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Mindset first, technology second: An interview with Gert Vanhaecht, CIO at Belfius Insurance

Written by Lien Ponnet on 1 October 2020 for Client testimonials

Belfius Insurance and Exellys enjoy a pleasant and mutually beneficial partnership, with loads of Exellysts joining Belfius and integrating on their payroll after their two-year mission is completed. We had a talk with CIO Gert Vanhaecht and asked him what his experience working with Exellys and its consultants is like.

“Four years ago, I was leading a team with only 30 percent internal employees. Amongst the other 70 percent were a couple of Exellysts but also external employees from other agencies. I immediately made a plan to increase the number of internal employees, with a target of 60 percent by the end of 2022. We have already passed the milestone of 50 percent in 2020 and are well on our way of achieving our target.

This recruitment plan centered around two corner stones: on the one hand, hiring people with lots of experience via our HR-department, and on the other hand hiring young talent with the help of external parties like Exellys.

After a short while, it became clear that our partnership with Exellys surpassed the expectations: the efficiency of the collaboration, the quality of candidates, the constructive conversations we had, and not unimportantly, value for money. In 2020 alone, we signed some 30 contracts, around half of which with people that joined our company through our partnership with Exellys. It’s safe to say that it has been – and continues to be – a success.”

Which specific challenges did Belfius Insurance face concerning IT talent?

“Around the time of my arrival at Belfius Insurance, we started our digital transformation. We didn’t want to just keep up with the changes that the world was facing, we wanted to be pioneers. Just look at our banking app: you can tell that we are aiming to be the best in the world. To achieve that goal, also the insurance services we provide on the app must meet strict quality demands. And that means everybody needs to be on board with the transformation. The whole organization plays a part in sculpting the digital transformation, not only the people building the app.

I’ve learned that digital transformation is about mindset first and technology second. We recruit based on mindset. We want to be a trusted partner with a customer-oriented ideology, who makes sure to provide futureproof systems. The way we achieve that goal is through optimal collaboration. By installing mission teams with the right mindset, who inspire the others with their youthful passion, we end up with a community of employees who are willing to work and help us to make the change. This is where Exellys has been of huge value to us: by providing those young talents who have the right mindset and uncurbed enthusiasm for digital innovation.”

How would you quantify the potential impact of partnering with Exellys?

The role that the Exellys coaches play is not to be underestimated. We embark upon a journey with the consultant ànd their Exellys coach and that really makes a difference. After their time with Exellys has come to an end, we have noticed that many consultants had grown attached to having a coach. Our first response was to say: it’s time to cut the cord now and start making it on your own. But later we adjusted course: we asked all our leaders to participate in a coaching training. After this training, leaders were free to become coaches within the organisation. We opened up the coaching to all employees and we’re getting a lot of positive responses. So that is something that Exellys taught us: to keep coaching our people if we want to have lasting success.

Another positive effect of our partnership with Exellys has been the age diversification of our employees. Thanks to the young talents brought to us by Exellys, we now have a healthy age pyramid within the organisation. This also means better prospects for our succession management, because these young people have lots of opportunities to grow into our leaders of the future. In fact, some former Exellysts are already making their way up the ladder within Belfius Insurance.”

Are you an IT graduate or young professional? Do you want to join our community of Exellysts, reap the benefits of extensive coaching and training and grow into a young professional with a promising future? Contact us, we are happy to talk to you!

Are you an organisation facing challenges in the digital age? Are you looking for young talented people to make your business future proof? Get in touch with Exellys, we are happy to find the right people for you, to help you achieve your goals!

About Exellys

Exellys is a Tech Talent Incubator. We bring tech talent into the daily operations of the organization of our customers and grow them for the innovations of tomorrow.

From the 1.500 tech talents we speak to annually, we select the top 7%. We intensively train and coach them on the right skills and competences. Our (scientifically based) training programs (Start Smart, Grow Smart & Lead Smart) accelerate the growth of our talents, and therefore also the growth of our customers.

We “unburden” our clients when looking for and retaining tech talent. We are committed to getting the best out of talent, while our customers can continue to focus on their core business. We do this for organisations who want to strengthen their team permanently, as well as those who are looking for a flexible, project-driven solution.

Get in touch with us today and find out how we can help.