5 questions for

Marlink: "Strong networks are created by sharing"

Interview with Eric van Marle and Mark Volmerink, directors at Marlink Executive Search (www.marlink.nl)

Text Annemarieke Noordhoff Photos Marlink.nl

1. Can you briefly explain the service you offer?
"We build relationships between people representing different sectors, professions and executive roles. What they all have in common is their attitude to life: highly ambitious, keen to inspire others and committed to carry on developing themselves. In this way, we create a cast-iron network. Because we focus on people and what motivates them – and only afterwards on their sector or profession – we get to know our clients very well. Then, if a company needs to recruit, we always find the right match. At all senior and executive levels."

2. How does what you are doing strengthen the corporate (legal) sector?
"We sometimes jokingly refer to ourselves as the DNA matchmaker. We invest a huge amount of time and energy in getting to know our clients really well. So well, in fact, that we've sometimes identified their human capital needs before they have. We deliberately don't focus on sectors or professions because we believe it's much more important to look at the people behind them. After all, it would be a shame if an organisation in the financial sector missed out on a brilliant candidate match simply because he or she was in the 'real estate' batch."

We sometimes jokingly refer to ourselves as the DNA matchmaker

3. What's new about your service?
"Everyone in our industry focuses on people; there's nothing new in that. But our approach is different. Unconventional, even. We do it because we really care about enriching relationships. Our primary goal is not to fill vacancies as quickly as possible, but to make valuable connections. The executives, investors, entrepreneurs and professionals in our network aren't satisfied with just 'average'. They set high standards – including for us. We're therefore well-versed in coaching and call in business psychologists when we need to."

4. What else can we expect from you in the future?
“We'll continue to look for new ways to enhance the quality of relationships, even if doing so doesn't always directly benefit us. For example, we organise small, personalised events where people in our network can meet and talk following an opening address by a keynote speaker. ‘The currency of real networking is not greed, but generosity,’ as US author and CEO consultant Keith Ferrazi has written. We fully endorse that statement. Bringing and sharing enriches people so much more than getting.”

5. What's your relationship with Legadex?
"It goes back quite a few years now, and has recently been further strengthened. Luc (Van Daele, ed.) attended one of our events last year, and was introduced to Frederike (Sips-Brons, ed.), who was appointed Managing Director of Legadex this year. A very positive match – in terms of background and culture as well as on a personal level – for which we were able to pave the way."