Shouldn't an applicant who doesn't have the right diploma and can't provide relevant experience be given a chance? Olivier Crousel, managing director of PortConnect, took a chance. It worked out so positively that he will continue to do so in the future. 

“A lot depends on how you create self-confidence in an unskilled and inexperienced employee.”

A year ago, PortConnect recruited a new logistics planner who'd never seen a container up close before. The job interview went well and General Manager Olivier Crousel decided to take a chance.

“We noticed that Simon was ambitious and saw his ability and eagerness to learn quickly,” he says. “For us, it was the first time we ignored the lack of training and experience, but I'd do it again right now.”

If, as an employer, you make the effort during a job interview to look beyond the CV and the lack of experience, you can still discover positive elements about the candidate. “Simon was professionally dressed, came across as being very motivated, and made a great impression. You can also pay attention to skills such as language skills or, of course, insight, in our case, into how you draw up a planning schedule.”

rely on self-confidence

If you, as an employer, dare to take a chance, then you need to provide close follow-up and intensive guidance. “We waited for the first few weeks to be able to assess a few things correctly,” Crousel admits. “Is he tuned in to his duties? Is he stress-resistant? If the answers are 'yes', then you can't be afraid to observe and move quickly. This is about very concrete things: gradually giving him more tasks, having the right colleagues guide him, providing the right courses, making it clear how his tasks fit into the overall picture of the company, etc.”

“We evolved in less than a year to a situation in which an inexperienced employee fully participated.”

PortConnect also kept its finger on the pulse. Regular conversations gave a picture of how Simon felt about the new job. “Simon could always come in with questions and we discussed evolution regularly. However, the most important point is self-confidence. You have to be able to create that with someone who struggled as a student, for example. If someone with potential feels that you want to invest in them so that they become good at something new, then you as an employer are giving a huge boost to that person's self-confidence.”

an open-minded search for a win-win

That regained self-confidence then made Simon feel like going back to school again. But what do you do when the employee you invested so much in wants to go back to school?  “See that not as a threat but as an opportunity,” advises Olivier Crousel. “We looked for an interim solution with Simon, where he works here part-time. We researched the possibilities available at universities of applied sciences and were then able to reach good agreements and a win-win for everyone.”