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The quest for the right People

30 November 2018 [ Frans van Sterkenbrug          

approx. a 5 minutes read

Talent acquisition

(potential) Highly qualified professionals

The evolution of new technologies and digitalisation brings numerous opportunities for increasing numbers of ICT companies. As a consequence, the continuous demand for ICT professionals is evident.

According to statistics of Eurostat, the number of persons working in the ICT sector in the European Union increased by 34% from 2008 to 2017, while the total workforce did not increase.


To match the resulting technical changes and possibilities, a continuous update is demanded of the ICT specialist’s skills to programme, to develop applications and to manage networks. Complementary ICT skills in information-processing, self-direction, problem-solving, process-understanding and communication enable efficiency to accomplish a shared goal. Prerequisites for all these skills are talent, experience, curiosity, agility to adapt to changes, perseverance and passion. In 

stat. ICT index employment Europe 2008 - 2017

addition, a pleasant personality with a positive attitude makes the general picture complete.

In a Development Team each individual member has their specialty. The strength of a team depends  on the capacity of individuals to contribute in other work areas. Just applying Scrum, does not suffice. Teamwork is more about expanding and sharing knowledge in other areas to communicate better with colleagues, understand their problems and to be able to help. This cross-functional aspect reduces risks when a certain team member is absent or suddenly leaves the team.


In most common talent acquisition processes the initial focus is on the technical skills followed by the complementary skills and personality. When a candidate is hired and onboarded in a team, it is interesting to see if the new member integrates well and finds the right flow for further professional and personal growth as a part of the company’s endeavours.


As companies want to hire (potential) highly qualified candidates, a hiring process is about reaching a mutual agreement: candidates also have their preferences of future employers. With Employer branding companies can positively influence the preferences of candidates.

Employer branding: affects Awareness, Consideration and Interest, thus Application

Your company should be an environment where employees are recognized and appreciated as part of the company and as humans sharing a substantial part of their lives within the company. In this perspective potential candidates must feel a certain connection with a company to considerate and get interested in an open vacancy.


Employer branding is the communication about the true identity of a company, instead of how the market wants the company to be. This is about the core values, the culture, the career development opportunities and employee stories. Living the true identity which aligns all people within the company. The people working for a company are the ambassadors of the brand and by being part of the company they communicate the brand to the outside world.

External Talent Acquisition - more than just being a head hunter

Sourcing and Recruiting Funnel

An external Talent Acquisition specialist should know your company brand well enough to be able to represent the company as if being part of the company. This is why some ICT companies are restrained to work with external recruiters.


On the contrary, in my experience as external talent acquisition specialist, I had a more positive effect on the brand of the company. External specialists are often better equipped to think outside the box and to apply broader experiences acquired with other companies to the benefit of your company.


The image of the Sourcing and Recruitment funnel shows the process starting from the total group of potential candidates until the actual hire. In addition it divides Talent Acquisition in Sourcing and Recruitment. Note: where Sourcing stops and Recruitment starts is a matter of opinion.


With inbound recruitment everybody can react, and for sure a number of applicants will not fit the desired requirements for the position. With outbound recruitment the sourcing for the right candidates is essential. First responsibility is to master the details of the company, qualify candidates according to those details, and build a talent pool. Building a talent pool starts with intensive studies of large amounts of profiles to filter potential candidates. The Talent Acquisition specialist should be capable to see the potential of professionals in relation to the open vacancy.


My approach towards a potential candidate is utmost important. I carefully prepare every single invitation, going through the details of every potential candidate to make sense with the personal invitation. The initial goal is, by being a true representative of the client,  to get on speaking terms with the candidates, so I need them to respond to the invitation for the open vacancy.


Sourcing is a skilful job, knowing and understanding the client, vacancy, technical skills and competences. Possessing a strong focus, analysing skills and determination. Being smart, honest and gentle in communication, all are important to get in contact with the right candidates.


When a potential candidate does not want to change jobs it is still good to receive an answer on the invitation. This is a good opportunity to build a relation for future purposes. On the other hand when you receive a positive application then the potential candidate becomes a candidate which is a major step forward to the actual recruitment, starting with the selection.

Selection process

The selection process is set up following the specific wishes of the hiring company. In the image you see the most common steps of the selection process.


The first step “Application screening” is considered a sourcing activity: it may turn out that some of the applicants are not a good fit to continue in the recruitment process.


As Talent Acquisition specialist I guide the candidate and the client through the selection process. I always take part in the first interview, alone or together with a representative of the client. During the 1st interview the capacity to ask, inform, listen and watch and always be honest and transparent are important to give the right feedback to the candidate and company.

For the whole selection process applies: think with the candidate and think for the company. Nobody wants to waste time, the candidate likes to know what to expect from a company and the company likes to know what to expect from the candidate before they start working together.

Common selection process

The time and effort of the candidate should always be respected. In case a company decides against a candidate, the candidate should be informed about the reason in a constructive way. Also, when a candidate steps out of the process the final communication should remain gentle and complete. As a representative of the company and part of the employer brand, appropriate social behaviour will be appreciated and rudeness will have a negative influence on the brand.

The Good Hire

I am totally aware that until contracts are signed everything can happen. But when a contract finally is signed and a candidate happily becomes a valuable part of the success of my client it gives me the feeling that it matters to be Procareer.

Procareer, Recruitment as a Service, where passion is key

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