Posted on 20th of June, 2018

The Art of Work: Attracting Talent at Spaces Herengracht

Clay, amongst a lot of other companies in Amsterdam, is always eager to know more about the golden bullets for attracting top talent into the company, so it’s no surprise that we attended the second edition of The Art of Work: A collaboration between recruitment platform Homerun and coworking giant Spaces.

This second edition was all about knowing your brand and recognizing the personalities that blend in seamlessly. Read what advice we brought back to the office.

In the stunning coworking location Spaces on the Herengracht, we were welcomed in a carefully designed, cosy room where we got to pick the brains of four of the greats in recruitment.

“Work environments who understand the human factor will be the ones who attract (and keep) talent” - Martijn Roordink , CEO Spaces

The discussion on how to attract talent started out with two recruitment legends: Alice van der Vliet, Global Head of Employer Branding & Recruitment Marketing at Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) and James Lesner, Senior Tech Recruiter at Catawiki:


The smartest thing to do when looking for talent is determining the profile you are aiming for. Don’t make the hiring process too hard. When you have a clear vision of that one person who’s going to fill in the role and make sure he or she is adaptable, you are solid.

Offering internships are a great way to spot talent from an early stage. But make sure you have the backbone to accommodate this learning environment. Be clear if you rather hire someone that is able to hit the ground running.

“Success for a recruiter is when the hire outperforms or if the hire stays for at least a year within the company” - James Lesner, Catawiki


People are shouting from the rooftops their company is a great place to work. But try to identify why your company is exactly that great place. Is it another ball pit? A personalized beer tap? These things are really cool, obviously. But being consistent and offering benefits like a learning platform with the content people want to accelerate in e-mailed to them, will keep employees mesmerized and engaged with the company.

Have brand ambassadors from all levels explain why your company is great so people will actually believe it and don’t think it’s another sales pitch to lure them in. Have employees show their week at the office on Instagram stories for example and ignite that important company pride.

Focus on being authentic and consistent and the right people will follow, and above all have your company values in check.


Having a fast interview process gets you ahead of the game. With this battle for talent going on you don’t have the luxury to waste time. Be as transparent as can be in the interview process and learn from it by sending out surveys after every interview. Work together with your team to get more knowledge about a certain role so you can explain clearly what the job entails. Making people feel comfortable and having a curious outlook welcomes people to be as transparent as your company. You will be rewarded with a clear vision of the candidate’s capacities. Don’t focus too much on previous experience. If the candidate is right the experience will follow.

After the break Laurent Scholten, CEO at Wonderkind and Walter Hueber, CEO at Cammio and Co-founder of the Dutch Recruitment Club were the cherry on the recruitment cake, with their tech-take on the interview process which, I must admit, frightened us a little bit.

Read what is happening at the forefront of the HR tech scene:

“There’s a shared war for talent going on, but it’s not about the number of candidates, but about matching the right one with the company” - Alice van der Vliet, Signify


Video has become dominant in engaging with potential talent and has a way higher conversion then job openings that haven’t got any visual presence online. Make sure every job post has a corresponding video that tells an open and transparent story and creates a presence on social media. If you are open and transparent in telling your company’s story online, you will target the right audience automatically. Have influencers in your industry that speak about your product or service mention the company is on the lookout for that special top talent.


Especially millennials tend to burn out if their work doesn't have the promise of purpose. If you have the right people in the right job, we can all live in abundance. Don’t look at what people have done in the past. What people show as a potential is far more important, let passion lead the way. Look objectively and don’t make assumptions, use coaching to let the candidate reach their full potential. Making people happy is still the aim. At the end of the road, you spend more time at work then with your loved ones.

The recruitment process consists of a lot of repetitive tasks that can be automated easily like a more structured way to plan the interview process. The hiring manager creates questions for a specific role and sends them to candidates that show interest. The candidates get to answer them through a video recording. With the video you can create personality data and match an algorithm of the company based on verbal reasoning. How does the candidate build sentences for example? It’s not ethical to use emotional data at the moment but this is certainly part of the future. We’ve always been recruiting with help of historical data but that’s not relevant anymore. We should focus on potential and the willingness to learn. Kill the cv.

With all this data analyzing going on we should keep in mind personal attention remains one of the most important things when attracting talent.

The golden bullet in recruitment doesn't exist, but an interesting place to work outshines all other benefits. Focus on what’s real and the right people will follow.

And like all companies, we now will use this last paragraph to say Clay is a great place to work (no really!) and we are happy to accomodate your talent! Come work for us! We promise we will make it worth your while! (No ball pit included)

Missed the first Art of work event about employer branding? Check out our previous blog post here!


SALTO KS provides a flexible access control management system that requires no software installation or the added expense of a fully-wired electronic product. Modern cloud-based, wireless access control system is easy and simple to use for businesses including Coworking Spaces, Coliving Buildings, Purpose Built Student Accommodation, Retail, Multi-Tenant Housing, Gyms and many more. Our best in class wireless access control solution and smart locks guarantee the efficiency for your business. Integrate smart locks, start easily managing wireless access control now!

App storePlay store