Whether you’re here as a customer, job seeker or staff member, it doesn’t take long to realise Amon has a unique business culture. We feed this culture by giving our staff a great deal of autonomy and by including constructive feedback, in every direction. Partner Steven De Poortere is happy to explain why this is crucial.
Who is Steven?
Name: Steven De Poortere
Joined Amon in: 2008
Position: Partner & Operations Lead
Also enjoys: Travelling, sports and family time with sons August and Henri
Prior to Amon: in charge of IT recruitment at a major HR service provider
“I joined Christophe a little over a year after he’d started the company. The main reasons that convinced me to take the plunge still apply today. On the one hand an individual can have a considerable impact on Amon as a whole and on the other hand we have a clear vision, we know exactly where we want to go.”
In the fast-evolving market of recruitment and selection it is important to have an agile organisation and our non-hierarchical structure makes this easier. Steven: “We implement the principles of holacracy. This means that all staff take personal initiatives within their own domain and that everyone is more closely involved in the overall picture. Thanks to this approach, staff quickly acquire the necessary knowledge and skills so after just a short while they can handle a great deal of responsibility. Staff members that sink their teeth in a project are given the autonomy to make decisions. This creates room for Christophe and myself to develop the long-term strategy.”
Feedback generates growth
At Amon constructive feedback travels in every possible direction. “From myself to a beginning research consultant but vice versa as well. From one team to another but also between colleagues in the same job. This is all intended to help people grow and turn them into experts in their field. We already have a strong feedback culture and strive to keep improving it every day.”
We use an online tool as an instrument for asking and giving more feedback. Every employee can set growth objectives: ‘what are my overall team goals, what does this mean for my concrete personal objectives, how can I reach them?’ The tool gives you a clear overview and offers the possibility of keeping track of everything.
“For a company and industry in a constant state of flux it is essential for everyone to keep learning. That is why we attach great importance to continuous feedback. Instead of organising a lengthy performance review twice a year that is primarily oriented top down, we prefer much more frequent but short check-ins. What is discussed is introduced in the tool for future reference. Figures and other targets are discussed in meetings but this one-on-one feedback mainly focuses on an employee’s personal growth.”
The right person in the right place
One of Steven’s chief responsibilities is to make sure that the right staff are performing the right tasks. “I make sure everyone can fulfil their task in optimum circumstances and in a way that fits in with our strategic goals”, he says.
“In order to find the perfect matches for our customers’ ICT vacancies we need a very specific skill set. An Amon employee delves into the working of a company to find out what makes it tick. These insights are then translated into an attractive offer for a potential employee, without going out of our way to convince him or her. A good recruiter quickly feels whether the person on the other end of the line has a suitable profile and knows how to push the right buttons that will make that person decide to switch jobs. Still, this must always be done with the utmost respect, you need to realise that switching jobs is a major change in someone’s life.”
Feedback to clients
At Amon we like to be number one. This means we are constantly working to become even better at what we do, both individually and as a team. So naturally we regard feedback on our work by customers and job seekers as highly instructive. Moreover, we see it as our task to challenge customers.
Steven: “When we visit a company for an intake interview, we don’t accept the assignment rashly. In order to really answer the needs of the customer we ask tough questions such as ‘what problem is the company trying to solve by recruiting someone for position X?’ Maybe it would be more productive to go for profile Y? Perhaps you need to look for a solution somewhere else entirely? That is why the collaboration sometimes goes so far that we assist the customer in rethinking the organisational structure.”
Why 360° feedback is so important at Amon?
“We want our staff to feel good and appreciated and we like them to grow. Of course we hope they will stay but more than anything else we want them to have a positive experience here and remember Amon as a company where they learnt a lot.”
Steven De Poortere, Partner