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Vanessa Berentsen on her talent and operations role at Varrlyn

21 June 2024

In the role of talent and operations manager, Vanessa Berentsen helps Varrlyn to find the right talent for the most important projects of its clients. We spoke with Vanessa about the key factors in finding the right candidates, and how she helps ensure Varrlyn’s operations are structured to set them up for success.

“My career began many years ago as an intern at a staffing agency,” Vanessa recalls. “I gained experience in recruitment, human resources and finance.”

A career changing event – Vanessa had meanwhile become a proud mother of her first child – led her to seek a job where she could combine her passion for talent with an inspiring work environment and a good work-life balance. “That led me to Varrlyn.”

Five years on from her arrival, Vanessa says she is still delighted to be with the firm. After starting as office manager, she transitioned to become Varrlyn’s talent and operations manager – taking responsibility for both recruitment and sales account management when a client tasks the consultancy with finding the right talent.

According to Vanessa, clients are increasingly approaching Varrlyn for this service, because “we don’t make false promises and we are not in it for a one time win”. For Varrlyn, she asserts that it’s most important that the client finds the right candidate, not for a short term but for a longer period. And the firm works with clients as a partner to ensure this – finding and employing new experts to staff projects.

In her role, Vanessa leads the entire talent sourcing process, from search and selection through to negotiations and introductions with potential clients. “Our approach is very personal and transparent, both ways.”

Varrlyn’s strategy to put talent at the heart of its people policies means that the firm has to ensure professionals feel welcome and looked after, during and after projects. “For us it is about quality and not quantity,” Vanessa goes on. “If our consultants are not happy, it reflects on us. We always hear back from our Varrlynees that we create a community. There is a safety net. We will always be there to support them. Sometimes even when they don’t even work for us anymore.”

Looking back on her last five years with Varrlyn, Vanessa finds a lot of satisfaction in what she has been part of.

“I love the diversity of this job,” she continues. “On the side of recruitment, I love the contact with different kind of people – the hiring manager, candidates, and colleagues. And I find it satisfying to find the right person to a role and that they will do the job for a long time.”

But what does the future hold? Vanessa notes that she has “several dreams”; foremost of which is for Varrlyn to expand and to “become a bigger consultancy firm where the quality always prevail over quantity”. Particularly, she is keen to grow her own role with the firm.

She concludes, “In that growth I want to grow the recruitment and to be responsible for a bigger team. We have many requests from our clients, but not always the capacity to find the right candidates for every role we have. Demand for our services is high, I’m looking forward playing my part to the continued growth of the firm.”