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Jamie Lawrence


Insights Director

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Interview: Rob van Elburg, Global IT Recruiter, ING


Rob van Elburg is a specialist in global IT recruitment. He studied Human Resources Management and Business Administration and has a history in recruiting dating back to 1992. In 2000 he started RAVE-cruitment, a full-service ICT recruitment agency, located in Amsterdam. Since 2011 he has been with a global IT recruiter for bank ING.

You’re in charge of technical recruiting – what specific challenges does this pose over and above generalised recruitment?

ING wants to become the #1 IT employer in the the Netherlands. Our financial markets IT team wants to be listed Top 10 worldwide. So we are not only looking for IT people, we really want the best. That means we face stiff competition, for the most in demand talent, sourcing within and out of the Netherlands. This means that we are competing to attract the best talent not only to the job, but to the city of Amsterdam and the Netherlands as a whole. You have to match individual questions & demands.


In your position you have to recruit globally and strategise globally but ultimately ensure that employees fit in well with the local environment. This is a tough strategy but one that ultimately yields the best results.

What tips would you give to recruiters who have to follow this strategy?

Beside a job, people choose another city or country. Abroad, Amsterdam is more well-known than the Netherlands. So we work very close together with the IAMsterdam portal, for example. My tip would be to work together with local partners. Think global, act local!  An awesome example here is the “Made in NY” campaign. Over 900 companies are working together to strengthen the city as a global hub for innovation. Everybody is involved. The Mayor, companies, developers, recruiters, owners etc. So far this has led to over 3000 new tech jobs as well. That counts for IT people, looking for a career abroad!

You mention you use social recruiting on your LinkedIn profile. What’s the secret to social recruiting success in a very crowded marketplace?

First of all make sure your own brand is outstanding. I’m an international IT recruiter. If you check my profile you’ll only see International, Amsterdam, IT, Global, WTC. A pure focus & specialisation..

Beside that personalise every contact. Try to figure out what’s in it for them before you even start a contact. Never start a message or update with I or Me. Always with You.

What are enterprise companies doing wrong nowadays when it comes to finding the most suitable talent?

They all want to speak the “IT language”. Than you see job descriptions in the JAVA language or similar. “Do you speak this language, please apply with us”. Ridiculous. IT people are people who speak English and a native language. I never met an IT engineer who spoke in Javascript.

IT people are used to a white background and black letters. So don’t use all kinds of colours or other “fancy” stuff. IT people like to communicate with IT people. So the best tip is to put them in front if you want to communicate with them.

Do you find it easy to strike a balance between in-house promotion and recruiting externally? What is the ideal balance or does it depend on the department?

Since the breakthrough of social & the growth in open source & cloud computing, the line between in-house & external is getting thinner every day. Recruiters have become the enablers, assisting IT teams to recruit in the best way for themselves. IT people like to share their stories and successes, and collaborate through open source networking. Enable your technology staff to communicate this way by creating places for them to do this. The best technology networks to hire from will be the networks of the internal employees.

One Response

  1. Video Interviewing

    Interesting article! Where I came here to share the information of latest interviewing technologies such as Online video interviews.

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Jamie Lawrence

Insights Director

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