05 Mar 2021
Talent Peakers from the start: meet jubilees Christophe Poleur and Jort Roelink
By: Manola van Diest
"One of the highlights surely was our trip to Salesforce Dreamforce in San Francisco with Joram"
This year, Talent Peaks celebrates its 5-year-anniversary. Two colleagues have been part of the team from the very first projects. In this interview, we speak with our jubilees Christophe Poleur (right in the photo) and Jort Roelink (in the middle).
Joining a Startup
Christophe smiles: “For me, 2016 was a memorable one. That year, not only I married the love of my life, but I also found the perfect job in which I could fully express myself. I was contacted by owner Stijn Vangenechten who asked if I would be interested in joining his brand new StartUp called Talent Peaks. He noticed my IT-consultancy experience in the HR and Recruiting domain and asked if I was interested in meeting in person.
The way Stijn talked about his new company and his plans, his excitement was contagious. That very same evening I sat on his couch to personally meet and talk about the job opportunity. I live in Belgium, and the second job interview with Stijn’s partner - Joram Timmerman - was at a roadside restaurant somewhere between Brussels and Antwerp. In that unorthodox place, we closed the deal. Typically Talent Peaks, moving fast, with no presumption, no hierarchy, but honest personal attention and connecting on an individual level. I love that.”
Intrigued by Salesforce technology
Jort agrees: “For me, applying for a job at Talent Peaks was a once-in-a lifetime experience. After working in Sales and Recruitment consulting for some years, I was intrigued by Salesforce and I wanted to develop myself as a tech expert. During my job interview at a hotel with Joram and Stijn, Joram suggested that I could go on an intake with a promising prospect for a new project. “If they like you, you’re hired, he said. And the rest is history.
“I love working for various customers on different assignments, especially when I'm involved in integral projects"
I immediately immersed myself in various implementation and optimization projects mainly concerning the Connexys ATS and website integrations. The trust I got, the challenging projects and the fun we had working with colleagues, partners and customers, that’s what I loved then and what I still enjoy todayday.” “Remember? We both had our first working day and our onboarding was at Connexys’ headquarters. Since we didn’t have an office back then, Connexys let us use their office space whenever we needed. A nice example of good partnership collaboration.”
Long term relationships
"My first projects were for 90% in The Netherlands", Christophe remembers. "Boy, I traveled a lot those days. In the beginning I focused on implementing the Connexys ATS, carrying out optimizations and integrating recruitment marketing in the solution. The cool thing is, that the companies I worked for in my very first projects, are still valuable customers for Talent Peaks as we speak.
"I think one of our success factors is that we work from a basis of trust and respect towards colleagues, customers and partners."
We always aim for long term relationships. It’s not about quick fixes, but helping customers durably optimize their digital landscape. That attitude fits me like a glove. Jort adds: “The first few months it was just us, but Talent Peaks grew fast. The number of customers and projects kept on growing and we had to look for reinforcements. Luckily, we soon welcomed Rachel van den Berg, Stijn Janssen and Christoph van Balen to the team.
We made some bold decisions that boosted our growth. For example, we decided to become a dedicated Salesforce Partner and to fully focus on the industries that we know well. One thing I love is that at Talent Peaks there is always confidence in the future. We work from a basis of trust and respect towards colleagues, customers and partners. I think that’s one of our key success factors.”
Design your own career path
“Working at Talent Peaks I have a lot of freedom in designing my own career path. You can specialize as an individual, but also immerse yourself in relevant clouds on the Salesforce platform. If you like, you can even become a Salesforce Architect, specialize in integrations or even do some coding”, Christophe says.
“The freedom and the trust you get at Talent Peaks is truly unique."
“What I enjoy most and what makes working at Talent Peaks fun", Jort adds, is that we work together as a team in integral projects. You never stop learning from your colleagues and they can learn from you. In the past few years, I witnessed an immense increase in knowledge, individual strength and team power. Also, the continuous growth brings exciting challenges and new opportunities. Never a dull moment.”
Working as a team in end-to-end projects
Christophe: The fun thing about working as a consultant is that you not only work with your colleagues, but also in co-creation with the customer. I like the variety of anew team of colleagues on each project, from the feedback we often hear that the feeling is mutual. Jort: “I love working on different assignments and especially when it concerns end-to-end projects.
Being involved right from the start, truly understanding the needs of your customer, translating that into smart processes and then implementing and configuring the best fit solution. That’s the real challenge. Not only do you need an understanding of the overall business and their system requirements, but you also need to be creative and communicate effectively. It is so satisfying when we’ve delivered a solution that people find more efficient, more effective and love to work with.”
“Although we’ve steadily grown - there are more than 30 of us now - we’re still a relatively small organization. And that means moving fast and getting a lot of responsibilities. We are all responsible for our own projects and our own customers. The bar is set high, but at the same time we get all the support and freedom we need. In that regard, we’ve made huge progress. In terms of tooling, resources, but also because we now have many colleagues whom we can rely on”, Christophe adds.
Having fun is one of our core values
Jort smiles: “As far as trips are concerned, I think our personal highlight was our visit to Salesforce Dreamforce in San Francisco. In 2019, Christophe and I were offered the opportunity to attend this impressive event and report about the highlights of the sessions. Of course, we did some sightseeing as well. We had a lot of fun and made some great videos to share our insights with the home front.
And true, I also will never forget the company trip to Dublin, with the visit to the Salesforce office, the Guinness Brewery, the amazing bars. That was truly unique.” Christophe: The charm of Talent Peaks is that we truly are like a family. We care for each other, we respect the differences and are interested in the people behind the colleagues. We always say we share the same DNA.
When I got married shortly after starting my job at Talent Peaks, I invited each and everyone of my colleagues. There were exactly three of them at that time”, he laughs. “I would do the same now, because also now we’ve grown as a team, we have a strong connection. Whether we meet for an update session, a company outing, or a 4 day trip to Dublin, we always have so much fun. Also the family days are legendary. My children are still talking about the DAF rally in Breda and the cool trip to the Efteling in Holland.
"I will never forget the company trip to Dublin, with the visit to the Salesforce office, the Guinness Brewery, the amazing bars. That was a once in a lifetime experience."
Some cool new developments in store
Both: The last 5 years at Talent peaks have been full of growth and learning both personally and professionally. We are looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish in the next 5 years. There are a lot of cool initiatives and opportunities. For example that we have developed our very first App on the Salesforce Platform, called Byner. It is a unique solution that automates the core processes from lead to invoice for companies in Staffing and Consultancy. For us, as implementation experts, this is a huge opportunity to make even more impact for our customers with this app.