22 August 2018

GVB is an organisation known to many people for public transport in Amsterdam. At the moment they have recorded about 780,000 trips per day and with the arrival of the North/South Line this number grows to 1 million! This has a tremendous impact on Amsterdam and GVB as there must be enough people to manage it.


Eric Meijer

Working at

GVB as Senior Recruiter

Collaboration DWS

By continually making adjustments, we finetune the process and the chance of success is far greater than with a regular bureau.

Eric Meijer, a senior recruiter at GVB is responsible for staff, commerce, technology and ICT. In addition, Eric is also the designated person for external hiring at GVB where his focus is mainly on interim professionals for the North/South Line. He is Dutchwebshark’s contact person for the internal vacancies at GVB and together we look for scarce professionals, a collaboration we are proud of!

Eric: “Five years ago I started working at the GVB. In my first year, our department filled 180 vacancies, the previous year it was 450 vacancies, including 105 interim vacancies! This increase has two causes, first of all we are an “old” organisation which we are proud of but this means that the average age of our staff is high. Many employees will retire in the coming years and we will have to fill out these places again. In addition to this, the North/South line leads to a necessary expansion and as a result, we expect to recruit many new colleagues in the coming years.

Normally our recruitment process is as follows; The vacancy holder sends us the job profile, which we discuss together and then determine the plan of action. Through social media, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, we advertise the vacancy and interested candidates then come to visit our work site”.

Do you mean the work site that was recently nominated for a Digital-Werven award?

Yes, an external agency had applied under a fake business name to do an analysis and the site was then assessed by an external panel. In the end, we were in the top 4 and achieved a lot of preferential votes. We did not win, but we were very happy with the nomination and our work on site is only getting better! The next step is to become more modern and faster.

With this process we fill 98% of our vacancies ourselves, then only 2% remains. We will use you for that. Last year Dutchwebshark helped us with a senior buyer and a senior marketer. Finding an experienced senior marketer is not easy, the same goes for a senior buyer. We have already noticed that these target groups are faced with a shortage in the market, which means that the availability of suitable candidates is very limited. There was also some time pressure on the vacancies, these two factors led us to ask you for support.

With this process we fill 98% of our vacancies ourselves, then only 2% remains. We will use you for that. Our collaboration has been in place for two years after initially having a number of discussions with Erwin van Krimpen. We then decided to go ahead with a pilot project and it was very successful. That’s why we had every confidence in the search for these two other target groups.

What made this project so successful?

I can be brief about that… namely your whole concept. I think that the traditional approach of many recruitment and selection agencies no longer works. The analysis of the market that you make is very impressive and speaks volumes. Although I can also do an analysis myself, that will only give about 60% insight in comparison with your report, which is a considerable difference. I can afford that difference for some vacancies, but not for a lot of jobs. That is the great strength of your organisation.

The actions you then set in motion by actively looking for the right candidate are also very effective. Of course, I know that other agencies are also doing this. The next step in the traditional process is when they start the search after we give them the assignment. All of a sudden it is four weeks later and you get sent three candidates. These professionals may well be good, but it can also happen that they really miss the mark and I have lost those four weeks! When filling the vacancy under pressure of time, I cannot afford to lose four weeks.

This is where Dutchwebshark’s process distinguishes itself. When I give you the assignment, you first organise an impressive kick-off, followed by sending me a longlist with suitable profiles. On the basis of this longlist we make choices together, so that this list is then reduced to a shortlist. The profile is then clear to both parties and because we keep communicating throughout the whole process, it is fine-tuned and the chance of success is much greater than of a traditional agency”.

This cooperation is important as you must get to know each other and you have to get a feel for GVB. That means taking a look in “our back yard”, understanding how our processes run and understanding the DNA of our organisation. That feeling arises as you have a lot of intensive contact with each other to make good agreements and work together. I am pleased about that”

Has this approach also led to good results in the past projects?

Yes, by following your process, we have achieved good results. We even talked to several professionals, which allowed us to make choices. Meanwhile, the senior buyer has already started and the senior marketer will be starting soon. Both vacancies have been filled successfully!

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