August 7, 2014
At a Glance
Bio The path that led her to this point
I grew up in Belgium, the homeland of the saxophone, Tintin, the Smurfs and chocolate.
Leaving home at the age of 18, I landed in Recruitment.
I didn't wake up one morning thinking "I'm going to be a Recruiter" but I enjoyed the interactions with people and learning about different roles and company dynamics.
At the age of 27 I decided to chase my dream of living overseas and moved to London.
I was lucky enough to land a contract with Korn Ferry/Futurestep, the largest Headhunting company worldwide, and became their first in-house Research Consultant.
1.5 years later I was approached by an ex colleague to move to Amsterdam to set up the Executive Search practice for an Oil & Gas recruitment company, an opportunity I grabbed with both hands.
I worked with clients in The Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, UK, UAE, US and Australia.
I never really enjoyed the business development part of the role and didn’t want to be associated with typical sales recruiters who give people like me, who truly care about their candidates, a bad name.
In 2008 I moved to Sydney and got a real taste of internal recruitment.
Being able to attract people into a business and seeing them flourish and grow within an organisation gave me a lot more satisfaction than the external, transactional work.
Throughout my career, I reviewed tens of thousands of resumes and interviewed thousands of people.
Every day, I guided candidates through the recruitment process and advised Managers on how to conduct proper interviews and make unbiased, objective decisions when selecting the best person for a job.
Candidates are often left in the dark as to why they are not selected or don't receive any feedback at all.
"Another candidate matched our profile better" doesn't particularly provide anything to build on, so I decided to be different.
Giving unsuccessful candidates advice on how to improve their resume or how to increase their chances in future interviews gave me great satisfaction.
Many candidates have no clue what happens once they submit their application.
I felt I could do a much more meaningful job by demystifying the recruitment process and coaching candidates who lost confidence and self-esteem from being rejected time after time.
Although I truly enjoyed my job, I decided to say farewell to the corporate world to devote my time to helping people. This is how Simply Eleven was born!
Q&A Insider advice & tips
What's been your greatest achievement to date?
I guess my biggest achievement has been to be able to adapt to changing environments; A new country, a different language, new people, leaving everything behind and starting from scratch 3 times in the space of 5 years.
Moving abroad truly shapes you as a person. You become more vulnerable and self-aware. I'd recommend it to anyone.
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
The biggest challenge has been to be working from home. You really need to be disciplined and self-motivated.
I miss the daily interactions I had working in a large office and it does get lonely sometimes but the freedom and satisfaction you get from running your own business is priceless.
Best lesson you've learned along the way?
My biggest lesson is that, if you wait until you're ready, you will never achieve anything.
People so often give up on their dreams because they don't feel ready or they imagine the worst case scenario and are scared things won't work out.
I decided to focus on the positives, took the plunge and never looked back.
A website, book or resource that has helped you in your business or inspired you and why?
I get inspiration out of so many things so it's hard to just name a few. In my opinion you can read as much as you like but it's talking to real people and listening to inspiring life stories that gets me going.
Which person or brand do you most admire and why?
I've always been a big fan of Apple and Steve Jobs. His entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen were second to none and I do love my iPhone :-)
What advice would you give someone starting an independent business in your industry?
Know your competitors but don't be afraid to be unique. Be passionate and care about what you do, otherwise there is no point.
Don't wait until everything is perfect because if you do you will wait for the rest of your life. The perfect time to start is NOW!
Finish this sentence
Everything changed for me when…
I realised I could make a living doing what I love!
Swapping security and a decent monthly pay check for the unknown was scary but I've never had regrets or second thoughts.