Nick van der Dussen - Seasoned Undutchable

1. How long have you been working for Undutchables?
Since January 2000

2. How did it all start? How did you get in contact with Undutchables?
I first heard about Undutchables via a friend at a birthday party. I was up for something new and she spoke highly of the company and informed me that they were looking for a recruitment consultant at their Rotterdam office. They already had over 40 applicants but if I applied that Monday (birthday was on a Saturday) I could still join the application process. Wrote a cover letter, updated my CV and posted it (we were still mainly using regular post at the time) that same day. Was invited to come for an interview and the rest is history.

3. What function were you hired to do and how has that changed since you started working for Undutchables?
I initially started off as a Recruitment Consultant and really loved it. Being ambitious and having managed already in previous jobs I made my ambition clear internally to possibly also manage at Undutchables.

After around 2.5 years I got the chance to become assistant manager in Rotterdam and already after doing that for half a year a manager role became available in…. Eindhoven! Living in Rotterdam and with no intention to move I took the job and travelled 260 kilometers back and forth on a daily basis (working from home was non-existent at the time). Challenging times but great looking back! After that I got the chance to manage our Rotterdam office and set up a new branch in Den Haag, eventually becoming 2 separate offices.

After that Undutchables needed someone to start up their new department - Undutchables Executive Recruitment - and I was asked to do so. Starting on my own we soon expanded into a great team of 5 and we rocked it, which was great fun and very satisfying.

Having a first love for anything commercially related I was asked to start a new role at Undutchables; commercial manager, handling the bigger tenders and training and supporting my fellow colleagues in the commercial process. I also really loved this role. In 2017 I was asked to buy into the company and start my current role. As I said before; the rest is history 😉

4. You have been working for Undutchables for many years now. What is one of the most memorable moments you have experienced working for the company?
There is too much to mention here and I won’t make it as lengthy as my previous answers. Generally speaking I have always loved working with different nationalities and cultures, it widens your view on the world and teaches you much about yourself. The best feeling I had was when I working as a recruiter. Being able to help a candidate land that dream job and change their life in a positive way, and seeing them as happy as can be afterwards is the best feeling in the world! Also to create “something from nothing” for me is fantastic. When I started I had no clients of my own, no network of candidates, no active vacancies, no nothing. Fast forward to the first interested client that wants to work with you, getting your first vacancy, starting up the complete recruitment process, network your way to the ideal match and then placing someone where afterward you have a happy client and candidate; never boring! I am still in contact with some of the clients and candidates I have worked with/ placed 20 years ago. Says something I would say.

5. 20 years is quite some time. What about the company made you decide to stay around for so many years?
I “job hopped” quite a bit before starting at Undutchables and did almost every possible job thinkable (sorry my LinkedIn is far from complete, no need to check 😉). I found out that being really happy with a certain company culture, diverse teams with great colleagues, role and nice new challenges was key for me.

Now, I am only human and you do go through cycles in life and in your career resulting in me applying for a different role outside of Undutchables 3 times. In both cases I was the chosen candidate and still decided to stay because there was a new role or challenge at Undutchables that became available. Timing is everything...

The culture, and people working at Undutchables are unique and this is the main reason I stayed. I suspect I will stay for a couple more years 😉

6. What is a challenge you had to overcome working at Undutchables?
Many! Getting the chance to manage initially for me was something that you learn from books and trainings and a “role” that you “play”. I have learned to not play that role anymore and just be authentic (with all the pro’s and cons with that) and that having fun and getting great results go very well hand in hand.

7. Working for so many years for a company, you must have experienced a lot of ups and downs. What would you say was a moment where you feel that the company was forced to adapt due to external factors?
Well, a very recent one here; covid. It came out of the blue and had quite an impact on the world around us and ourselves in a very direct way. We are a flat and adaptable company. Quickly we managed to turn our offline activities to online ones and invested heavily in our visibility. Paying special attention to our clients and candidates and supporting them through the situation as well. We are a people-oriented company and the main strategy was to keep everyone onboard, calm, maintain the human perspective, be visible, stay busy, be open to new opportunities and prepare everything for the moment where the world around is coming back to normal again in order to be able to hit the ground running.

8. Where do you see Undutchables in 5 years?
Still on the forefront of multilingual recruitment making a difference in many people’s lives! Possibly with more branches outside the Netherlands and definitely with the same culture and DNA in the company. Excited about all the technological developments in the market and I am sure we will adapt and use many of the new cutting-edge innovations available whilst still keep the personal touch alive. Currently we are also working on a new HR strategy so the internal organization will also be renewed and brought more into the here and now, also looking forward to that.

9. Do you have any advice for the younger Undutchables generation?
Enjoy life and enjoy work. Stay happy and healthy and don’t take life too seriously. Be you, be authentic, you are great the way you are.

25 years of International Recruitment

A company's history tells it's story. For Undutchables, on our 25th anniversary we want to invite you to relive Undutchables' history by sharing a few glimpses of the past 25 years. Read about the history of Undutchables here.

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