In an interview with Insights Success, Ineke Kooistra, CEO of YoungCapital, shares insights on various attributes to become a successful leader. She discusses about her experiences in the recruitment industry and the challenges and lessons that came out of it. Also, she broadly discusses the company’s core competencies and its establishment in the market.
Below are the highlights of the interview conducted between Ineke and Insights Success:
Can you give a brief overview of your background and your role within YoungCapital?
I’ve been working in the recruitment and secondment branche for 25 years now. Both in the general and specialised staffing sections. Additionally, I also set up and expanded various specialisations within the IT staffing market.
My role as CEO of YoungCapital is to get people moving, motivate them and coach them. I also safeguard the strategic decisions we make together as a company. Obviously, everyone makes their own decisions in their own line of expertise. But, when it’s necessary, I’ll have the final say.
How do you diversify your solutions that appeal to your target audience?
We are a recruitment agency that focuses on young talent. Eighteen years ago, we started online, while all the other recruitment agencies required their candidates to walk into their offices. We still have this pioneering role online. That’s probably why every day more than 2,000 new candidates subscribe to our site, and our turnover has gone up 60%.
You immediately feel our energy and our entrepreneurship the moment you walk through our door. We do everything in our power to keep our people happy & healthy, and make them stick around as long as possible. What makes me happy is that, when they go, they leave with a positive feeling and know that our door is always open.
Describe some of the vital attributes that every CEO should possess.
Curiosity and being attentive to your own people. Make sure that you always seek out an honest and open conversation, and take your time to really listen to each other. Give your employees the freedom they deserve, and always make them feel like they’re worth it. I try and incorporate what’s best for everybody into all my decisions.
Whether it’s the client, YoungCapital employees or the company as a whole. Never do anything for personal gain. Always look ahead and consider all your options, while at the same time making weekly and monthly reports.
What were the past experiences, achievements or lessons that shaped your journey?
One big challenge that we’re currently dealing with is the fact that we’re growing incredibly fast. It has a huge impact on basically all our operational processes. Our IT systems need to change, and we have to be careful that we don’t become this cumbersome organisation. And that, in turn, has an impact on our people. Some of them are more adaptable than others.
Our growth also puts an immense pressure on management. That’s why I make sure I eat healthy, exercise enough and drink less alcohol. I need to stay fit. And I make sure that I keep having fun with the people around me; to keep enjoying it all. If you’re mentally strong, you can handle the good and the bad.
Where does YoungCapital sees itself in the near future and what are its future goals?
We want to become the best talent developer in the Netherlands. Focusing on recruitment, secondment and education. After that, we want to achieve the same result all over Europe. Ambitious? Not when you look at our numbers. It took us just one year to become the third biggest party in the Netherlands in terms of growth.
Provide one line that best describes your vision and approach to business?
“The future of work can be structured in different ways.” It all depends on the economic tide. From a permanent to a temporary or agency contract: everything is possible. We also see that new approaches to working are created every day. Traineeships that teach young people techniques that their current educators don’t offer yet. Or hyperflex platforms for short-term jobs and mass vacancies in times of scarcity.
Because, if we’re completely honest with ourselves, we know that not every employee within a company can be offered a permanent contract. It would be unwise from an employers’ perspective. So we should focus on creating new ways of structuring the way we work.
What is your advice for the emerging entrepreneurs?
Pay back all of your loans as soon as possible. Don’t live beyond your means with money that doesn’t belong to you, and that could possibly cost you your company. And don’t start a company with the intention of selling it big the first chance you get. No, start a company that you believe will truly make a valuable contribution to society.
About the company
The idea behind YoungCapital surfaced in 2000, when the founders of the company were looking for a part-time job. They quickly noticed that there was no platform yet for their needs and target group, so they created it themselves. What started as a simple website grew into an innovative temporary employment agency that would change the Dutch recruitment landscape for good.
And they’re growing. Fast. Currently YoungCapital is active in 11 countries and have an online database with almost 6 million candidates. But they’re also rapidly expanding as a company, with 1.300 employees that work in 60 different locations. In 2018, they had a turnover of around 500 million, which is expected to grow to 1 billion in the next four years.
YoungCapital believes that young people are more important than ever because of the rapid digitisation. They encourage innovation: provide new ways of communicating, collaborating and solving problems. They just approach it a little differently. With their fresh vision and endless energy, they can conquer the world. As digital natives, they have new ideas about working. They are ambitious, creative, flexible and connected. This encourages innovation in organisations and helps to break taboos that are in the way of growth.
Source: The League of Extraordinary CEOs
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