Erik is Director of Talent Management EMEA at BakerMcKenzie. "Balance HR's mindset is refreshing: look at the science and translate it into practice - without complicating things.”
Erik Van den Branden
Director of Talent Management EMEA at Baker McKenzie
Erik built up years of experience as HR Director, for companies such as Deloitte, PwC and Vente Exclusive. His habitat? Professional services businesses. Right now, he’s working for Baker McKenzie, an international law firm in Brussels, where he started as a freelancer via Balance HR. He currently works there on a permanent basis.
I feel like Balance HR really helped me. They matched me to my first freelance assignment and gave me the right boost.
Starting a freelancing career
After a career of over 30 years, Erik decided to start as a freelancer. "I knew Edward from Balance HR for several years. We spoke again and soon I was in business. I felt very comfortable with the proposed assignments. Finding a permanent job at my age proved to be a challenge. But I found out there’s actually a high demand for interim managers with my background in HR and professional services.”
The right boost
Erik could use some help as a freelancer. “I feel like Balance HR really helped me. They matched me to my first freelance assignment and gave me the right boost,” Erik says. “It was and still is a pleasant partnership with Balance HR.”
For Erik, the interaction with Edward is a big advantage. “A no-nonsense guy, Edward likes to keep things simple. He and his colleagues did a lot of useful work behind the scenes. That way, I could start smoothly, with clear agreements and the right expectations.”
Via Balance HR, Erik joined the international law firm Baker McKenzie as Talent Manager ad interim. "After almost a year in this freelance role, however, the opportunity came to take up the responsibility for talent management at EMEA level and on a permanent basis. I'm grateful that Balance HR fully supported me to make this happen."
Balance between science and hype
HR professionals sometimes tend to follow the latest hype, without well-founded scientific support. “With the right questions, you see right through it,” Erik says. “Still, anything that’s scientifically founded also needs to work in practice. It’s all a matter of finding the right balance. In any case, HR generally isn’t the best student, and our sector tends to run after hypes. That’s why I find the Balance HR mindset to be so refreshing: look at the science and translate it into practice - without complicating things.”
A future with Balance HR
“Being able to rely on partners is important. I appreciate that reliability in the collaboration with Balance HR. You won't catch me working with partners I don’t have any connection with.”