Cygnific and EURES – a multinational match made in heaven!

28.04.2009

Cygnific, in Amsterdam, have very specific recruitment requirements: Nordic people with excellent language skills looking for long-term contracts. Find out how EURES helps to find just what Cygnific need. Cygnific sales and service centre, a subsidiary company of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines based in Amsterdam, has used EURES’ services for over two years to help with recruitment. Operations manager Pelle Lindberg is responsible for calls from the Nordic area and manages over 120 people in total. “In spring 2007 we were looking to recruit some new members to our sales and service agents’ team – we didn’t just want to fill the positions but to fill them with the right candidates.” They were specifically looking for Swedish people from Helsingborg because as well as good English they also often have a good level of Danish. A colleague suggested he contact a member of the Swedish public employment service and he was quickly passed on to EURES. “It was excellent – that one phone call was the beginning of a very fruitful partnership!”

In April 2007 Pelle and a colleague from the Cygnific human resources team set off to Helsingborg with the aim of recruiting seven candidates. EURES Helsingborg had been sent the job profile and had placed an advertisement on their online vacancy database (as well as in the local media, on the Cygnific website and on the Swedish public employment service website), asking for applicants to attend an ‘open house’ session at the EURES office in Helsingborg. “My EURES counterpart in Helsingborg Peter Karancsi did a great job publicising our trip. We arrived and there were 50 candidates waiting to be interviewed. We only had 24 hours to narrow the selection down to seven so we quickly became ‘speed recruiting’ experts!” They were very pleased with the candidates – and within a week job offers had been made and all seven positions filled.

A lot of thought had been given to how to attract high-calibre candidates. For example, finding accommodation in the Netherlands can be a problem, so Cygnific partnered up with a local hotel to provide paid accommodation for the first three months of the new employees’ contracts (with a cash bonus to be paid if employees found their own accommodation before the end of this three-month period). This allowed people to focus on their new job and life abroad rather than being stressed about where to live from day one.

The EURES team in the Helsingborg region have very good relations with the local media, and news of a large multinational coming to recruit in the region resulted in numerous articles appearing in the local press (including a centre piece in one paper), which was great publicity for both EURES and Cygnific. Thanks to this media presence, for their second trip to Sweden it was possible to collect CVs in advance and carry out telephone interviews.

“Being able to pre-select candidates was a real bonus. There were fewer people waiting for us when we arrived, but the quality of candidates was much higher. We try to time our recruitment trips appropriately by coordinating with the EURES calendar; for example, in Malmö we attended the European Job Day on a Thursday and did some on-the-spot interviews, but we also hired a room on the Friday and asked people from the job fair to come there to have a formal interview the next day. This works very well for both parties.”

Pelle and his colleagues have so far made five trips to Scandinavia, not just to Helsingborg but also to Stockholm and Oslo. Over 20 people have been recruited to work for Cygnific so far, and over half of them are still employed, which Pelle is very pleased about: “We have seen a real return on our investment in the trips – and it is of course an added bonus that EURES’ excellent services are provided free of charge, this makes my boss happy! – and other departments also now offer this hotel accommodation as a standard part of their contracts when recruiting all over Europe.

“I have been very impressed with the quality of EURES’ work; they always make sure we are getting exactly what we need, and they are professional and take care of all logistical requirements; all we have to do is turn up to interview the candidates. I work closely with EURES Sweden, where Christofer Gasslander is now my point of contact, but I still hear from Peter. He was at a job fair in Spain recently and rang me to ask if I was recruiting Spaniards; I put him through to the relevant department and they were delighted to hear from him!”

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