15 Years of Link2Europe: the people behind the scenes

Link2Europe is not a success of 1 person or 1 team. Many people and stakeholders have had an influence or have been part of the success we know today. However, I am trying to highlight and thank some people specifically for the past 15 years.

The pioneering years

Marie-Jeanne Veeckman:

The Link2Europe story started back then at Vedior in 2004. In my then job as National Projects & Sales manager, I worked a lot with my fellow Key Account managers and National Sales managers. Marie-Jeanne was working in the Ghent region and was asked by one of her clients if we couldn't also look for people in Poland when selecting a large group of operators. That was the seed needed to develop the later Link2Europe story. Thanks Marie-Jeanne for the contacts at the time.

Gilbert Bouillon:

Our then CEO at Vedior Belgium was certainly not an everyman's friend and mainly came to reorganize and make things profitable. So he was certainly not always popular. A man of few words, but when he had to, he gave a lot of confidence. After half an hour of explaining my story, which I had prepared thoroughly, about looking in Europe and especially in Poland to see if we could do selections there and then the whole organization to employ those people here in Belgium, he only said: "Then you will have to go to Poland, eh Igor?

Dirk Beets:

For many years Dirk has been my sounding board and support in more difficult times. In his career, Dirk has mainly been my boss and later, when I started Link2Europe, has always been a good advisor. Alongside my associates, Dirk was always there to talk, exchange ideas and from his experience and calmness he could help point me in the right direction. Dirk has been a board member for a long time and was thus able to bring his experience of the staffing industry and his experience as a consultant to our board very well. Without Dirk the growth path would not have been so clear, the figures and budgets not so precise and the basis of the organization not so solid. I hope to be able to count on his support for many years to come.

Ronny Van Herck:

Ronny was the man who introduced me to potential investors who were interested in the niche of international recruitment and temporary employment. I had known Ronny for years from his then position within Distrilog and later as manager of LIS. Because of his relational ties to the staffing industry, we met several times and so through him I got the opportunity to pitch my business idea to his 2 then co-partners and owners John and Roger.

Roger Van Cleynenbreughel:

Roger together with "Den John" formed an entrepreneurial duo that worked out ideas, took risks but also dared to give new and untrodden paths. The idea of filling bottleneck jobs by recruiting outside Belgium was not only useful for their own company, but they certainly saw potential in this new avenue. Roger was the more figured entrepreneur and from him I learned mainly how to play the bank, how to work with a supplier in a good way in order to give the best price and how to radiate a lot of authority with the necessary calmness. Roger was also never too shy to roll up his sleeves in the beginning and help where necessary. Especially when it came to practical matters such as telephony, laminate and other housing issues. But above all, Roger and John provided the funds to find the necessary seed capital to start Link2Europe.

John Aerts:

2 Hands in 1 Belly, that was the main slogan John used in doing business with Roger. Like much in business, this is difficult in the long run, but do achieve certain goals that you put first. John was the man who could open doors, introduce someone and provide the ambiance when needed, though. I want to thank him for all those times at trade shows or networking events when he made sure our name was heard and tickets were handed out. John is a man of many words, but he also knows that deeds were better accomplished by others. Meanwhile, John has gone more down the road of being an insecure musician where his "hurry to nowhere" syndrome is more appropriate. But John always remains welcome at Link2Europe for a coffee and a chat about new ideas and opportunities.

Hanna & Ilona:

Without Hanna and her sister (Ilona) there would be no Link2Europe. I got to know Hanna and her sister Ilona on my first visits to Poland in 2004. The passionate sisters were pioneers in setting up a recruitment company in Poland where candidates applied who wanted to work abroad.

At the time, Opole had as many as a hundred or so recruiting companies dedicated to recruiting "German" Poles who were working mostly in the Netherlands.

When I conceived the plan to start Link2Europe in 2007, they were both also at a crossroads in their entrepreneurship and did not feel happy, after being taken over by a large staffing group, to continue working in a large ever-changing structure. We had built a good bond of trust and also friendship over the years we had worked together for Link2Europe and we decided to take the step of investing together in a new recruitment company. After tough negotiations on the modalities, we came to an agreement.

The name Link2Europe was also found after some joint brainstorming sessions and in early 2008 the Polish arm Link2Europe sp.z.o.o. was founded. At that time without sister Ilona who had decided last minute to join her husband's business.

With Hanna, the company in Poland was skillfully built and her experience in selection quickly led to the first successes. Now, so many years later, Ilona has finally joined the company and Link2Europe Poland remains our main recruitment partner.

Guido Vreuls:

At the time, Guido was responsible for what was called Dactylo Polska. Dactylo was a Dutch branch of the Vedior Holding operating in Poland with 4 offices focusing on recruitment for the Dutch labor market. Guido was presumably within the global Vedior organization then the youngest "country director" of presumably also the smallest number of branches (4). But fun it certainly was. It is within his offices that we learned the first experiences of this niche. I still try to meet up with Guido when I am in Poland. After his passage at Dactylo, he became responsible for the entire Polish and later Eastern European branch of Otto Workforce, the biggest player in this niche and by now a real staffing group. If anyone knows and understands our business it is him. There are many Dutch people walking around in Opole but if you want to go for a pint do it with Guido and Marcel (his Dutch comrade and ex-colleague who also stayed in Opole). Meanwhile, you can find Guido mostly in sports circles where he and his own company are mainly busy with sponsoring and sportswear for skaters and soccer. Thanks Guido for the good advice and great evenings.

Igor Van Assche

Share this post


Whoever you want to recruit

Link2Europe finds the best solution in the international labor market:

Fully deployable temporary workers and permanent contracts quickly

Had enough reading? Book yourself now a conversation with our specialists.

Please leave your details here and our specialists will contact you as soon as possible.

Are you looking for a job? Please visit: link2europe.eu