Work Different and Recruit Different with Jan Mertens

December 1, 2022

We’re very happy to welcome our new UQ Masterclass Partner Jan Mertens! He’s an atypical recruiter, career counsel and change coach with over 30 years of (inter)national experience that fits perfectly in the UQ team! Why? Well, because he wants to make a difference in people’s lives through his content, expertise and methodology and have a blast while doing so! 😁

What can you expect from him?

Amazing Masterclass level courses about change and recruitment. Jan has masterclass-level expertise in hiring and career counselling ICT sales (managers) and companies. Next to this, he coaches professionals and managers to optimise their personal and organisational development with made-to-measure solutions, especially in transforming ‘Command & Control’ into ‘Coach & Catalyse’ based organisation styles.

So, a mouthful of unique content that will soon be available in our UQ coach and Teach on Mars apps! He’s currently working on a course about a certain iCHANGE Framework. 😮 Sounds intriguing, right? Stay tuned to find out more!

What is ‘Work Different’ to you?

Having people just executing orders is the most uninteresting and unproductive way to optimise and maximise individual contribution. Regrettably enough, this is still the way most ‘Command & Control’ organisations are set up. ‘Work different’ means that all people, managers and co-workers, coach and catalyse each other to get the best out of every person and every team. It’s the difference between the boss telling you what to do and the boss asking you what the options are,  what you think is the best solution, and then refining the choice with you. It’s the difference between ‘do as you’re told’ and ‘do & learn’. This, of course, demands a different mind and skill set.

What is ‘Recruit Different’ to you?

‘Recruit Different’ focuses on detecting ‘contribution potential’ much more than ‘risk potential’. Too often selection procedures aim at eliminating candidates to ‘only keep the best’. The focus lies on finding a lack of knowledge, skill or fit, on reasons not to hire. If you want to waste talent, this is the best strategy. Recruit Different means the focus lies on identifying gaps rather than lacks and on how these gaps can be bridged, on how people can be developed. It’s about replacing ‘the fear of bad hirings’ by ‘setting up hirings for success’. In ‘Coach & Catalyse’ organisations this is natural, people help each other. All the more, Coach & Catalyse companies need to Recruit Differently. But then again, this also demands a different mind and skill set.

What made you decide to go into your field of expertise?

My father was a schoolteacher. He was genuinely upset about having to implement teaching methods that didn’t work well. He righteously considered this a useless waste of learning time and quality for his students. When I started working, I had the same feeling. Why do companies organise people in ways that aggravate the waste of energy and contribution? I found that ego is often the cause. ‘Me’ is more important than ‘we’. But ‘we’ performs better. So I focused on finding ways to organise people as ‘we’s’ and to transform ‘me’ resistance into ‘we’ collaboration, on finding ways to ‘Recruit Different’ and ‘Work Different’ in order to optimise and maximise contribution.

Do you want to get to know him more?

In his free time, he loves to play tennis. 🎾 It’s no coincidence that he owns his own tennis and padel club in Nimy, near Mons. If you’re ever in the neighbourhood, be sure to stop by to play a game or to watch others while enjoying a drink. Jan will welcome you with open arms!

Some fun facts about Jan

  1. What would you do with one extra hour per day? I would read and write, which is my dream …

  1. You can always wake me up for a good party, tennis or padel game, an inspiring conversation or just to have fun in life. But then, that’s also a lot of what I already do, so maybe that’s why I don’t sleep much.

  1. What gets me truly excited is catalysing people to be happy and successful, in both their private and their professional lives. If this may sound ‘woolly’ to you, come and try me out, catalysing can be quite shaking …

  1. Mentally I’m between 7 and 77 years old. I can be a very wise man, but I keep the kid in me very much alive! It’s refreshing and, it keeps my mother smiling.

Jan Mertens | UQalify

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