Taco van der Louw and his Dutch company Up & Up Talent Solutions have been placing candidates in the fresh produce sector for five years now. That function has gone far beyond recruitment, selection, and hiring. "We, for example, also provide assessments, coaching, business acquisitions, and succession," he begins.
"However, we're tackling some education with training in the areas of language (also websites, legal documents, and contract translation), sales/negotiation, and category management. Thus, we have effectively become a one-stop shop."
Taco recently added a new discipline, Up & Up Interim Solutions. "I've met plenty of fruit and vegetable people who want interim jobs and those who've retired from the sector but would like to assist when needed. Whether it's bringing in an interim manager due to illness, busyness, or some other reason, we can usually offer plenty of choices. We offer Interim Solutions to solve precisely those bottlenecks and peaks within the organization," he says.
"By now, we have an expansive network of experienced interim managers who we can deploy for a specific period. We can, thus, respond quickly. The trick is to match this to market needs. If you don't have assignments but have candidates, you have nothing to gain, and vice versa. It has to work both ways."
"Our pool includes people from other sectors, such as A-brands and retail, too. Companies are often still reluctant to fill permanent positions with someone from outside the industry. But, it can be a great solution on an interim basis, especially if you don't have this expertise in-house," says Taco.
Up & Up has also added Up & Up Executive Solutions - specifically to fill director positions - to its range of services. "That's done less often because it frequently involves confidential information. This service actually became one of our specialties, almost unintentionally. I think that's because I often click with people in higher management positions. Last year, we could fill fantastic management positions."
"We want to develop further in that area. The unique thing is that thanks to our partnership with global recruiters, we can also fill these positions worldwide. I'm quite proud of that. We remain a small company and don't want to become a mega-large recruiting firm, either. But we can meanwhile have an impact because we put our hearts into it," Taco explains.
"Yet, the current job market is tough. This season, more than other years, candidates are noticeably pulling out at the very last minute. They're benefiting from the market. Even for the younger generation, there's so much choice. There are too few people, and demand is high. Every fruit and vegetable sector worker is aware of the tight market."
"Still, many companies cling quite frenetically to salary houses, which may not be entirely moving with the times. But we like the challenges of matching the right candidate and client. Our large network helps. Our ultimate goal is to help people; the rest will follow naturally," Taco concludes.
Up & Up Talent Solutions is a silver sponsor of the fruit and vegetable career day(s), AGF-Kennis(sen)dag: https://kennisdag.agf.nl/