Skip to main content

Understanding Skills To Improve Recruitment And Retention Top Of Mind For Talent Leaders In The Netherlands

The Beamery team strives to speak to business leaders about the challenges facing forward-thinking talent teams across the world and share these insights at macro and micro levels. We believe peers sharing and learning from one another will expedite our mission to unlock the potential of human talent. We hope you find this helpful.

A great example of this was a series of roundtables hosted in collaboration with Recruiters United at the wonderful Bij Quinis restaurant in Lijnden, near Amsterdam. Present were talent directors representing some of the largest manufacturing, infrastructure, Telco, FMCG, and financial services companies in the Netherlands. As the conversation was conducted under Chatham House rules, the details of the attendees have been held back.

Johan Soderstorm, RVP for Continental Europe at Beamery, presented the findings from our survey of 500+ global talent leaders and 1000+ Netherlands based employees. Data points like the fact that 47% of employees in the Netherlands are considering changing jobs, and that 1 in 5 would stay with their current employer if they had access to more internal opportunities, provided the food for thought –- to go along with the excellent actual food being served!


Skills are the fundamental building block

Right away, the attendees acknowledged that the definition of “skills” was quite nuanced; for instance, does it incorporate behavioral competencies and values? The overlap between the desire to learn new skills and the availability of relevant learning programmes is another dimension. 

However, there was consensus on the fact that skills are the first principles from which great talent management programmes can be built. 

The conversation then shifted to the fact that most of the organizations represented around the room had their data set up in silos (e.g. TA, HR, Organizational Development), so it is very hard to get a holistic view of skills within the business. One speaker felt this was a key blocker in enabling internal mobility and reskilling. 

While every company had an ATS, it was felt these were not best suited to delivering the best candidate experience – especially at scale. One attendee mentioned that, for their B2C-focussed business, every prospective employee was also a prospective or current customer… so a poor experience could not only lead to fewer applicants, but also have a direct impact on revenue.

A skills framework is necessary, but in a rapidly changing market it can quickly go out of date. The need to be aware of the candidate pool’s (and employees’) latest skills has to be balanced with staying compliant (e.g. with GDPR) and not making the experience feel like just a series of surveys and assessments.

How Internal Mobility ties in to talent attraction

The worlds of internal mobility and external talent attraction cannot be considered in isolation.

The cost of attrition has to be factored in when considering recruitment efforts – especially given the trend for short tenures amongst the younger generations.

To combat this, the employer value proposition must be human and tangible.
One representative said that an essential part of their talent marketing involves speaking to prospective employees about their future roles (career path) within the company. Balanced with the need to not disrupt a well functioning team, this embedded approach to internal mobility is critical to retention and engagement at this large infrastructure player in the Netherlands.

Another attendee added that this is all the more pertinent in a world of rising inflation where employees will naturally demand more salary, but will likely stay for the prospect of new learnings and a well thought out career path.


More investment in human capital management and the demands from Boards

One point thrown up by the host was that, despite the fact that organizations put a lot of effort into attracting talent, there is no such thing as a “talent success manager” as there is for a customer/supplier relationship. HR teams are meant to deliver this, but most of the people in the room agreed that the teams in their companies were largely focussed on logistical issues like salary and disciplinary reviews. A team focussed on employee success could provide human capital management (HCM) data from across the funnel – attraction, engagement and retention – something that was being requested by the boards of various companies across the Netherlands.

In fact Katy Tynan, Principal Analyst from Forrester, speaking on a webinar we’ve hosted since the roundtable, showed that most companies making up the S&P 500 had been increasing their investment in HCM steadily. The speaker also felt that this would mean standard reporting on human capital (HC) would keep evolving, but the new data will reveal insights into the relationship between HC and performance in a more granular way. And perhaps the most important piece is that HC investments will become core KPIs. Watch the full webinar here.


Spirited discussion about the office space in the post-pandemic era

Various attendees spoke to the irony of employees coming into the office and sitting in a cubicle all day. A few had even considered stipulating that certain days in the office were mandated as no-meeting days.

While most agreed remote work enabled much-needed flexibility, the circumstances of more junior employees in particular needed to be taken into consideration. Not everyone has a comfortable office from which to work at home.

Moreover, the office environment facilitated social bonds that many, particularly those aged 18-34, believe to be a key part of their working life and their attachment to a company.

Clearly, there is no perfect approach to talent management, and every organization is different. But getting this right is critical to the long term success of any large organization. Here’s to many more open-ended and honest discussions that help create more human experiences for all talent, and unlock the skills and potential of your global workforce. 

Want to find out more? Download the Beamery Talent Index - Fourth Edition - Netherlands here.