Interview Anne Willeboordse at TITM

Anne Willeboordse, director and founder of WIBA IT, has been interviewed by the Tijdschrift IT Management (TITM) magazine. The interview discussed the core aspects of WIBA IT, the Staffing Awards and the Customer Intimacy. Read here under the complete article which has been published in the June edition of TITM.

In the past year, 110 independent IT specialists were able to find work via the intermediary services of WIBA IT, representing a 38% increase in the company’s turnover. A lot has changed in the IT market and intermediaries need to keep up with that change. “While we used to focus on sales in the past, we now focus more on recruitment”, says founder/CEO Anne Willeboordse. “We expect a lot more growth in the coming years. Soon, we will open an office in Rotterdam, because we want to be as close to our market as possible.”

Goes-based WIBA IT is an independent intermediary for IT specialists, in particular for software development projects. The company’s staff of five uses a database with over 4,000 CV’s to find the right match to its clients’ request. “We are independent because our IT specialists are not on our payroll or in-house. That makes us different from most of the other intermediaries in the IT market”, according to intermediary Ramon Vases. “We are a pureblood intermediary: we serve both the client and the IT specialist. And we are quick.”  And he really raises the bar on that: it is his ambition to propose the right candidate to the client within 24 hours. “And we almost always succeed. Clients really appreciate that, because there is often a lot of pressure from the projects that our IT specialists will work on.”

WIBA IT spends a lot of time articulating customers’ demands, the underlying demands. Clients really appreciate that, because it translates into a high-quality long-term match. “After all, it’s not just about the IT specialist’s knowledge, but also their personality, the hard skills and the soft skills”, says Vaes. That is exactly why WIBA IT does not take part in so-called marketplaces. Willeboordse: “We won’t be able to communicate with the client directly; you just deliver what is requested. In practice, that usually leads to more frustrations and failed collaborations. So no, no marketplaces.”

WIBA IT intermediates in positions at higher education levels within the Software Development Lifecycle in JAVA and .NET: developers, information analysts, designers, software analysts, testers, middleware specialists, software architects and project managers. “And we see a growing demand for big data specialists and analysts”,  adds Willeboordse. “And of course cloud engineers and people with an agile/scrum and DevOps background. The IT world is changing, and so are we”. WIBA IT does not focus on one specific sector; its clients include the Chamber of Commerce, Eindhoven University, USG People, Rabobank, Binck Bank, DocData Payments, and many other organizations.

In 2015, WIBA IT received the Staffing Award for best IT intermediary. “We really loved getting that award”, Willeboordse admits. “It is given on the basis of references, from clients and from freelancers. For us, it is a recognition of what we do. At the same time, we realize there is a lot we can do better, as the references let us know. We are constantly working on those.”

DocData Payments in Driebergen, which was founded in 1999, offers online payment services. The company services webshops and hosting parties, as well as processing large authorization batches for large companies. Stefan Verbaarschott, CEO of DocData Payments, met Willeboordse in 2014 at an event surrounding the reverse engineering or legacy systems. A challenge that the online payment service provider was facing at the time. And when it was time for a large-scale system overhaul, Verbaarschott realized he was understaffed. “I remember my conversation with Anne, but especially the click we had, which was what made me decide to renew our acquaintance.” Verbaarschott was especially looking for mid-level to senior JAVA developers, slightly overqualified perhaps, but people who would be able to be productive within a few weeks. Since then, WIBA IT has been able to place as many as 13 IT specialists at DocData Payments. “Simply the right people, with the right quality and personalities. And actually, the first one still works for us.” It is especially the customer intimacy that Verbaarschott cherishes, and not having to explain over and over what he is looking for. “Single sourcing with a reliable partner and the right balance between price/quality and flexibility make my life easier. I will keep doing business with WIBA IT.”

Together with Rotterdam University of Applied Science, WIBA IT is mapping the freelance market, on the one hand to expand its service to the freelancers, and on the other hand to improve the quality of its database and continue to provide its clients with high-quality IT specialists. “We are currently having exploratory talks in our network, but nothing is concrete yet. And we are taking our time, because we want to do it right. In fiscal terms, there is some pressure: at the moment, the labor market is focused on the Deregulation Assessment Labor Relations legislation (DBA), which will replace the old VAR system. The new legislation has a major impact on clients and freelancers alike.” Willeboordse has an outspoken opinion about that, see the frame. Will WIBA IT once again win the Staffing Award in 2016? “We certainly want to. This time, we came first in the IT intermediary category, but there is also an overall ranking of 600 companies, where we finished third. It is certainly our ambition to be number 1. It is a good motivation to keep doing the best we can,” Willeboordse concludes.