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From starter to manager in 5 years

A hard worker, but as soon as she gets on the bike, Antje lets go of everything. The next day she is there again: one lump of energy.

Working hard and making substantial progress quickly: that's Antje all over. But as soon as she gets on her bike, she lets go of everything. And the next day she is ready again: one bundle of energy.

What did you study and how did you end up working at Robert Walters?

"As part of my Master's in Communication, I did an internship at a marketing agency, but I soon realised that this was not the kind of job I wanted to do. Through another recruitment agency I got the chance to attend a recruitment workshop, where I first got to know all the aspects within recruitment. Before this I had never thought that a job in HR would be something for me, but this workshop helped me enormously to realise that my effective communication skills and desire to work with people were the ideal basis for a job as a recruitment consultant. So, I quickly started my targeted search for such a job, which is how I ended up at Walters People. I immediately felt a good connection with the people I met in the internal recruitment team, my future manager, and the managing director. The entire process went very smoothly, and I was excited to start in the Zaventem office. That was 5 years ago," says Antje.

What does the job of a recruitment consultant entail, and what do you like about it?

Antje: "It’s a very versatile job in which you meet many people: you screen and interview candidates, but also build relationships with clients who are looking for new employees. The challenge is always to find the ideal match between the candidate and the client. Every day, every candidate and every assignment are different, and that is what makes it so fascinating.

Contributing to the future of candidates who have found a new job thanks to us or receiving phone calls from clients to thank us personally for the quick and good service, is extremely rewarding. Every single day.

Because clients are satisfied with our services, they also return to us when they want to recruit new people. In this way, you build up a long-term relationship and after a while the contact becomes more informal. Over the past five years, I’ve had the opportunity to further develop my team and coach new employees. We are a very close team and the atmosphere in the office is great. We work hard, but we also have a lot of fun. It sounds cliché, but that is just how it is. Every day, I get satisfaction from my job and from my colleagues.”

5 years in the company: what is your 'secret to success'?

"5 years ago, I started as a recruitment consultant and since the beginning of last year I’m a managing consultant. That seems fast indeed, and I think my personality has played a significant role in this. I am very hands-on and proactive, and, in this job, I have learned that you often must be able to react very quickly. Procrastination is pernicious in our business. Being able to quickly come up with a solution for the needs of our clients: that also gives me energy every day. Over the past five years, I have also learned to set priorities and to work in a structured manner, and this ensures that I can keep everything under control, even in the busiest periods. But I can also let things go. I do not take my work home with me, for example. We sometimes work long days, but when I come home in the evening, it is me-time. That way, I can start a new day with full energy. Being able to let go is important for maintaining a good work-life balance.”

What do you find important when recruiting new employees for your team? 

"First of all, it is important for new employees to be dynamic and communicative. Being able to show empathy is also an absolute must since you are in contact with all kinds of clients and candidates on a daily basis. The commercial aspect of the job should not scare you either, but I think you should see it as a challenge. Even if you think you do not have it in you: learn to discover it. A specific education is not required; a flexible, dynamic, and commercial attitude is. When I want to recruit new people for my team, I look especially at whether there is a good click. Not only with me, but also with the other team members. That is why we let the colleagues get acquainted with new potential team members. And we notice that this is also appreciated by the candidates. Questions that they might not dare to ask the recruiter or someone from the management team, they do dare to raise with future colleague consultants or recent starters. We have already noticed that this can take away any doubts."

What are your further ambitions at Robert Walters?

Antje: "The management team maps out a tailor-made course for each of us. I hope that my next step will be to take on the role of manager at Walters People. And that is what I am working towards right now. In my role as managing consultant, I already play a significant role in coaching team members. But as a manager, I want to 'lead by example' and share my best practices. As a manager, I find it particularly important to stay actively involved in all aspects of the job. This includes assisting the junior colleagues in more difficult cases and guiding them on a daily basis, so that they can all write their own success stories at Robert Walters as well."

Does Robert Walters offer a good work-life balance?

"Absolutely, but that is mainly up to you. We all work hard, but the collegiality ensures that we are a well-oiled machine. When I take annual leave, I can trust that my team members handle my follow-up. That gives me the chance to let go and recharge my batteries. And vice versa, of course. Since the corona pandemic, we have been switching over at an accelerated pace to a hybrid way of working, which also contributes to a better work-life balance. When I close my laptop in the evening, for example, I like to go cycling, especially in the summer months. For me, that is the ultimate way to clear my head and relax completely. You must be able to let go of work in the evening, at the weekend and on holiday. And that is possible. Thanks to our fantastic team", concludes Antje.


Would you also like to be part of this team?

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