Team Operations, a personal approach from A to Z

Onboarding can be defined as the action or process of integrating a new employee into an organisation. Can be, because to Team Operations at The Specialist Group (TSG), it is so much more, that onboarding can’t be properly described in words. This article will attempt to do so anyway. Why? Because Operations Manager Janine Roefs and Lead Operations Executives Dawn Hoftijzer and Ilse van Baren like to achieve the seemingly impossible.

Planning, organising, coordinating and overseeing everything that’s required for TSG’s external specialists to optimally perform. That about sums up the role of Team Operations. And it makes sense, then, that the team consists of movers and shakers. However, that’s not the first thing you might notice about this currently all-female TSG team. “First and foremost, we’re an open, engaged and social team,” explains Dawn Hoftijzer. “We have to be, because to many external specialists, we’re the face of the company. So from the very word go, you want to make them feel they can come to us with all their questions 24/7.” And that is, in fact, precisely how the thousands of specialists out in the field do feel.

TSG’s specialists
But what do the TSG’s external specialists actually do? In short, The Specialist Group is the go-to resource when you need to staff specialised technical projects of any shape and size with highly trained specialists. Whether on a project basis or through posting, the group and its technical specialists contribute to the sustainable future of various industries. “Our 3,000+ specialists work on our clients’ most impactful projects. The goal for Team Operations is to enable them to focus fully on their work, while a the same time experiencing a strong team spirit,” says Janine Roefs. “That’s why we’ve upgraded from conventional onboarding to Onboarding 2.0.”

“Together with internal and external colleagues, we truly form a team.”Dawn Hoftijzer.

Onboarding 1.0…
Imagine you’re a white-collar specialist starting a nice new project. Why do it with TSG? Well, because with its five labels, 18 branches and more than 600 industry-leading clients in five countries it promises fantastic career opportunities, obviously. But also because you get support from Dawn and her colleagues. “We make sure you get off to a smooth start. That means we provide you with all the information you need, explain everything about portals, ensure you have the right work clothing, arrange for your passes and, for instance, help you fill in your time sheets.” So much for Onboarding 1.0.

…versus Onboarding 2.0
Apart from providing information and needs care, Onboarding 2.0 has a strong social function. Ilse van Baren explains, “It’s about the warm welcome. We like to meet new specialists face-to-face, give them a tour if possible, and we always send them a starter kit.” Included in the kit are fun items like genuine TSG stroopwafels, but also a handwritten card. It’s a small gesture that has a significant impact. Ilse notes, “It’s the personal touch that we find important and we maintain it throughout a specialist’s project. We make sure we congratulate people when there’s something to celebrate, offer support through challenging times and show our appreciation when a specialist moves on to a new project.”

In short, Onboarding 2.0 is the perfect blend of professional support and a personal approach, from the very start to well beyond the finish. Janine adds, “We always inquire about a specialist’s specific needs and tailor our approach accordingly. Yes, that sometimes takes extra time. And yes, it’s absolutely worth it.”

“A grand reception is in the smallest detail.” – Ilse van Baren.

Five-star treatment
A brief resumé. The five-star treatment from Team Operations includes providing any and all relevant specifics, finalising and bringing together documents and files, arranging the right materials, assisting with financial matters, answering questions and welcoming the specialist with open arms – all with a personal touch. How to achieve this? “Behind the scenes, all processes are streamlined,” explains Dawn, “and we have our data in order, enabling us to be always in the know, reliable and proactive.”

“We work closely with Consultants, Sales, Compliance, IT and Finance, too,” adds Janine. “That solid collaboration ensures that the servicing by Team Operations grows in step with TSG’s rapid and international expansion.

“As specialist, you have our entire organisation and all its departments behind you.” – Janine Roefs.

You can’t automate personal attention
And you wouldn’t want to automate personal attention, even though Team Operations currently faces plenty of challenges that might make it tempting to do so. “TSG is growing in leaps and bounds. This means that our workload is increasing, while we have to continue to focus on our personal approach,” says Janine. Couldn’t you just skip the handwritten card, or maybe the starter kit? “Absolutely not! Though it does sometimes mean there too few hours in a day,” admits Dawn with a smile.

Fortunately, the work-hard, play-hard attitude of the team continues to attract enthusiastic and ambitious new colleagues, who from day one learn to stay abreast of the latest developments. Janine explains: “We are expected to keep up with the constantly changing laws and regulations, which is all the more important because our growth is international.” So whether you are a TSG specialist heading abroad or coming to the Netherlands for a project, Team Operations is there for you with everything you need to know. Maybe even in person at the airport. And that’s much appreciated by specialists.

I recently received a bunch of flowers and a personal thank-you note from a specialist; that’s a wonderful recognition of our efforts.” – Dawn Hoftijzer.

Ambitions, dreams and ideas
Is TSG’s Onboarding 2.0 120% futureproof already? You’d almost think so, but sitting still isn’t in this group’s DNA. Team Operations still has plenty of ambitions, dreams and ideas.“I’d like to visit more of our specialists’ projects in future,” says Dawn, “as that would make everything even more personal and create a kind of reverse onboarding.” Her colleague Ilse adds, “Getting even more closely involved, acting almost like a PA to specialists, that’s my dream!” Looking ahead, Janine concludes, “Specialists can call us with any question and, hopefully, the threshold for such contact will become even lower soon, as we have an online chat function and other innovative tools planned. The main thing is that the specialists know we will always do everything we can to achieve the seemingly impossible for them.”

Previous Article

Sil Hoeve on the course plotted, results achieved and destinations ahead