Target: Developing the professionals they place
What makes the recruitment agency really stand out from other providers? In Target's case, it’s very clear according to Leonie. "We provide a lot of value to the professionals seconded to a client by supporting their professional development through our Target Academy."
The Target Academy was established several years ago. It is a tailor-made development programme, specially designed to promote the personal development of professionals. Leonie: "Drawing up a personal development plan, coaching by external experts and knowledge sharing are key components of the Target Academy. In my position as Talent Manager, I work full-time helping professionals grow, including through the Target Academy. We have contact with every seconded person throughout the contract period. "
In order to provide all professionals with the support and training they need their career stage, Target was looking for a solution that would provide insight into a person's preferred behaviours, strengths and development points.
To arrive at the right personal development plan, it is necessary to first have insight into what someone is good at and where exactly their development points are. To gain this insight, Target uses Thomas International's Behaviour assessment. Completing this takes just eight minutes and provides an accurate insight into people's behavioural preferences in the workplace. Leonie explains, "We usually deploy the Behaviour assessment after someone has worked for a client for about three to four months. By then, an individual has usually found his or her feet, and already has an idea of what is going well and where they could benefit from support. Through the assessment, we get an even better idea of someone's preferred behaviour in the workplace, what motivates them and how they can add the greatest value for the organisation."
The results of the assessment are always discussed in detail with the individual, and in some cases also with their manager. Leonie: "Based on the charts and the explanation in the report, I discuss the results with the professional. In the years we have been working with the assessment, I have never experienced anyone not recognising the results. One of the great advantages I also find is that the reports are written in clear and recognisable language. They really are spot on." A professional usually decides whether he or she wants to share the results with the manager. Leonie often advises that they do. "This actually gives a manager a kind of ‘user manual’ for the person, which facilitates better cooperation. Especially when things could be better, where working relationships could be improved for example, the assessment is often a good starting point to start the conversation."
The report reveals not only the person's strengths, but also their development points. And it is precisely the latter points that often form the basis of the personal development plan. Leonie explains: "With those development points, our professionals then set to work. My colleagues and I support them by helping them convert their development points into new behaviour. By scheduling regular coaching moments, we keep the momentum going and help them make adjustments. We don't just say we will advance our professionals’ careers, we actively work on this through training and coaching. Because of this we believe we can really make a difference and be a desirable employer in the long term."
Incidentally, Target deploys the assessment not only for its professionals, but also in the recruitment of its own staff. Based on the insights from the assessment, better recruitment decisions are made.
Using the Thomas Behaviour assessment to develop seconded professionals is a logical choice for Target. Leonie: "It gives us the information we need to properly support them with coaching and training and help them take the next step in their careers. We find that our approach is valued by both the professionals and our clients. More and more professionals seconded by us take on a new assignment through us once their initial assignment is completed. Especially in the current tight labour market where many organisations are eager for technical talent, this is a nice piece of recognition for us."
Target also recently organised a team session, with all internal employees of the company. The aim of this session was to strengthen mutual cooperation. Prior to the training, all colleagues had completed a Behaviour assessment. "Through the training, we all gained more insight into ourselves and others. Everyone has a different profile and therefore deals with situations differently. The session has created more understanding in the workplace. Communicating has also improved because we are more aware of our mutual differences, and we know how to adapt our communication style accordingly."