“A company like Vaillant needs the knowledge, capacity and continuity of a bigger partner.”
Since 1874, the German Vaillant Group has been the European market leader in heating and cooling technology. In 1924, Vaillant invented central heating and today it is still a pioneer in the field of sustainable and environmentally friendly technology. In Belgium, the Vaillant and Bulex brands rely on more than 450 employees, about half of whom are commercial and administrative staff members; the other half are service technicians. That last half, however, seems difficult to find.
"Today, recruitment is without any doubt one of Vaillant's biggest HR challenges" says HR Director Eric Sergeant.
"I state the obvious by saying that for a lot of companies it is difficult to find people with the right technical profiles. At Vaillant, we have therefore started to recruit people who do not have the exact knowledge or experience we need, but who do have the right attitude and interests. We will then continue to train them internally, via our Vaillant training academy."
In order to find these technical profiles, Vaillant relies on two extra external recruiters, one of them via HR Partners.
"For pragmatic reasons, I have chosen to keep personnel administration and change management in-house and to outsource large part of the recruitment. I think that payroll is too sensitive and complicated a subject to be outsourced. This is much more easy for recruitment. A good recruiter has to get to know the company first, but then often he leaves."
The ideal partnership
Eric Sergeant had been looking for a good partner in HR for some time.
"Before, I worked with smaller organisations, but if one person quits his job that might cause some great difficulties. HR Partners is part of Partena Professional, which is a large organisation. We get in touch with our account manager who is backed-up by several specialisations. A company like Vaillant needs such knowledge, capacity and continuity. Meanwhile, HR Partners knows our company very well. They know what we need, what our corporate culture is and they think along with us. That's the kind of partnership I was looking for."