Willemen Group increased its workforce tenfold with the help of CVWarehouse.
Willemen Group is a Belgian family-owned construction group that operates internationally. The Group has grown exponentially in recent years, partly due to the take-over of contractors like Franki (1998), Cosimco (2005), De Waal Group (2005), road-builders Aswebo (2011) and Van Wellen Contractors (2014). The group is headed by father Johan and son Tom Willemen.
Willemen Group now consists of thirty companies, which are grouped into construction firms, component suppliers and project development. The employees work on a wide range of construction activities, from civil engineering projects via industrial buildings, residential and utility projects, to road-building, in combination or separately. Around 2,200 people work at the Willemen Group, generating an annual turnover of 680 million euro.
“Back in the days when we only had around 200 employees, we could update all our job vacancies and applications ourselves”, says talent coordinator Ivan Malfliet. “Due to organic growth and acquisitions, we had to look for a different solution. Tom Willemen was very soon convinced of the benefits of the solution that CVWarehouse had to offer. We have been working together since 2009. This has worked very successfully too, because the CVWarehouse staff really puts their heart and soul into their work. They keep up with the times, take into account any comments and are constantly taking on board new technologies and developments.”
For most companies in the Willemen Group, the CVWarehouse software is used to complete white-collar employee profiles, but at Aswebo, the manual workers’ profiles are put online too. The database shows that there is a lot of interest in working for Willemen Group: now it contains around 7,000 CVs which were all received and managed via CVWarehouse. “That’s a lot of CVs,” admits Ivan Malfliet, “but fortunately the solution provides flexible ways of retrieving information. We can search for candidates, but also based on functions. And if we find that someone is more suited for another job, we can move their CV or link it to another function. If we want, we can also export information easily to Excel, or forward specific CVs via email. It is also possible to insert CVs that are received via a different channel, for example via a selection agency. If the candidate already exists in our database, we can simply link the data.”
Such an extensive database has many advantages. “We can set up an internal memo for all applicants, enabling multiple recruiters within the group to share their experience without each of them maintaining their own archive.” It’s only to be expected that Ivan cannot keep all that information at his fingertips: he carries out about 10 job interviews every week. “Altogether, I do the recruitment and evaluation interviews for the employees of 7 firms. In 2015 alone, I hired around 50 new colleagues.”
On average, there are around 40 vacancies open on the Willemen Group website. “Every time we post a jobvia the CVWarehouse tool, we can choose from dozens of channels to disseminate the vacancy. Via our own site, of course, but also via the VDAB and CVWarehouse or via social media channels like Twitter.” Apart from senior calculators, most profiles are rather easy to find. “That is undoubtedly due to the good reputation of Willemen Group and to the fact that we treat all applicants correctly. That is easy because the solution of CVWarehouse offers a very clear overview of who has and hasn’t been contacted.”
“Our collaboration with CVWarehouse saves us time and money. The search function is very convenient, particularly because candidates are encouraged to update their CV so that we can contact them even a long time after they first submitted their application, if we have a job that is suitable for them. Since we try to reply as often as possible using the system, the mails can still be retrieved years later,and this way we also avoid accidentally distributing sensitive information.”
Within Willemen, a dozen people have access to the CVWarehouse tool. Their user role depends on theirposition within the company: some only have read-access to the data, others can use the solution, and yet others can also see information and statistics about other colleagues.
“The tool is user-friendly. New employees can get started immediately and if anything doesn’t work we are helped immediately via the online helpdesk. The employees also contribute their ideas. Recently we launched Virtual Reality glasses as a gadget to attract staff such as young engineers. To do that, we filmed on construction sites and linked those images to a landing page. Anyone who leaves their data is sent VR glasses. It makes users feel like they are actually on site. CVWarehouse helped to make the landing page as user-friendly as possible. Candidates don’t have to leave so much data that they lose interest part-way through, and we are informed by email if someone has left their data, so that they do not have to wait too long.”
"The CVWarehouse staff really puts their heart and soul into their work. They keep up with the times, take account of any comments and are constantly taking on board new technologies and developments."