When he no longer found a challenge in selling online advertising space, Philip Meijer (31) was ready for a new challenge. When a friend advised him to look into a career in the staffing industry, he found his calling at Vibe Group as a Consultant. And after 6 years he is still completely satisfied as a Business Manager for one of Vibe Group’s niche brands: Visser & Van Baars.
When Philip felt that he was standing still at his previous employer six years ago, he started looking for a new challenge. He knew from his previous job that he was commercially minded and that he aspired to a career in which he could continue to develop himself personally, and commercially. After his friend’s advice to look into a career in the staffing industry, he decided to go on an interview with various organizations. “My first interview at a recruitment agency was terrible. They did not listen at all to what I was looking for as a person, and mainly talked about making money and going on vacation. I thought: if they treat me this way, then that’s how they deal with clients and customer as well. ” said Philip.
After this first negative experience, a career in staffing continued to lure. When Philip was approached for a career in IT Staffing by one of the founders Bernd van Baars, he went to the interview anyway. “The conversation was very much about me, unlike the competitor. I spent three hours there. We talked about my dreams, my goals and my motivations to become successful. That gave me confidence, “said Philip.
When Bernd spoke passionately about their vision for the future with different brands that all covered one niche within the IT market, he became enthusiastic. “I thought: It’s nearly impossible to do this. But if it does succeed, then I want to be there! ” After a second interview with founder Daniël Visser, Philip was asked back the next day for an interview with both founders. “I was thoroughly challenged about my motivations and why I was going to become successful. After I explained to them that I wanted this and thought I could do it, I immediately was handed a contract, and I immediately saw the decisiveness: I was closed on the spot!”
When Philip started his career at Vibe Group, he had only one goal: he wanted to be the very best. “I saw a screen with the placed professionals on it and I thought: I want to be the one that helps the most professionals in finding a job. Because I knew immediately: if I work hard I can reach the top here. “
Vibe Group grew from 2 to 20 people in Philip’s first year and is the third fastest growing organization in the Netherlands today, with over 300 employees and 900+ IT professionals. But the start-up mentality is still there. Why does this still exist? “Because everyone is responsible for their own market and therefore their own success,” said Philip.
Did Philip’s success go in one straight line? “No, it definitely did not. In my first year, I sometimes thought: I’m done, this isn’t for me. But luckily, I never gave up. My tip for prospective Consultants is therefore to hold on for two to three years. You need that time to build up your network and make mistakes in order to be successful. At Vibe Group, you get all the space you need. It’s not about how long you have been working here, it’s about what you have accomplished. If you work really hard, then after two years, if you show the competencies, you can make a promotion to Team Manager. This just isn’t the case in other recruitment agencies.”
Philip himself became Team Manager after three years. As a Team Manager, Philip was confronted with completely different challenges than he was used to. Philip: “When I just became a Manager, I had to get used to the fact that everyone works differently. I wanted to be the best with my team. And therefore, wanted to solve problems for my team members. But for their development, it is of course better that they experience what their learning points are. The icing on the cake was that we became Vibe Group’s Team of the Year last year.”
He was supported in this by Learning & Development paths offered to him by Franklin Covey. Thanks in part to these training courses and his hard work, Philip grew to become a Business Manager. What is his challenge now? “I would really like to continue to help Visser & Van Baars in growing even further and, as a Business Manager, coach my people to get the best out of themselves. This organization is growing so fast, you will never be bored! There is also always a path where you can develop yourself personally. You have never finished learning here. That is exactly what I was looking for six years ago.”
Now that he’s a Business Manager, what are his goals now? “I want to ensure that the people in my team continue to develop themselves. Also, on a personal level. For one person, working at Vibe Group can contribute to buying a house or paying for a wedding, while for others it is more in personal development. When people look back in 20 to 30 years, I want them to say: Philip was really a good manager. That’s my ultimate goal.”