'Retention is the new gold'

Published on: 11 October 2023

Work in 2023 is no longer the same as it was roughly 10 years ago. Just take the tight labor market, the increase in the number of people opting for a flexible contract and the new generations in the workplace. This also forces APG to look at work differently. In the latest APG Podcast, Gusta Timmermans (Founder Recruitment Builders), Mohamed Chaaibi (recruitment business partner at APG) and Peter Korteweg (Senior Portfolio Manager Quant Equities APG Asset Management) discuss the changing expectations that candidates and APG have from each other.


 “In my opinion, a good candidate in today's times is someone who is flexible and can easily adapt to the changing environment. Take digitalization, it is happening so quickly. This affects everyone and everyone must, sooner or later, anticipate this, for example by investing in their own development”, says Mohamed.


Peter says he is looking for people who are interested in investing, people who can do research, who can program. “It is important; we want to create the best team and the candidate must really add something to the team.” That is a 'switch' in the approach. “Where we used to look for the best candidate, we now look for the candidate who best complements the team”, Peter explains. The switch resulted in a much more diverse team, with 13 nationalities and a gender-balance in line with the university talent pool. The increased diversity resulted in more diverse conversations, and better discussions.


The person behind the applicant

It is an approach which Gusta likes. “I constantly see what goes wrong; many organizations want the sheep with 5 legs. But it no longer exists. Find the person who fits best within the team and don't just look at a match based on the hard requirements. Nowadays, the person behind the applicant also plays a role.” Gusta has more tips for organizations like APG. “You have to keep everything you say at the front. If you say that candidates can develop and learn, then that must be the case. If that is not the case, people will eventually start walking.”


The process of onboarding and pre-onboarding are also very important, Gusta knows. “How do people get in? How is their first day? You have to guide the employees in the first 100 days. Focus on retention right away, from the first day of work. That takes time and money, but it is worth the investment. Retention is the new gold.”


In the podcast, which can be listened here (SoundCloud) and here (Spotify), Gusta, Mohamed and Peter discuss, among other things, the role of the motivation letter, the selection procedure and APG's labor market positioning.