At Selectum, we have very experienced staff. A large number of our colleagues have many years of extensive experience in seconding technical professionals. In combination with their technical and/or mediation background, they are able to reach agreement quickly with both candidates and clients. Read their stories below.
I’ve actually been working for Selectum since 2004, but it in a completely different position: as a document controller on various projects in the Oil & Gas industry. Since June 2019, I’ve been working as a recruiter at Selectum to find the best candidates for that same industry.
How did you end up at Selectum?
At the time, I was contacted by Mark Koster. He was looking for a document controller to work on the RemiCap150 Project at BNT. Document controllers ensure the quality of technical project documentation. It’s a service-oriented job in a supporting role to the project and the engineers involved. You’re responsible for monitoring the documentation workflow from the BfD phase to the construction stage, including the various approval cycles.
As a document controller, I’ve acquired a large network and learnt a great deal about the area of expertise. In my new role as a recruiter, I benefit from this every day. I understand what candidates are saying, which allows me to quickly find them the right job.
When I came to work for Selectum, the company was only just starting up, but its character and core values haven’t changed over the years. Which is extraordinary for a growing company with a steadily increasing impact. We are and will always be a recruitment agency with a human face and a warm family atmosphere. For example, we never forget a birthday. Each year, every colleague at Selectum can count on a personal gift.
Why do I like my job at Selectum so much? Because everyone works together with great integrity and enthusiasm. What can be more satisfying than finding each candidate the right challenging job or project? And providing our clients with the best candidates? Of course, we are a commercial company and we want to grow our business. But still, our focus is on continuously improving our service to our candidates and clients. Our service is our focal point and that is very much appreciated. That’s why at Selectum, recruitment will never feel like cattle trading.
What developments do you predict in the Oil & Gas industry?
The Oil & Gas industry is currently tapping into and developing new, sustainable sources of energy alongside the traditional ones.
And we now have clients who exclusively focus on wind farms, for example, and other non-fossil energy sources. For now, the demand for oil and gas is still high, but in the near future, more and more complementary industries will develop within the sustainable energy sector.
This means that we’ll increasingly be recruiting candidates who have proven experience with renewable energy and ecological ways to produce energy.
Each day, we work to achieve the best possible match between experienced candidates and challenging (and socially relevant) jobs in engineering. And together, we’re sure to reach our goal!
Andrea, can you please tell us about your job?
Yes, of course. I’ve been working at Selectum since March 11th, 2019 and my job consists mainly of ‘conventional’ recruiting activities. I search for potential new candidates for the technical side of Oil & Gas, like general engineers, supervisors, E&I and mechanical engineers. But I also recruit project support specialists, like document controllers and project assistants. I was added to the team in a supporting role to Lennaert van Zon and Mark van Zundert.
Do you have a specialisation?
Over the years, I’ve become increasingly familiar with the industrial sector. When I was working at Strukton, I was seconded as a document controller to projects like the high-speed line and North-South line. After that, I was given the opportunity to start working in recruitment. Being a recruiter and listening to the professionals is an ideal learning curve to explore the technical world. It has allowed me to specialize in the industrial sector and build up a solid network.
What do you like most about your job?
I love the fact that my activities at Selectum are purely about recruiting. In the past, I used to have all kinds of tasks in other areas, like conducting progress or exploratory interviews with employees and clients, writing vacancy announcements, and coordinating and onboarding junior recruiters. In my current role, I spend most of my time at a desk, and I appreciate that focus.
Despite the clearly defined framework, every day is different. Usually I start by making a plan for the day, but things almost always go differently than planned. And that variety is exactly what I like about the work. Every phone call is different and can vary from a sales call or a conversation with a candidate to an introductory interview to expand my network.
My key goal is to build a relationship with the candidate and to prepare the person concerned for a position, either now or in the future. This way I contribute to the happiness of the candidate, the client and, of course, Selectum, which gives me a real buzz.
There is a strong atmosphere of solidarity. For example, there is excellent cooperation between sales and recruitment, which increases our adaptability and gives us a positive drive. We know exactly what our clients need and what our candidates have to offer.
And I just love the informal atmosphere here at the office. Everyone is open to each other’s ideas and opinions. We all work hard, are passionate about what we do, but we also laugh a great deal. It can be extremely quiet in here, when everyone is focusing on their work, but then someone makes a joke and three minutes later we’ll all be trying to beat each other at table football.
How did you first get into touch with Selectum?
In 2001, I was approached by a temporary employment agency for a position as document controller at Strukton. After that, things took off for me in the technical industry. First, I was outsourced as a document controller, later as a recruiter. So, I had already heard of Selectum in my work. When Alban Zymberi approached me on LinkedIn and invited me for an informal conversation, I was not interested at first. I really wanted to work as a corporate recruiter (on the client side), rather than at a recruitment agency. But when Paul Haers called me and asked me what I wanted and how I saw my future career, we had such a nice conversation that I decided to go and talk to them after all.
After that first interview, they immediately offered me a job, urging me to think about it very carefully. The opposite of what I expected! I was so impressed by their decisive and welcoming attitude that I didn’t have to think long. And I haven’t regretted this step for a second – I’m exactly where I want to be.
What developments do you predict in recruitment?
In the last 10 years, recruitment has moved to online. We communicate via LinkedIn, WhatsApp and every other online platform you can think of. I myself try to free up more time to call people, a quick and personal way to get an answer and grow my network.
What’s on your agenda for today?
This morning, I helped my colleagues Alban Zymberi and Remco Piso with recruitment for Construction & Civil Engineering.
This afternoon, I’ll prepare the contract for a supervisor who will be working at a tank terminal. After that, I need to answer some e-mails and make a few calls. Within the Oil & Gas branch, we deal with expats as well, which for me is a fun aspect of working at Selectum. For these expats (knowledge migrants) we take care of anything from contracts and immigration papers to housing. I mainly deal with Dutch candidates, but for them too, we have customized contracts, especially regarding the fringe benefits.
Any famous last words?
Seize the day. Enjoy the moment. And it’s important to always have something to look forward to. I’m very grateful for everything I have – family, friends, my partner. That’s why I try to live every day like it’s a party.
I’ve been working as a recruiter at Selectum since November 1st, 2017. I read the incoming letters from job applicants, decide if their talents match our vacancies and then select the most suitable candidate for the job. In addition to applications, I often use my own network to find a match. Any potential candidates are then presented to our clients.
How I got this job? Before I came to work here, I was placed in a number of jobs by Selectum and that’s how I met Mark van Zundert and Lennaert van Zon. In addition, I’ve always been interested in engineering. I like building things, fixing them, solving technical problems creatively. Selling a certain product is one thing, but there’s nothing more satisfying than creating something with your own hands. Fortunately, I’m very handy and by now, I’ve learned a lot about engineering as well.
With the knowledge and experience I now have, I would have liked to follow a technical education. But I have great language and communicational skills and that is where my real talent lies. I react intuitively to people and easily connect to them. As a self-taught person, I learn easily on the job and am a self-starter.
When the vacancy for a recruiter at Selectum opened, I didn’t have to think long. Although I didn’t have any experience as a recruiter, I was very enthusiastic about combining my interest in technology with my networking and communicational talents. I’m curious by nature and my experience tells me what kind of person I’m looking for. Also, I like to live by Pippi Longstocking’s motto: “I’ve never tried that before, so I think I should definitely be able to do it.”
The people working at Selectum are very approachable, have a no-nonsense mentality and prefer to keep things as simple as possible, and I like that. We are a straightforward bunch, but we’ll do anything to maintain a good relationship with our network. It’s the perfect working environment for me. Working with integrity, interacting with excellent technicians in a respectful and correct manner, building durable relationships with both professionals and companies – that’s what we aim for at Selectum.
I am the latest and the youngest addition to Selectum’s recruiter pool. I started in March of 2018 and am responsible for finding and placing candidates in the field of Construction and Civil Engineering. To fill current openings, I meet with potential candidates, but I am also actively on the look-out for people looking for new challenges in Construction and Civil Engineering.
I have had a keen interest in technology from a young age. Whenever I saw something that moved or a complicated mechanism, or heard of a technical innovation, I have always wanted to know: how does it fit together? How does it work? Still, I never went the way of the ‘real’ technicians – there was always so much more that interested me.
How did I end up at Selectum? My final thesis for my Human Resource Management degree was on the changing competency profile of policy officers, and I did my research at an agency that worked with Selectum. Selectum has an excellent reputation and I thought: why not ask them if I could work for them as a recruiter. The rest is history.
The personal approach we take at Selectum towards both candidates and clients is important to me. For me personally, this means I can focus on building a relationship with a candidate, so they don’t see me as just another recruiter but as someone who can truly help find the right job for them. If an immediate placement is not in the cards, we make an extra effort with the client company: are there perhaps other options in the organisation where our candidate could make a difference? We also sometimes work with other agencies to get a candidate in the right place. After all, two are stronger than one.
My colleagues and I often join forces and discuss candidates, processes and how best to go about something. Such spontaneous discussions encourage us to be creative in dealing with the issues we face. I also love the international side of recruiting at Selectum. We are aiming to place more Dutch technical staff with companies operating on the international market, but we are also placing more international specialists in Dutch companies.
What do I like best of my job at Selectum? The personal approach – we communicate with both candidates and clients openly and candidly, and we expect them to approach us the same way. For Selectum it is vital that we are candid because we feel it is the only way to meet (mutual) expectations. In the end, it is all about finding the best person for these highly technical jobs, someone who can add value to that company’s levels of quality and innovation.
Lennaert van Zon
My education in Chemical Engineering has taught me a lot about improving processes, techniques and products, but also how to implement this in an organisation and how to inform your clients and the market of these improvements.
During internships I developed an interest in the human side of engineering, and noticed that the quality of the technical specialist could be a crucial factor during the process as well as in the end result.
Because of this experience I decided to pursue a career in job placement and recruitment. I am interested in the techniques, but my focus is on the people. The contacts with both professionals and clients make my work very dynamic. I get a lot of benefit from having a technical education; I know what our specialists are talking about, which makes it much easier to get to the heart of the matter. I can link this information with the wishes of our clients, because, naturally, you also need to take the wishes and requirements of the client into account. After finding a match, the collaboration is then about bringing the project to the desired completion. I have extensive experience in offshore recruitment, but recently have been able to add experience in the (petro-)chemical and pharmaceutical industry, and with power plants to that.
Since 2010 I am using this experience in my work for Selectum, within a team of no-nonsense co-workers that get what this business is all about: working hard trying to find the perfect match between technical professionals and companies.
Gert Jan Pleysier
I started working with Selectum on January 1, 2004. This was six months after its inception, and it was a fun challenge to help build a company up to a fully-fledged player in job placement of technical specialists. Through the years I have, like every other staff member, developed my own field of expertise; because of my previous work experience I ended up in inspection. I worked for SGS, where I have gotten to know many companies and their processes, equipment, and piping very well. After this I managed a technical recruitment agency which placed technical professionals in various positions in all areas; from design to construction and maintenance. Here I was able to expand my expertise and experience beyond the field of inspection.
From 1997 onwards, job placement has been my main focus. It is incredibly rewarding to me to assist people in finding a new job, and help companies in finding new employees. Helping people will most definitely be one of the best experiences of your life, and if you are doing this together with colleagues that share this passion, you will strengthen each other and create lots of energy. Also due to the arrival and efforts of new colleagues we can be very proud of what we have accomplished and of Selectum’s current status in the market. Our reputation is incredibly important to me, and the reason why this enduring collaboration has been so successful. Selectum stands for trustworthiness, integrity, results, and building enduring relationships with our clients and professionals, and so do I.
Mark van Zundert
Since 1990, I’ve had several jobs in the employment industry and I really enjoy it. After finishing my education in Personnel & Organization, I found a job at the HR department of a renowned financial institution. But it was not until I started working at an employment agency that I really felt at home.
The dynamics of supply and demand, the contact with people and the satisfaction of finding the right match made me realize that I had chosen the right direction. Then, after having worked as an intermediary, senior intermediary and branch manager, it was time to spread my wings.
In 1999, I started working in the multi-disciplinary world of technical project contracting, including contracting for the (petro)chemical industry and the onshore and offshore oil and gas industry. In addition to secondment, the services that are offered in these specific industries are recruitment, outplacement and training. Daily contact leads to the deployment of the right people, and this requires tailor-made solutions. We are able to find the right solution by offering the right combination of services and consultancy. The considerable differences between clients are an added challenge and make sure that our work never becomes dull.
Since 2005, I have had commercial responsibility for the activities of the technical branch of the Selectum Group. The switch to Selectum was a logical step for me: firstly, because I can work here with like-minded colleagues, and secondly, because of the professional way we serve the market, always putting people first.
One of the consequences of the development and growth that the Selectum Group is going through is the recruitment of new and very competent colleagues. We all have the opportunity to approach the market using our strengths. We work together as a team, with a lot of energy, enthusiasm, experience and knowledge.
Alison van Exel
Since October 1st, 2019 I’ve been working as an office manager at Selectum for 36 hours a week. It’s a demanding job with a lot of different input and that’s exactly what I need! I provide support for sales and recruitment, edit resumes and job ads, take care of filing and answer the phone. As well as anything else that turns up. I’m commercially minded and full of energy, so this job is a perfect fit for me.
How did you first get in touch with Selectum?
I was approached on LinkedIn by Alban Zymberi, who asked me if I was interested. His question came at the exact right time: after having worked as an office manager at Stiva for 12.5 years, I was ready for a new adventure. I like a challenge and after all those years in a familiar and safe working environment, it was time to shake things up. Now, when I get home from work, I’m tired, but I feel alive and full of energy.
How was the reception at your new workplace?
I received a very warm welcome and a large bunch of flowers. Everyone at Selectum is very helpful and interested. You can tell from everything that we are a team – we all help each other and feel responsible for the final result, whether it’s about the placement of a candidate or clearing the lunch table.
What do you like most about your job?
I like the energetic aspect of it and the fact that I deal with a lot of different people. I feel challenged, seen and I can really mean something to others. It always gives me a great feeling to be able to lighten the load for my colleagues, to take work off their hands and support them. It’s something I do well and here at Selectum, I can fully apply this talent.
Are you yourself interested in engineering?
I’m just all fingers and thumbs and I’ve never had any dealings in this world of petrochemicals, oil rigs and energy transition. And I was never really interested in it. Here, on a daily basis, I see our interesting job offers (for Process Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, and in the fields of Piping, Construction and Civil Engineering) and resumes from people who have worked on the most exciting projects all over the world. I’m learning a lot and each day, I feel a little more connected to the world of engineering.
Would you recommend Selectum to others and why?
Yes, absolutely! The atmosphere is great – warm, friendly and cooperative. Everyone here feels a joint responsibility for the success of a project, placement or event. And just as important: everyone here keeps their word. We can trust each other completely.
What’s on your agenda for today?
So many things! First, I’ll work on some vacancy announcements and resumes. These are commercial activities that I need to prioritize. After lunch, for which I buy the groceries, I’ll write the texts for the Christmas gifts and the Christmas cards. After that, I’ll organize a Christmas drink for a few candidates who have been placed at the same company. In between, I answer the phone and do odd jobs for my colleagues. There’s always a lot of work to do, but fortunately, I’m good at setting priorities.
Famous last words?
Sportsmanship is very important to me, both in the sense of physical activity and in my attitude towards colleagues and other people. Furthermore, I am a woman of my word: a deal is a deal, both at work and in my private life. That’s one of the reasons why I feel so at home at Selectum!
I’ve been part of the Selectum team since November 1st, 2018, working as a financial and administrative assistant. After a series of jobs at a travel agency and in the film business, among others, I found myself at this recruitment agency for highly qualified engineers. At Selectum, I’m responsible for all financial matters: booking invoices, paying our candidates’ salaries on time, processing declarations and overseeing NEN (Dutch standards authority) audits.
I’m very happy to be working in the pragmatic and structured environment at Selectum. Everyone has their own, clear role, but we are all open and helpful toward each other. Working together is very important to us. And although we like to challenge each other, we always do this with the greatest respect.
At my first introduction to Selectum, I immediately felt at home. My husband is an engineer, so I’m familiar with the technical world and it always seemed to me an excellent career field. All in all, I was triggered to apply for a job at Selectum.
Selectum’s most striking quality is the tailormade service offered to both clients and candidates. The contracts are always meticulously attuned to the wishes of both parties. Everything is possible, as long as it is within the law. And all those ‘exceptions’ made in a contract must be translated in financial terms. That’s what I like most about my job. At Selectum, I can dive into all kinds of specialisations to complete the custom-made assignments efficiently and correctly.
In 2019, we started implementing a new IT system, which allows us, at Selectum, to further improve our services, and attract excellent engineers and interesting clients. I’m really looking forward to contributing to that!
Every Monday, Thursday and Friday after work I come home full of energy. There is a positive atmosphere at Selectum and we really believe in what we do. After work, I enjoy looking after our two children and making time for my sporting hobbies: swimming and tennis.
I have worked in recruitment since 1987, and with a background in business administration and marketing, that might not make a whole lot of sense, but I was interested in working with and for people.
The first years I had to learn what job placement, recruitment, contracting, and outplacement were all about. After that period I started working in a management role on various special projects for large clients.
From 1996 onwards I began specialising in job placement for ICT- professionals. It is nearly impossible to do business without ICT, and there are a lot of benefits from having a great ICT system in place. Computers can do a lot, but it is the ICT specialists that keep them up and running.
People have been a running theme throughout my career; they make or break an organisation. A business will be successful if its people function at their highest level
. Supply and demand of qualified candidates is incredibly interesting. What makes a person qualified? What is the difference between adequate and successful? How are these professionals employed in the organisation? These are daily challenges our clients face, and I get to use my experience to assist them in taking them on.
Since 2011 I have been responsible for the ICT branch within Selectum. With this discipline I’d like to bridge the gap between engineering and ICT, because both will stand to gain tremendously from an even better collaboration.
So why Selectum? My co-workers and I share a passion for this speciality, the drive for getting results, and the people-focussed services Selectum provides. I get a lot of energy from connecting companies with ICT professionals, resulting in collaborations on great projects.
After graduation, I worked in a range of different fields before I discovered secondment in 1991. Immediately, my interest was piqued. I find working with people much more interesting than dealing with products.
My first job in secondment was with a company that specialized in technical staff. Although this organization became part of a multinational, I was given enough freedom in my role as a manager to follow my own path. This allowed me to develop both my skills as an entrepreneur and my management skills. After I left this organization, I started several activities as an entrepreneur, but there was something about the recruitment of technical personnel that continued to attract me. Apparently, this was what I really wanted to do.
So in 2003 I decided to start Selectum. It was my wish to build a company based on COOPERATION – the cooperation with technical professionals looking for an interesting job or assignment, as well as the cooperation with clients who need qualified personnel. To achieve this goal, I needed a team of experienced account managers – experienced people who understand the importance of cooperation. Soon, people from my network started showing interest. They not only had extensive experience, they also had the guts to take on this challenge together.
Selectum has been around for over fifteen years now. It is a robust organization with three divisions: Selectum Engineering, for all technical jobs in the processing industry; Selectum Construction & Civil Engineering, focusing on positions in construction and civil engineering; and Selectum Asset Integrity consultancy agency, specializing in inspection management. Every day, we work hard to achieve our goal of cooperation. I believe that our ability to collaborate with our technical specialists over a long period of time really enables us to support their careers. And of course, our success is also determined by the long-term relationships with our clients.
Every day, we try to improve ourselves and become an even more valuable partner for the people who work for us and the companies who trust in us. That’s what keeps us moving forward!