Guest Blog – Jan-Leen ‘t Jong – Past, Present and a Bit Future
It is a pleasure for me to have been asked to be the guest blogger for this month.
But writing this blog gives a bit mixed feelings. My colleagues who were the guest writers before, were talking about the past, the present and the future within the Harvey Nash Group.
The latter is different for me. As you have been informed by Bev, I have decided to step back from Harvey Nash as of August 1st. So for me this blog is a kind of looking back. But it is still a bit of a future, because I will remain involved with the group but in an advisory role.
When I joined Harvey Nash NL in early 2001 the staffing market was at the beginning of its maturity. My strategy was focused on developing services that are adding value to the client. To do this it is necessary to engage with the client to understand what they have on their desk. What are the challenges for which solutions must be found?
We started looking for ways to deliver value to our customers by organising everything for them related to hiring. That is how we gradually started to enrich our proposition.
It has always been my firm belief that business is about the relationship. We are in a recruitment service industry where you are not talking about a product that customers will use for years. So you are as good as your last action and if you are not able to deliver, you are simply not good. So you have to make sure that the relationship is established and then maintain that relationship, constantly knowing what the needs of your customer are. Especially in difficult moments!
And we have long-term relationships with many large organisations, some for more than 10 years.
The relationships with all stakeholders: customers, contractors and suppliers, and moreover their appreciation of our services, have shaped our good image in the Netherlands.
No less important are the internal relationships. I would like to focus on the very good relationships we have within the ExCo Board. I am convinced that this has a fundamental influence within the Group.
Last year was not easy. As ExCo Board, we had to conduct crisis management and had to take sometimes tough decisions, but we also had to set out our strategy and policy. This has only been possible because we have a very good relationship, based on mutual trust, transparency and respect.
This quality of the ExCo board makes us unique as a group.
As for the present.
I am very proud that I can hand over a very successful and leading organisation, one of the top three, to my successor. An organisation in which success is made by an extraordinary team. I will look back with nostalgia at the fantastic times I had the opportunity to work with them. It was an enormous privilege for me!
To end with.
I am extremely proud of the things we have achieved together. I sometimes compare myself to the conductor of a symphony orchestra. You stand in front of it and select the music, but ultimately the high quality musicians are better at making music. As a conductor, you set the beat, indicate exactly when a section must start during the concert and when the concert is finished, you step aside. Because it is the orchestra that has performed. We have a fantastic symphony orchestra. And I am convinced that they can still make many beautiful and successful tours.
I wish you all much success, prosperity and happiness.