"Also for the HR division of Flanders Make, 2018 was marked by growth. In first instance because our number of employees increased but also because the number of candidates applying for a job with us went up for the umpteenth year in a row. And also striking: among those applicants, more than ever before, many people living in Flanders. Not all Flemish people of course, but still a sign for us that Flanders Make’s brand awareness and reputation in Flanders are on the up. And that there are a lot of people willing to contribute to our growth.
Another noticeable trend is the increasing number of applicants from the industry. At the start of our organisation, we attracted above all people who had just obtained a doctorate’s title but in 2018 no less than 44% of all our new recruits made the step from the industry to Flanders Make. This creates a mix of academic and industrial experience within our organisation, supporting us in our ambition to bridge the gap between both worlds. Personally, I am very proud of what our researchers create every day and of the smart things that they build. When I see they’re happy whenever a company starts working with one of our solutions, I am happy too.
Looking for additional competences
Also in future, we want to continue developing our organisation. Because in the past year we’ve expanded our research infrastructure and our labs, we are currently recruiting other profiles and additional competences as well. Application engineers, for instance, are very much in demand: they conceive, design and build new set-ups and perform research on it. Together with our research engineers – our creative minds at the computer – they are a strong team. And all of them work together with committed project managers, who make the decisions and set the technological course.
Obviously, the war for talent is no stranger to us either. But we believe that our organisation has all assets that are necessary to attract interesting profiles. We realise that we ask a lot from our staff. Creativity, guts, ambition, courage and the will to work together. But for their commitment they also get a lot in return. For instance, the satisfaction to contribute to the growth and further development of Flanders Make, in all areas: we are growing rapidly in Flanders and Europe in areas such as basic research, infrastructure and contract research and also in terms of demonstrations and publications. And they have many great opportunities to work with leading companies in Flanders, with new colleagues, academic partners and industrial team members.
Teams spread across Flanders
2018 also marked cooperation across our sites. Over the past couple of years, our organisation has evolved from one team in Leuven and one team in Lommel to competence-based teams. This requires another way of working but a great deal of enthusiasm, managers commuting across sites and digital support enable us to make the switch. Besides, with the new site in Kortrijk, we are easily accessible to the major part of Flanders.
Our cooperative relationships are not limited to Flanders Make alone but are extended to our four competence clusters with three to five teams each. For cluster managers, it is quite a challenge to create close-knit teams. But during the two-day offsite meeting that we organised on this matter, we clearly felt the will to make it work, to build on the road, based on mutual respect and solidarity, with the overall purpose – each from his or her own strengths and interests – to contribute to the further development and growth of Flanders Make."
“We are looking for top employees. With ambition, guts, sense of initiative, courage and the will to work together. Are we asking a lot? Yes. But top performances require talent and commitment.”