He’s not a recruiter

Jelmer Zuidema is a recruitment marketeer at Booking.com. He’s not a recruiter. He’s never processed a candidate from application to his or her desk. However, sometimes it’s good to not be too close, to you can objectively observe successful behaviors of those who are. We wrote about the three most imporant skills according to Jelmer in this article. Today we ask him about his skillset.



Jelmer, can you give us an example of how possessing one of the skills you mentioned before, adaptability, data-informed decission making and communication made all the difference in one of your jobs?


Adaptability has always been one of the skills that I’m most proud of. Former colleagues and clients call me a sponge – I like to indulge myself with information. Having the right information makes sure that you can join any conversation and not make a complete fool out of yourself – which is nice. But adaptability is more than being able to have a conversation, it’s also about accepting different opinions. It’s the ability to change your actions, course or approach in order to make the most impact.


What are the skills you expect to make a difference in the future? Say in the next 5 years?


All the predictions say the same – if you want to succeed in your future job you will have to focus on learnability, agility and resilience. Learn, pivot, pivot, pivot and bounce back when things are not going as they should. I would say that’s a perfect start, but would like to add ‘problem-solving’ to that list – bouncing back is way easier if you are able to quickly come up with a set of solutions.


What’s the one recruitment related skill you would like to become better at yourself?


In order to properly understand recruitment, I would like to learn how to assess candidates with minimal information. I know recruiters that look at a Twitter feed and immediately see matches between that person and open jobs. That’s a skill that is not only really valuable within recruitment, but also in business – one of the focusses for me in the coming ~40 years. Another skill that will help me in both is negotiation – what are triggers to act on in order to turn a ‘maybe’ into a convincing ‘yes’?


At Talent Acquisition Live, march 12th in Amsterdam, Jelmer will talk about recruiter skills with Hung Lee in a fireside chat.