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Transparency for every UZA job applicant.

High-quality patient care and ground-breaking scientific research: this is what Antwerp University Hospital (UZA) stands for. With approximately 3,000 employees and 5,000 job applications received in 2017, UZA’s HR team certainly has its work cut out. CVWarehouse ensures that the HR staff can manage all job openings and applications quickly, efficiently and in a transparent manner.

The Antwerp University Hospital enjoys an outstanding reputation as an employer. However, generating a sufficient influx of the right people requires more than just a solid reputation. We spoke to HR officer Kathleen Dekeirel about the importance of employer branding and the convenience offered by CVWarehouse.

‘Our unfilled vacancies are varied: we are looking for doctors, nurses and paramedics – physiotherapists, for example – as well as administrative assistants and IT staff. We are also continuously looking for applicants with job profiles in the sciences. Some vacancies are easier to fill than others. We sometimes find it difficult to find very specific profiles, within the ICT department for example. This is logical: to them, a hospital is uncharted territory. ICT professionals tend to look for a position at a well-known company in their own sector and have no idea of the innovative and interesting ICT projects going on at UZA.’

A strong employer brand

The hospital enjoys a strong reputation, which makes recruiting a little easier. ‘We are the University Hospital in Antwerp, so we can capitalise on brand recognition. As a result, job seekers quickly find their way here. What makes us most attractive to potential employees is our innovative research and our position as a training hospital. This not only means that we train lots of interns, but that our     own staff can also regularly participate in training or refresher courses. What is more, our hospital offers third-line medical support: highly specific pathologies are treated here. This holds a special appeal for doctors and nurses. These are features that we try to the foreground in our employer branding.’

The most important thing is, however, to stay in job seekers’ line of sight. We make sure that our target audience does not forget about us. There have been years in which we were sent stacks of CVs and were able to create a huge reserve list. Still, we continued to focus on recruiting and our employer branding in those times as well. And we are reaping the rewards now that there are fewer job seekers and more jobs.’

Nurses in the picture

There is a notable shift on the market, and this does not make it easy to find employees – and nurses in particular, explains Dekeirel. ‘Until the end of last year it was relatively simple to attract a sufficient number of nursing professionals. We could even retain several outstanding job applicants as reserves because we had many suitable candidates. However, looking at job vacancies now it is clear that there is plenty of work about – much more than around a year ago – and that makes it less evident for us to find the right nurses. Additionally, no nurses will be graduating in 2019 due to a reform in the study programme. That will certainly be an extra challenge, but one we’re eager to face.’

Eleven years with CVWarehouse

UZA’s HR team started making use of CVWarehouse’s services quite some time ago. ‘The hospital had engaged CVWarehouse even before I started working here,’ recounts Dekeirel. ‘That must have been around eleven years ago. There were not that many players on the market at the time, and CVWarehouse was innovative in its sector – which it still is today. We regularly receive offers from competing firms, and even enter into dialogue with them from time to time, but until now no other agency has met our expectations as fully as CVWarehouse. We are kept informed of new developments through various study programmes and if we have a question or a problem, we receive an immediate response. We feel that CVWarehouse truly listens to us.’

Dekeirel is also more than positive about the CVWarehouse tool. ‘We can announce our job openings through various channels at the click of a single button. This is very efficient. And to make things easier for the candidates, we are currently engaged in enhancing the transparency of the job application process, along with CVWarehouse. Certainly now that recruitment is becoming more difficult again, you have to respond quickly to promising candidates. This is why it is important that the candidates themselves know where they stand in the process right from the very beginning. They can see if their CV has been screened, if it has been forwarded to a manager, or if they are on the short list for an interview.’

« Nous essayons de suivre nos processus autant que possible, afin de pouvoir intervenir rapidement le cas échéant. Et CVWarehouse nous en donne la possibilité. Nous pouvons générer des rapports reprenant toutes sortes de statistiques : combien de candidats il y a pour chaque poste, par exemple ; ou quel est le temps d’attente entre la réception de la lettre de motivation et la première réponse que nous envoyons. Des informations utiles, qui nous permettent d’ajuster la procédure de recrutement. CVWarehouse nous permet également de suivre la situation de près en ce qui concerne les canaux de recrutement : nous pouvons déterminer quels canaux fonctionnent ou ne fonctionnent pas pour nous, ce qui nous permet encore une fois d’adapter notre approche. »

Kathleen Dekeirel
HR officer

Keeping a finger on the pulse

Figures are also important. ‘We aim to ensure that our processes are monitored as efficiently as possible and to make adjustments where necessary – all of which is made possible thanks to CVWarehouse. We can generate reports containing all possible statistics: the number of candidates per job, for example, or the amount of time between receiving a cover letter and the first response we send. These are all useful insights that help us further improve our recruitment process. Furthermore, when it comes to recruitment channels, we continue to keep a finger on the pulse: we can see which channels work to our advantage and which do not. This allows us to adjust our approach in this area, too.’

Has it been worth the investment? Kathleen Dekeirel is convinced that it has: ‘CVWarehouse operates very efficiently, which significantly reduces the time we spend on the administrative part of recruitment. It is quite clear to me that this is a genuine return on investment.’