“You never see them but they are indispensable”.
An interview with Maaike Agricola HR Manager at Intercel.
HR manager at Intercel, a great job! With what background did you end up there?
“I studied Psychology and Business Administration and specialising in human resources immediately attracted me. In the final year of my studies, I started my own company, linking young professionals to interesting SMEs. I sold that after 5 years and then started helping organisations with their recruitment issues on an interim basis. Intercel came to me about 2 years ago with a request for help and I immediately felt more than welcome! For me, batteries and the technology behind them were quite new, but because colleagues took me along with them in the Intercel story, I now find it really wonderful products with smart solutions. Batteries have so many applications, you never see them but they are indispensable. In addition, our organisation is growing rapidly and this offers many opportunities in my new role as HR Manager. Building a super team and working towards our common goal gives energy. The fact that we are really contributing something to the world with Intercel gives me extra satisfaction.”
“Most important is someone’s personal ambition and interest.”
How do you recruit new people?
“Above all, we try to respond quickly and accurately to candidate applications. We are also immediately honest about whether someone could be a good fit for us. It is a challenging market and a fast-paced world. I find honesty and transparency essential. We are a fast-growing company and that has advantages and disadvantages. It is important that candidates are aware of what kind of environment they are entering and what to expect. Together with our HR team, we make sure our vacancies are filled properly. But besides our team, other colleagues are also important recruiters. They play an important role and concretely help to recruit new colleagues. The most important thing is that everything we do fits together and reinforces each other. Recruiting new colleagues is high on everyone’s agenda. We really do it together!”
Which positions are currently the focus of recruitment?
“We are looking for people for different positions in the company. Good mechanics for our Custom Battery department are also always welcome. Mechanics with a positive attitude and who can work accurately. Awareness of working safely is always very important. Not everyone needs to have an exact matching background, but they should have a natural technical understanding. Intercel is keen to train new colleagues, but technical insight and passion for our products are the basis in this role. Smart engineers are also welcome to drive further innovation of our custom batteries. Intercel also offers cool internship and training positions. Open applications are also always welcome, if we see a match, we are sure to find a suitable position!”
What is your best recruitment story from the past year?
“We really think out-of-the-box, of course mechanics are hard to find now. We recently hired some new colleagues who were already retired, they are helping us fantastically in assembly. This older group is often overlooked, but they are very motivated and an asset to the company. We now find that other older people also apply easily. By being creative, we manage to recruit enough people well in this challenging market.”
How does Intercel distinguish itself as an employer?
“You get many opportunities with us and you can actually grow with the organisation , my own story is a good example of this. There are plenty of career opportunities! We offer employees to be part of a family, where you can ask anything and really be yourself. Even if things go a little worse for you, we are there for each other.”
What extra do you have to bring to this challenging market?
“Working in a fast-growing company with plenty of opportunities, with committed colleagues who put their shoulders to the wheel together. We also offer many extras such as, for example: boot camp once a week, drinks every Friday, many different outings and once a year we go on a winter sports trip, with Intercel covering almost all costs.”
What do you think is important when a new colleague starts?
“The most important thing is that someone feels welcome. In the first weeks, we pay a lot of extra attention to the person and their questions. We offer a clear induction programme to help them land calmly. There is also a lot of information about our batteries and our markets. We like to make someone well versed in our world.”
And existing colleagues, what do you do for them?
“Most important is someone’s personal ambition and interest. From there, we tailor it. We want to facilitate extensively and train colleagues further, internally or externally. How someone can best add value within Intercel. That’s in small things. Also, in a growth phase, it is important that we, as employees, keep a good dialogue with each other. Where do we want to go as Intercel, what do we expect from each other and how do we ensure that we become and remain successful together? Good communication and sharing ambitions is essential in this respect.”
In the next three years, you want to more than double in size, what is your role in that?
“Our biggest challenge is to maintain the strong family culture. That is a task when you grow so fast. Communication is the key word here to bring everyone along and give people opportunities so that everyone who wants to can also continue to grow.”
What is the nicest feedback you have received from a new colleague?
“We just hired two German colleagues for our Accu op Maat department, for the German market. Coincidentally, at the second interview of one of the candidates, there was a birthday of another colleague. As usual, this was celebrated grandly in the canteen. This colleague was immediately involved in the celebration and felt so welcome that he chose Intercel partly because of this.”