With her years of experience, Kiki Verhoeven (34) sees through every candidate. What does she find important as a recruiter? “The other day I was having coffee with a client and looked at the creative team. ‘Ha,’ I thought. I recruited more than the half of this team.”
how did you end up at BrandPit?
“I was recruited – how could it be otherwise – by a recruiter. It is still quite difficult to recruit for yourself, even though it is our expertise. At BrandPit I found like-minded people: certainly at agencies the commercial aspect of recruiting talent reigns supreme and nothing is more important than the placement. They don’t applaud when a deal is done or someone is placed. I believe it is about the people and not the deals. If I feel a candidate is not a good fit, I say it honestly.”
so you’re not on the fast track.
“No. Basically, we are paid by our clients, but that doesn’t make the candidate any less important. In fact, it happens regularly that a client becomes a candidate. The reason I like that so much is the same reason I once started studying psychology: I want to help someone get ahead. I do that by placing a candidate in a place where they still have room to grow. Organizations, of course, prefer someone who is an exact fit at the time.”
so you come up with a candidate they don’t want?
“We don’t always do what you ask, but we do what you need. Of course a client wants a sheep with five legs and preferably gilded – from us he gets a sheep with four legs. The other day I had presented a golden sheep to an organization. The job was very similar to her current job and I warned the candidate: you’ll get bored quickly. Not much later she called me and indeed: boredom had struck. It is therefore important to color outside the lines, both for the candidate and the organization. Especially for long term.”
do you get a lot of calls from former candidates?
“After 6.5 years at BrandPit, I noticed that people started calling me to get placed a second time. That’s great to do. At the same time, I realize that I could call my placed candidates more often. I always try to do it briefly after the first six months, but you also don’t want to make organizations feel like you’re ‘hounding’ someone away again, so you have to be careful with this.”
why do you think it’s so difficult for managers to find the right people?
“Often managers have a framed picture in their heads of themselves and then hire a candidate they get along with. In addition, there is a lot of thinking about content and less about people. Companies need a breath of fresh air and I like to help them find a candidate outside the box. When that works well, you notice it immediately. The other day I was having coffee at a client of ours and looked at the creative team. Ha, I thought. I recruited more than half of them. They are going like clockwork. That makes me proud and I hope to set up many more great teams like this in the future.”