The perfect match is a win-win for both consultant and customer

Quentin Bruyère and Pieter-Jan Spans are Business Consultant at T&S Brussels. They have a focus on the process of matching. For each project they try to find the best match for a specific job description, which results in a win-win for the consultant and the client.

“After a job in India I was unemployed”, Quentin starts telling his story. “I had been looking around proactively and got interested in consultancy and TriFinance. I wanted to break up the routine of bookkeeping a bit. Moreover, I loved the philosophy of TriFinance.
During 3,5 years I was consultant at various projects, which made me sweat. Sitting at a desk is not evident for me, you see. (laughs) One of the philosophies of TriFinance is to find the next destination for each consultant. I really wanted to join the internal team. So since one year I am Business Consultant at the office of Louvain-la-Neuve.”

Pieter-Jan explains his career path. “I was coming from a smaller company, a headhunting office. The only thing that mattered there was earning money. There was no philosophy or strategy and in the end I was done with it.
I knew TriFinance as it was a neighbour of my previous employer. I had some job interviews and finally I had two job offers, TriFinance and Robert Half. I chose TriFinance because they make their employees - and not the money - come first. Many companies say they do this, but few of them actually do. TriFinance really does it.”

Pieter-Jan Spans: "Many companies say that their employees come first, but few of them do this. TriFinance really does it."

You have a focus on matching. What is this exactly?

Quentin : When we receive a project of a client, we try to find the best match for that specific job description. Trying to find the consultant that will personally grow thanks to that project. We try to ‘charm’ the consultant by explaining him the job content and why it could be positive for his development. To me, matching is really finding a win-win for both parties: the customer and the consultant.

Pieter-Jan: Indeed, the aspect ‘furthering’ is truly important in this process. It’s not always easy, because we want to ‘further’ our people by giving them interesting projects. Unfortunately we are faced with the economic reality. In the past we could sometimes offer three projects to a consultant, but since the crisis this has become more difficult. Despite this reality I can say that I have never pushed a consultant to do a project. 

What is the most difficult thing in the matching process?

Quentin: Finding the ‘resources’. There are moments of peaks, when there is a lack of bookkeepers or other specific profiles. Sometimes the client determines the price and we have to search for freelancers when all our consultants are on a mission. If the freelancer is too expensive for that client, then it is a challenge to find a solution.

Pieter-Jan : For me, it is a challenge to find more and more interesting projects to satisfy the furthering of our consultants. We have to be ambitious to reach our Leap Forward. Of course, this is in the first place a difficult role for our Business Managers, our commercial people. But also for us, as we want to make the right match with the consultants, so they can gain experience and grow in order to do those more interesting projects. 

Do you see a change in your search for specific profiles?

Pieter-Jan : Today the function of bookkeeper is a bottleneck job. Many companies don’t find those people. That’s the way they end up at TriFinance to have at least a temporary solution.
Last year we analysed this. About 40% of the demands is in Bookkeeping, another 40% in Controlling and Analysis en 20% in other domains. Few people want to work as a bookkeeper today. They still have the old picture of the silent bookkeeper, sitting in his dusty office with a pile of files. That’s not realistic of course, but it is a fact that we have a mismatch between the demands and the available profiles.

Quentin : There are fewer and fewer bookkeepers. As Pieter-Jan said earlier, there is an enormous outsourcing for bookkeeping, because it includes many recurrent tasks. In the future a lot of these tasks will be automated. As a result, the demand for bookkeepers will slowly fade out. Maybe then we will get a much higher demand for Controllers and people with a bookkeeping background.

Pieter-Jan : Robotic Bookkeeping is an evolution, where TriFinance already took its first steps. A lot of processes are going to be automated. This is and has to be the future. I think that the function of the traditional bookkeeper will disappear in the end. Because few young people want to do this job today and because many recurrent processes will be automated.

Quentin Bruyère: "During the matching process, we try to find the consultant that will personally grow thanks to that project."

Did it already happen to you that you think to have found the perfect match, but that the consultant isn’t convinced?

Quentin : What’s the perfect match? The job description corresponds to the profile of the consultant and his furthering, so you can see the win-win for the consultant and the customer. But sometimes it happens that a consultant doesn’t agree with you. Of course, a consultant can refuse a project. He’s not supposed to drive 3 hours a day to go to work. But it’s up to us to reassure him and to look for a solution together.

Pieter-Jan : I recently had the case that I thought I had found the perfect match. I proposed the project to the consultant, when he told me that it would be no furthering for him. So in theory this seemed to be the perfect match, but when I listened to his arguments, I understood him.

Do you have a matching story that made you very happy?

Quentin : We recently received a demand with very specific criteria, which complicated the search. The customer was looking for a five-legged sheep. (laughs) By chance a freelancer called me; he noticed that I viewed his profile. When I explained the client’s criteria, we thought he could be the right man in the right place. So I sent only one candidate to our client, the interview took 35 minutes en he was hired immediately.

Pieter-Jan : We have many beautiful stories about difficult assignments that turn out to a success. Or about consultants that would like to do something, but don’t have the right experience, and yet get an opportunity. Such successful projects give a boost.

Already today there are technologies that do matching. How do you see this evolution?

Pieter-Jan : They can help us, but I don’t think they will replace us. We are often more focused on the person and his competences than on his finance skills. Obviously they need to have certain technical skills, but our clients mostly ask for the personality, ambitions, proactivity, etc. So technologically it won’t be difficult to match for technical capacities, but for the personality this would be very hard to do.

Quentin : In terms of hard skills it’s clear that an automated filter is possible. But it wouldn’t function completely for the soft skills, the personality of our consultants. And that is exactly our philosophy: TriFinance works with people, not with machines.
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