Interim HR professional : Esther Buitelaar;
Number of years of HR experience : 12 years+;
Region: The Hague-Rotterdam-Westland;
Hours per week employed : 40+
- How did you get into (interim) HR work?
I already made a conscious choice for HR during my studies, because I think this field of work suits me very well. I started as a team manager at NS, a very valuable experience because you get to experience what it’s like to lead. That is really different from being an (HR) consultant. I then held a variety of positions within HR, from drafting HR policies at multinationals to advising SMEs on HR matters. I noticed about myself that I am particularly keen to grow in breadth, in the diversity of functions and work, rather than growing vertically into manager. Interim work is ideal for that. I work at all kinds of different companies and so continue to develop myself every day.
- What is your experience so far with Panthion?
Panthion is agency that suits me very well; Rik is committed to my work, is always ready to support and is down-to-earth in his approach.
- Which disciplines appeal to you most within the HR profession?
Personally, I especially enjoy combining operational work with policy work. I like to draft HR policies myself, which I then implement. Somehow that fits well with my life motto.
- Where do you see opportunities and possibilities within the HR market in the coming years?
The job market is getting tighter and still there are job seekers. In this regard, robotization/digitization is also becoming a more important issue. I expect (or should I say hope) that the UWV will play a different role in our society, with more of a focus on retraining and job coaching for those who cannot keep up with these developments.
- What tips & tricks can every employer use?
My advice is to really listen to the workers. HR issues have the characteristic of being personal, therefore as an employer you can quickly see your own opinion as a general opinion. But one employee does not know of the existence of the employee handbook and another has read all the pages twice before hiring. Some employees like to work from home a lot and work as flexibly in the office, and others like rhythm and a fixed workplace more. Offer flexibility in this with clear agreements. This is still not easy, but well you can hire HR professionals for that!
- What is your life motto?
I am totally not a soccer fanatic and can hardly name a footballer from this team, but the Rotterdam “not words, but deeds” really appeals to me. That motto is more versatile and impactful than it seems. Indeed, it is also common in the HR field. You can say you’re a good employer, but what policies for employees show this? And also: we need to judge employees on their results and work, not on peripheral conditions such as a good network or someone who is “good in the group.
I am not a soccer fan at all and can hardly name a footballer from this team, but the Rotterdam :=”no words, but deeds” appeals to me a lot.
- What would you like to develop in the coming years?
Consulting in setting up effective teams and team compositions that can work together optimally seems like a great addition to my work.
- Can you tell a little more about your current or last assignment?
I currently work in the sustainable sector, at a company that is growing to make even more of an impact. Great to support them in that growth they are experiencing; making sure they have “the right person in the right place” but also eliminating the growing pains as much as possible and keeping employees excited for the bright future of the company. Besides this large assignment, I also support some smaller organizations in various sectors, a wonderful combination of work if you ask me!