10 years at Walters People. A milestone for Kevin. He has indeed found a great work-life balance. Father of 4 young children, but every day he manages to get them to school, supervises teams in 2 offices during the day and still finds time to cycle, walk and teach his son to play football.
How did you end up working at Walters People?
Kevin: "During my last days as a student in Leuven, when I had just finished my Masters in Political Sciences and Advanced Master in European Studies, I came into contact with an acquaintance who worked for a finance recruitment organisation. I had no idea what recruitment was, so he took the time to explain it to me in detail. Although I never had the ambition to build a career in recruitment, his story immediately appealed to me. The job content, the daily contact with people: it fitted perfectly with my interests, so I started looking for vacancies in recruitment. I soon found myself at Walters People.”
Why did you choose Walters People?
"Once I knew that I wanted to work in recruitment, it was clear to me that I did not want to be a generalist. I wanted to delve into a specialisation, such as finance. I realised that the business world is always in need of good finance specialists and playing a role in this seemed immensely interesting to me. As soon as I applied for a job at Walters People, I was invited for an interview. I spoke to several people who were all incredibly open about the job and the organisation, and I immediately felt a connection. And the click was mutual because I was offered a job very quickly. This speed is typical for Walters People: quick feedback and action are still our main strengths.
The fact that Walters People is part of an international group was also a big plus for me. Not that I had or have international ambitions, but the diverse cultures and influences make it a very nice atmosphere to work in. For example, our people get the chance to follow training courses with our colleagues abroad, and consultants from other countries visit us regularly for extra training. This interaction and sharing of experiences and insights help each of us enormously.”
You have been in the organisation for 10 years now. What does this milestone mean to you?
"The Walters People of 10 years ago was still quite new and small, but this gave me the feeling at the time that there was a lot of potential to grow. 10 years is indeed a milestone, but above all it is proof that the feeling I had during my job interviews back then is a reality. Walters People has grown tremendously over the last decade. Our management team was convinced of my ability and potential and gave me the opportunity to grow with them. I grabbed this opportunity with both hands and every year I still want to be able to push my own limits and develop myself further. Sometimes I have to step out of my comfort zone, but in order to make steps you also have to dare to take extra responsibilities," says Kevin.
What steps have you taken to be a Senior Manager after 10 years?
"Walters People has grown tremendously in recent years: new offices have been opened in Belgium and our international presence has also increased. New specialisations have been added and teams have grown in size. And I got the opportunity 5 years ago to develop our activities in Antwerp. In the short term, we built a successful team and today I can say with some pride that we have become a fixed value on the Antwerp labour market for financial profiles. I have also witnessed the growth of our office in Zaventem from the first line: the juniors from back then have meanwhile grown into valuable managing consultants who in turn learn how to coach a team."
Where do you get your motivation from after all these years?
"The fact that, as a senior manager, I am still operationally active in the job is a great motivator for me. I find it important to stay in contact with candidates and clients, and it still gives me a kick when I can find an ideal match between both parties. I also want to move forward, taking my role as manager to heart. I get enormous satisfaction from training and coaching my colleagues in the team. Teaching them what my experience has taught me and seeing them grow in their own path: that is what I am doing it for. Seeing your team achieve one success after another: that is the energy I need to go for it every day.
But the consulting part of this job is also important to me. Candidates looking for a new job sometimes have high expectations. And organisations often call on us because they are looking for a white raven. At such moments, our inner consultant is awakened: the perfect candidate sometimes simply does not exist. And then it is up to us to take on an advisory role and adjust those high expectations somewhat. If you manage to do that, then your day is made!”
What do you look for when hiring for your team?
"A master or bachelor degree is important to us, but experience is certainly not a must. Graduates are more than welcome because we have an ambitious development plan to offer. I find personality and attitude more important. We work with people, so a social attitude, persuasive communication skills and a professional mindset are essential in this job. You cannot study to become a recruitment consultant, so I always check with potential new employees to see how curious and eager to learn they are. Only with such an attitude can you learn the job and be successful in it. Finally, I also try to find out how organised someone is. In this job, it is indeed important to be able to set the right priorities every day and to be flexible. After all, you’re not working on just one vacancy, but on several at once. And every customer naturally wants to be helped as quickly as possible. Good time management skills and flexibility are therefore indispensable in this job."
Do you have any further ambitions?
"Yes, I do. Of course I want to continue to grow by learning new things and pushing my own boundaries. My ambitions are also in line with Walters People's ambitions: to continue to grow! And we see this in a very broad way: developing new regions, starting new specialisations and especially increasing our market share in the current regions. But above all I want to continue to support my teams in Zaventem and Antwerp and to see them develop further.”
You are a father of 4 young children. How do you combine that with a role as senior manager responsible for 2 offices?
"The organisational talent I mentioned earlier comes in very handy here! I am responsible for the morning shift and make sure the children get to school and day care on time. Luckily this is possible at Walters People: my working day at the office starts a bit later than some colleagues without children. At Walters People we work with flexible hours: each of us has our own objectives and is given the autonomy to arrange our day as it best suits them. The fact that we can work from home two days a week also leaves us with some extra time for leisure and family. I go cycling regularly, I play indoor football and enjoy seeing my eldest son take his first steps in a football team. The sporty side is something we all enjoy at Walters People: several members of the team participate in the Antwerp 10 Miles every year. We motivate each other, challenge each other and on the day itself the competitive spirit in each of us is awakened! That too is Walters People!”
Do you see yourself as a recruitment consultant?
Check our internal vacancies and apply today. We're looking forward to welcoming you to our team.