When it was time for him to find a replacement as Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Barenbrug, he knew he had to go online. Here Cees Knol explains why.
“I have seen it so many times in my career as CEO of a public company. You need a new member of the Board and someone says, ‘Hey, I know this great person who can take the job’. Usually, this person has good credentials and before you know it, everybody’s happy and the person is hired. But does this really work? It could, but in my experience it usually doesn’t. Because great credentials alone are not enough. When you look for a new colleague, whether it is for the Board of Directors or for the Supervisory Board, you should first get a clear picture of who it is that you want to hire. What do you need? Talk about it with the other members of the Board, discuss it, fight about it, but make sure you are all on the same page. And then you draft a profile, which includes work experience, character traits and the various features that you look for. With this profile in hand, you can start the search.
And what better place to start looking then online? I am a member of PMP Supervisor - an online matching platform for non-executive directors - so I started to look for my replacement there. The good thing about this platform is that they work with profiles too, which are very specific, to-the-point and really make you sit and think about what it is you are looking for. So when you eventually get a match, you can be confident that it is a good one. Besides that, the process is efficient and time-saving and it introduces you to people outside of your own circle. New people, new talent, all assembled on one specialized platform.
After finding a few good online matches, I invited the candidates to my house for face-to-face interviews, where another Board member was present as well. In the end we chose Michiel Westermann, who is very experienced. He fits the job perfectly and has the required experience of working for a family business, which has its own dynamic. I am very happy with him as my replacement as Chairman of the Supervisory Board, as are the people at Barenbrug.”
For Michiel Westermann it was important to also find jobs outside of his own network.
“I do not always want to work for the same kind of companies. Because of my membership with PMP Supervisor, I now find myself on the Supervisory Board of Barenbrug. When I first received the online request through the website, I was surprised. It was something different. And I liked it. After speaking to Cees, I met several people at Barenbrug and I formed a good impression of the company, the people and the work. It was a good match. It all went smoothly from there, without any hick-ups.
And now I am honoured to be Chairman of the Supervisory Board of a great company, that focuses on research and on the growing of grass seeds, which is all about long term planning. Very interesting. I am pretty sure I would not be working for them, if it wasn’t for PMP Supervisor. We simply would not have found each other. In the future I am sure that I will be using the same platform in the search for a new member of the Board.”