with a lot of energy. Even before everybody had introduced themselves, they already asked: ‘But you’re at Booking.com, right? So you know what we’re talking about. How do you handle it at your company?’ Just like that, no preliminaries, you’re immediately invited to dive into the conversation. In my current role as recruitment lead, I’m on the other side of that exchange. Together with the team and the rest of the organization, I also invite candidates to be themselves from the get-go. Even in that first talk, we ask about things people are proud of. Or things that frustrate them. Because there’s always a story behind that frustration, and we want to know what it is. Do you take a few steps back and hide behind your manager, or do you step up and say: ‘This is no way to do this,’ or ‘This is what I think.’ Those are the people we’re looking for. It’s that kind of authentic engagement that really makes a difference.”

Patrick: “We take the long view, so we want to select people who are authentic, independent and proactive. That’s why the recruitment procedure is so thorough, with at least three interviews of 90 minutes each or longer. And we pay close attention to each candidate’s individual personality and the match with our company. Once you’ve been hired, we also keep a keen eye on that match during the intensive period that follows. You get a special onboarding program for your team, and you’re assigned a buddy and a coach. The team gets you up to speed in terms of work, the customer, and your daily responsibilities.”

Elvira: “We take our time to do things right. The onboarding period takes six months, and during that period you also take part in three round-table conversations for new colleagues. In those talks, our main focus is on your onboarding rather than your performance. What went well? What can we do better? What do you need from us? Do you have enough information? Are your buddy and your coach available enough? If the answer to any of those questions is ‘no,’ we take action.”

Patrick: “Beyond the onboarding program, we of course continue to invest in our people’s ongoing professional development. Education and training are an important part of that. This is why we are investing heavily in the Schuberg Philis Academy.”

José: “The Academy, which is currently under construction, is a way for us to gauge the development needs within the organization and respond with an offering to develop specific professional courses and training programs. As Schuberg Philis, we’re good at coming up with solutions. That requires craftsmanship, creativity, collaboration, and inspiration. That’s why everyone’s individual development matters so much to us. For example, we have provided customized educational resources like design thinking workshops and culture training programs. Development and education require a tailor-made approach, and we want to respond to our colleagues’ wishes—on both the individual and group levels.”

Patrick: “Because of our extensive onboarding program, the subsequent personal guidance, the Academy, and the overall corporate culture, few people leave Schuberg Philis. And we have very low levels of employee turnover and sick leave. Our recruitment process may be strict, but the people who join us tend to stick around. I should know, I’ve been here since 2001… ☺”

  • José Brenninkmeijer

    Managing Director

    José Brenninkmeijer

    01/03

  • Elvira Schuurman

    Recruitment Lead

    Elvira Schuurman

    02/03

  • Patrick de Zoete

    Mission Critical Engineer and coach

    Patrick de Zoete

    03/03