"We are looking for digital talent that also wants to be socially relevant"

Published on: 23 December 2021

In order to be ready for the new pension system, APG will be fully committed to digitization in the coming years. A new era that demands new employees. Good and qualified people with a specialization in digitization. And that is not easy in a tight labor market. Therefore Peter Strikwerda, Head of Digitalization & Innovation AM, and Rein Heddema, HR director started a new campaign.


The tight labor market, the so-called war for talent, is one of the challenges APG faces. The low level of (brand) awareness is an extra challenge. APG is well known within the sector, but outside it (and certainly in the field of Digital and Data) much less. And that is why 'extra effort' for the employer brand APG has to be made. Then the search behavior, the wishes and needs of candidates also change quickly.

All these challenges together are now being tackled with the new recruitment campaign. Peter Strikwerda, Head of Digitalization & Innovation AM explains: "This is a strategic change. The biggest make or break for APG the next five years, at least, is to bind and captivate talent. After all, people are the core of our strategy execution. This campaign gives us a great opportunity to step into the job market and find those people. To show that we are not a dusty pension company. Things happen here that high-tech companies can only dream of. But with the signature of the pension company that we are." Rein Heddema adds: " People don't even realize what APG does."


Back to the challenges and the shortage on the labor market. Is APG in very bad shape?
Strikwerda: "It all starts with demonstrating that we are an inspiring company. Because if you're not seen, nothing will happen. In addition, a digital talent of around thirty years old can choose from at least seven jobs worldwide. And only 6 percent are actively looking for other work. Then you have to come up with something good if you want to attract attention."

"Things happen at APG that high-tech companies can only dream of

And what is it that APG wants to achieve? 
Heddema: "I want those talents to see that we're working on a financial future of half the number of households in the Netherlands. I'm sure it appeals to people that we're embarking on a pension revolution that is carried out in slow motion. That they think 'I could code anywhere, but I want to be socially relevant in an environment where I can be myself and not trip over the rules'. APG should also be a place where people can develop. We become a great place to learn. We do employees a favor with this, but certainly also ourselves. We need their development." 

Who does APG compete with?  
Heddema: "The thing is that you can't point them out, they're everywhere. We compete with the entire financial sector and with all companies that want to be more data-driven. Talented people therefore have a large pool to choose from."


So how do we stand out from everyone else who is looking for digital talent?
Strikwerda: "We're looking for people who can work with data, who want to make an impact, who want to develop and who seek a balance between work and private life. People who see that what is on our sign makes a social difference. And we offer them a pleasant working environment, safety and room for development. Don't come to us for quick or big money."


When we think of digital, we often think of IT. Is that also the angle you are looking for?
Strikwerda: "Also IT, but certainly not exclusively. The digital prowess associated with this digital transformation of APG will soon be spread throughout the company. From a data specialist to a customer contact center employee or a portfolio manager. The classic division between business and IT is disappearing. We need liaison officers. A good data specialist who understands the technology of the data, but who can also talk to an HR specialist or a portfolio manager. So you will soon have hyper specialists and people with a T-profile within APG who can talk about anything and ultimately, we'll all be working with data now or in a few years' time, we can't escape that."