Employer in the spotlight: Aliplast
Steven Eloot, HR Manager at Aliplast, also looks for it in the details when he wants to bring colleagues on board. Knowledge and expertise are one, authenticity two. At least, that's what becomes clear to us after our conversation. Aliplast is the third employer in the line of five we sit down with on the occasion of our fifth anniversary.
At the table: Steven Eloot, HR Manager, Aliplast
Aliplast is a producer of aluminium window profiles and has some 300 colleagues on board: colleagues in production, warehouse, R&D and support services. If it depends on Steven: colleagues who don't just choose a job, but a career at Aliplast. "We are proud that our employees stay with us for many years. That stability is a blessing for our company and we also want to give that stability back to our employees. And not only stability. Also responsibility and development opportunities."
How do you ensure that employees stay with you for much of their careers?
Steven: "Whether we have a sophisticated strategy for engaging employees? The answer lies mainly in the rapport among our people and in our informal culture. No fancy box of tricks admittedly. Our sector lends itself less to this. Our production environment runs on defined procedures and clear production targets. That leaves a little less room for individual flexibility. But how we work, and the comfort people experience in our casual culture, fortunately compensates for that for many."
"We are proud that our employees stay with us for many years. That stability is a blessing for our company."
Individual flexibility, is there the biggest challenge in attracting people?
Steven: "Indeed, there are quite a few challenges. Many of our vacancies are bottleneck vacancies. We need people with specific expertise and technical knowledge. As an R&D employee, you simply cannot do without technical insight, there is no way around it. Finding these people is a challenge in itself."
"But because we prefer to recruit for careers, we also attach great importance to 'the look in the eye'. How confident is this person in choosing Aliplast? How do we as an employer fit in with a new colleague's private life. If it's right, you see a lot of gusto in the eyes of the candidate sitting in front of you. And that is just a little bit more important than that extra year of experience."
"When it's right, you can see it in the look of the candidate sitting in front of you. And that is just a bit more important than that extra year of experience."
Do you see a shift in the relationship between employer and candidate?
Steven: "We are indeed noticing a shift in conversations. At the first stage of an interview, we detect knowledge, values and motivation. Do we notice that things are right? Then the conversation has to tilt. No longer so much: what can you do for us, but rather, how can we be a good employer for you."
"If I were to name one trend as decisive in recruitment, for me it is the individualisation trend. Every candidate has a personal wish list that will be decisive in a job. Sliding working hours, working from home, cafeteria plan, job fulfilment, personal growth, company car, the emphasis is different for everyone. Many wishes can be met, but not all. It is important to be able to clearly align expectations during the first contact."
"How can we be a good employer for you?"
How do you deal with that?
Steven: "It is balancing on a fine tightrope between going along with a personal offer as much as possible while keeping our values and company structures unambiguous. The offer and policy must remain a story that gives a clear answer both to all the employees we already have on board and those we want to attract."
"Unfortunately, we cannot go along with everything. Working from home in a production environment, for example, is not obvious. The strength lies precisely in responding quickly, coordinating briefly or seeking advice and opinions. We notice that our colleagues sense this themselves. Their satisfaction lies mainly in finding quick solutions and being able to switch gears firmly. That doesn't mean we don't think about a homeworking policy that is feasible. Since September, we have had a clear framework on this."
"Working from home in a production environment, for example, is not obvious. The strength lies precisely in reacting quickly, coordinating briefly or seeking advice and opinions. We find that our colleagues sense this themselves."
How does CTRL-F support you in these challenges?
Steven: "We work with various partners. But the focus on quality is an absolute requirement for us. You have to feel it. The candidates presented to us by CTRL-F, we know their story. Either they match very well with the vacancy or we know perfectly well why they don't and where the potential is. When these people come to our table, we feel we already know them. And also vice versa, they know us. That makes the conversations comfortable and usually successful."
"When those people come to our table, we feel like we already know them."
"We greatly appreciate how the consultants communicate with us. Short on the ball, but without pushing. They feel our operation and culture well, think along with us and keep the agreements correctly. The result? Strong new colleagues for Aliplast, bottleneck vacancy or not. It's great to see which of our regular colleagues made their start through CTRL-F."