Interview with Jacques Arends, DevOps Manager at Nationale-Nederlanden, in which he shares his experiences relating to working with Calco.
How do you experience working with Calco in general?
“Great. We understand each other. That understanding means that you are always working together in a solution-focused way. I see that as a very positive thing. Calco always helps by matching the right candidates based on my question and taking work off my hands."
How do you experience working with our trainees?
“Great, I have no bad experiences with the staff deployed. I know which profile fits well within the organisation. When I am introduced to someone by Calco who fits the job profile, it often matches the picture I was looking for.
Basically, I would like to hire all of them tomorrow."
Calco trainees have relatively little experience in IT when they start their deployment period. What were your expectations?
"I have a different view on that. I think you can teach people things, but you can't change them at the root. That's why I look at how someone is in the primary phase; how does the person react to something and how does the person deal with it? If there is a good match, then the affinity with IT is important, but Calco has already selected well on that. The trainees are dynamic and able to learn and that is what I am looking for. I prefer to focus development on the talent side of people rather than just on the areas of improvement, because this is much more effective. Of course it's good to address the areas of improvement if they get in the way. But I believe in looking at aspects that someone is good at and developing their talents.
People who come to you are all flexible, otherwise you wouldn't start a retraining programme. I think that's an advantage; the people who work for you have made a well-considered choice as to which direction they want to go, so they are motivated for the profession."
In the past year, during the corona crisis, you've also hired trainees. How did you experience the onboarding process of the trainees from home?
"I think it's very effective. In front of the camera, it's harder to play someone else. At an intake interview in the office, a candidate is still a bit confused by the situation around them. But in a 1-on-1 discussion, you can really bring someone to their edge and see how they react. I like this in a digital conversation. You can get people off-balance, testing someone properly. I experience this as more difficult during a physical meeting.
It is a pity not to be able to shake hands with someone, for example. These are the sort of signals that you miss during a digital interview.
I also experienced the online induction process as positive. We provided guidance through a buddy system. Sometimes I gave that guidance and sometimes another colleague did. This worked smoothly in practice."
What things could Calco trainees do well from home?
"I think they present themselves more easily digitally because they are at ease in their own environment."
Do you see the trainees developing during their deployment? And what does that development look like?
"Yes, absolutely! All going in different directions. Some need a little more of a push and others move all by themselves, but everyone makes strides. All trainees are curious and eager to learn and they are keen to develop."
What do you see as an advantage of working with Calco?
"I have almost no work looking for people. I am offered several good candidates who, based on your ideas, already fit our company. Then I choose the person I have the best click with. There will always be someone who we think is suitable and this works out well in practice. It takes a lot of work out of my hands.
I've also worked with parties that offer the hard IT people. That's a bit more difficult because I have a different dynamic with such people. The Calco people, on the other hand, are proactive, flexible and dynamic. That's very convenient."
You have quite a few Calco trainees in the department by now. Would you choose Calco again in the future?
"Yes, should there be room for an additional IT professional, I will come to you.
Our culture is in transition and I desperately need young people to adapt to it. People who are new to the job market are a lot more flexible and like to go along with new ideas and give their input. The amount of energy young people bring is great for a business. Combined with experienced employees who have the knowledge, this gives a nice balance on the shop floor."
Do you have an example of a success story or case of a Calco trainee?
"Looking at the results, I find it difficult to make a statement about this because you are a team and together you achieve successes.
What I like about trainee X is that she's curious and tries things out. I have seen two things in her development: 1) She is losing the shyness and dares to raise her hand a bit quicker. 2) she has found what she is looking for and gets very excited about her profession. I think those are the best success stories. It is often the small things that are wonderful to see. Like, you can see that trainee Y is super enthusiastic because he was allowed to start here, and is beaming with happiness every day because he works in IT. When trainees are happy, it also manifests itself in the work and we all benefit from it."