DJAx Awards 2024: Recognizing excellence in digital job advertising

Key Highlights:

  1. Recognition of excellence: Nominate your organization to highlight outstanding contributions in the evolving job advertising sector. Shortlisted entries gain visibility through promotion and receive a badge for their websites.
  2. Professional networking: The awards ceremony serves as a platform for participants to connect with influential leaders and professionals in the industry, fostering valuable relationships.
  3. Enhanced visibility for Winners: Successful candidates receive a trophy, a digital winners badge for their website, and strategic promotion, enhancing their brand’s prominence in the competitive job advertising landscape.
  4. Post-Event coverage: Winners will participate in live interviews post-event, providing an opportunity to discuss their winning entry and achievements.

Expert Judges:

A team of experienced professionals, including Jeff Dickey-Chasins, Leah Daniels, Kork Desai, and Janine Bos, will carefully review all nominations to make sure everyone has a fair chance.

Nominating Process:

  1. Visit the official DJAx Awards website.
  2. Select up to three relevant categories.
  • Best Creative Activity to fill a Job Posting
  • Best Use of Technology
  • Best Social Media Presence to fill a Job Posting
  • Best Customer Success Team
  • Best Social/Positive Impact Initiative
  • Outstanding Candidate Experience
  • Best Supplier to the Job Boards Industry Excellence in a Niche Market
  1. Complete the user-friendly nomination form(s).
  2. Nomination is free of charge.

 Important Dates

  • Deadline for Nominations: January 26, 2024
  • Shortlist Announcement: March 2024
  • Awards Evening: May 16, 2024 (London); tickets available on the official website.

For inquiries, please contact Louise Triance via email.

Participate in the DJAx Awards 2024 to align your organization with excellence in digital job advertising.

Company Culture: Mind Mapping the Brain of Your Organisation

The goal of the series was to empower organisations to look deeper into their company culture and discover what they have the ability to influence, and especially, learn how to bridge the gap between the current culture and the ideal culture that they want to create. We have already published an article outlining the dimensions of culture and how to influence them, so now it is time to take a look at the last step – measurement and practical application.

Building a Company Mind Map

Ligia Koijen-Ramos asserts that the art of designing an organisational culture is akin to constructing a mind map, because culture is the brain of a company. If this process is done well then you will have not only a clear idea of the collective beliefs, shared experiences, and desired connections that shape the company’s identity, but also a defined goal and direction to keep moving in the right direction. Once you have created a reliable mind map of the company’s brain (a.k.a. culture), it can be used to track the progress and temperature within the company, as well as identify problems in a timely manner, and control solutions and outcomes that continue supporting the vision of the organisation.

Two Frameworks for Culture Measurement

In order to create a reliable mind map of your organisation’s culture you will need a frame of reference. Measuring the existing culture is often overlooked but proves to be a pivotal step in creating meaningful change. There are many diverse methods for taking the pulse of your company culture, including 360 degree feedback with the leadership team, sending out anonymous questionnaires, or conducting focus groups, to name a few. The exact process you use will depend on your team and goals, but Ligia has provided two frameworks that can give a guideline for what to focus on. These two frameworks are the organisational culture principles from Hofstede, and the operational principles that are found in nature. 

1. Hofstede Principles

Hofstede’s organisational culture principles can be examined to further decipher and evaluate company culture and whether or not it is in line with the ideals you are aiming for. By identifying where your company falls on the scale of these various dimensions, it will be possible to both pinpoint your current company culture and strategically determine what needs to change in order to achieve your ideal company culture.


Organisational Principles:

  • Means-Oriented vs. Goal-Oriented: This principal deals with where the organisation’s focus lies on a scale between results (goals) or the journey to the results (means). An organisation’s focus will typically fall somewhere between a ‘find joy in the journey’ or ‘focus on the bottom line’ mentality, between an emphasis on results or appreciating the journey to achieve them.
  • Internal Orientation vs. External Orientation: This principal deals with whether the organisational culture is more focused on how things are done and experienced internally, or on dealing with external parties and how they perceive the company and its actions. 
  • Easygoing vs. Strict Work Discipline: An easygoing company culture tends to include fewer procedures, more flexibility, and a ‘go with the flow’ attitude. An environment with strict work discipline will employee more clear and uniform procedures and workflows, as well as stricter enforcement of the established expectations. 
  • Local Focus vs. Professional Focus: A local focus is more egocentric and keeps everything closer to home by focusing on what I do, how my department operates, etc. A professional focus is based on a long-term outlook for the business. This way of looking at things tends to lead to a zoomed out view of how things are connected as a whole within the company and the market. 
  • Open System vs. Closed System: With an open system outlook the organisation, individual, or team is open to getting a lot of external input. They will also truly listen to the feedback, take it into consideration, and respond accordingly. In a closed system the organisation, individual, or team stands strong in their way of doing things and is less easily influenced by outside input. 
  • Employee-Oriented vs. Work-Oriented: This principal is basically exactly what it sounds like – the difference between focusing on people, their needs, and how they feel and interact in the team or focusing on tasks, knowledge, processes, and results.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to these organisational principles, that’s why they are on a scale. They are opposite sides of the same coin, and when employed correctly can all have a positive effect in a company. Keep in mind, however, that there may be a right or wrong application when it comes to achieving the ideal company culture that is specific to your organisation, so make sure to take the time and identify where your company culture needs to land on the scale to benefit your organisation the most. 

2. Biology Principles: Learning from Nature

Intertwining principles from biology can give us great insight to craft intentional and sustainable organisational cultures. Nature is the perfect example of finding solutions for difficult problems, creating sustainable and symbiotic environments, and generally persevering until an equilibrium is achieved. Drawing parallels between the natural world and corporate environments can help to clarify the importance of sustainability, adaptability, and collaboration and what can be done to better achieve the desired equilibrium. After all, humans are part of nature and we react to our environment. Creating a supportive environment will lead to happier people, and thus better outcomes. 

Operational Principles:

  • Sustainability and Regeneration: Nature really knows how to recycle, renew, and reuse. Ligia says, “So if we are going to pick up the example of nature, we will not have waste. This is a great, great thing. …We are not wasting anything – we are not wasting time, we are not wasting resources, we are not wasting people, we are not wasting ideas. [The idea is that] everything is sustainable and we can keep doing this over and over again for many and different years.”
  • Adaptability and Resilience: Nature never gives up! Trees grow in strange formations to reach the sun, or learn how to find root even on a rock in a stream. They can be stronger for the challenge. In a company it is important to ensure that the challenge is strong enough to lead to improvement, more adaptability, and strengthened resilience but not so strong that people’s motivation decreases. 
  • Independence and Collaboration: This natural principle can help us to understand the symbiosis between colleagues, teams, and departments within the company.  Sometimes departments have their own way of doing things (which is fine), but those ways need to compliment, rather than clash with, each other and the common goals and uniform way of doing things within the organisation.
  • Efficiency and Optimization: This principal focuses on pursuing efficiency not only in tasks but also in the overall well-being of individuals within the organisation. Ligia says, “We are always looking to become more efficient. More efficient in times, tasks, people –  we are looking for efficiency. But also to become more optimal. So, that means that we are not only doing things faster and better, but everyone is also feeling better.”
  • Feedback Loops and Continuous Improvement: Feedback loops in nature are transformative, efficient, and helpful. One of the main reasons this works is because the natural environment does not see the need for change as a threat, while in a corporate environment we may take this critical feedback personally and fight back rather than listen and improve. Transforming feedback into a constructive tool for growth can take some time but will help to ensure that your organisation stays alive and continues to progress over time. 

Practical Exercises and Application

To cement the theoretical concepts discussed in all three sessions, Ligia proposed this simple  practical exercise for organisations to align their culture with their vision and goals. 

Application: Create a mind map of your organisation considering both Hofstede’s organisational principals and biology’s operational principles. Measure what is actually happening within your company by plotting the current culture using both frameworks. The organisational principles can be plotted on a sliding scale between the two contradicting principles. The operational principles can be plotted on a scale of 1 to 10 for each principle. Once you have analyzed all the principles you will have created a clear mind map to understand how your organisational culture is currently functioning. Now, go through the same steps again, only this time rate each principal based on what you determine would be the ideal placement for your organisational culture.  The difference between your actual and ideal mind maps will create a roadmap for cultural transformation.

“Remember, it is really about your vision and your goals. It is not about what looks best, what looks better from the outside. Why? Because the culture that will engage everyone is the one that will bring to you the people that believe in your culture.

In the ever-evolving corporate landscape, creating a company culture demands intentional effort, constant measurement, and timely adjustments. By measuring and applying the organisational and operational principals mentioned above you can construct a sustainable company culture that supports the organisation’s vision and goals. As Ligia says, “Remember, it is really about your vision and your goals. It is not about what looks best, what looks better from the outside. Why? Because the culture that will engage everyone is the one that will bring to you the people that believe in your culture. And that is the way that you will engage everyone, …creating a company that, every time you recruit, every time you are doing something, people feel, “Wow, this is all connected.” 

Are you curious about what services Undutchables has to offer? Take a look at their website or contact them

Meet Jim Stroud: HR and talent acquisition expert  

Renowned for his impactful collaborations with industry titans such as Microsoft and Google, Jim remains an influential figure steering the course of the future of work. Professionals in recruitment, job seeking, and HR can expect valuable insights from Jim, presented through a combination of visual and written content in his esteemed newsletter, “The Recruiting Life. 


Jim Stroud’s YouTube Channel 

But that’s not all! Jim takes his insights to the next level with his own YouTube channel. Aptly named “The Jim Stroud Show,” this channel is a visual journey into the future of work.

From in-depth discussions on hiring strategies to explorations of emerging technologies, Jim’s YouTube channel is a treasure trove of valuable content. Subscribe, and you’ll find yourself in the front seat of the conversation on the ever-evolving world of work. 

“The Things I Think About” Newsletter 

And there’s more exciting news! Jim is launching another newsletter, “The Things I Think About.” Starting on Monday, November 13, 2023.

This daily 1-minute read will cover emerging trends, shocking tech, and compelling human-interest stories. It’s Jim’s hope that this becomes a must-read for you, and that you share it with your network. Get ready for content that’s anything but boring – subscribe now so you don’t miss out. 

Why Engage with Jim’s Content? 

  • Double Insights, Double Impact: With both a newsletter and a YouTube channel, Jim Stroud offers a holistic view of the hiring landscape. 
  • Fresh Perspectives on “The Recruiting Life”: Break free from the ordinary with Jim’s creative take on HR topics – because hiring doesn’t have to be dull. 
  • Visual Exploration on YouTube: Dive into the future of work with “The Jim Stroud Show,” where Jim’s engaging discussions bring hiring strategies and tech trends to life. 
  • Stay Ahead with “The Things I Think About”: The upcoming newsletter promises daily insights into emerging trends, tech, and captivating human stories. Don’t miss the chance to be at the forefront of what’s next. 

Subscribe Now and Join the Conversation! 

Subscribe to Jim’s newsletter, follow “The Jim Stroud Show” on YouTube, and be part of the conversation that’s reshaping the way we think about hiring. Jim Stroud isn’t just a thought leader; he’s your guide to staying ahead in the ever-changing world of work. Don’t miss out – subscribe, engage, and elevate your hiring game with Jim Stroud! Pass it on.

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Recruitment tips: which channel leads to the best candidate?

Your company website: easy, but effective?

The low-hanging fruit of recruiting: posting your vacancy on your company website. It is the most obvious and easiest choice to start. By doing so, you avoid extra costs that you do pay with external websites such as Jobat or VDAB.

However, chances are your job posting will generate less visibility among potential candidates. For instance, applicants must already know your organisation and spontaneously surf to the website themselves. As a result, you won’t reach a large pool of talent.

LinkedIn: battlefield or recruitment blessing?

LinkedIn is the Tinder for HR employees: you scroll through a database of millions of professionals looking for your match. And, let that be an advantage as well as a disadvantage. Like fruit flies on an overripe banana, prospective candidates are overwhelmed by personal messages. Of these, half of them are not looking for a new job, and three quarters are not blown away by the automatic message you only changed the name in.

Recruiting on LinkedIn can pay off when it is part of a broader strategy. Use it not only to share your vacancy, but also to introduce people to your organisation. This way you can let your employees speak or show your business expertise with an interesting blog. And, it doesn’t always have to be serious – a mix of information and entertainment is ideal. A team-building activity where everyone comes to work dressed up? Perfect to show the atmosphere within the company … go for it!

Your own employees: the power of word-of-mouth

Sometimes you have to make it with what you have – and in the context of recruitment this is a big win. Namely, 30% of the new employees coming in are provided by your very own staff members.

That’s why word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful communication channels. Because, let’s face it: you believe the words of a good friend rather than those of a company, don’t you? In addition, this recruitment strategy gives you three additional benefits:

1. Lower recruitment cost

You spend less money on advertisements or job sites. In addition, you spend less time looking for the right candidate. This gives you more free moments for other tasks, which benefits both the organisation and you.

2. Better quality of candidates

Because your employees promote the organisation, candidates get a clearer picture of the company. As a result, expectations are better aligned than when they apply directly through a job vacancy. Your employees will only recommend candidates whose potential they are convinced of. After all, they don’t want to risk their own reputation!

3. Higher involvement of your own employees

Involving your own employees makes them feel part of the larger company goals. They feel intrinsically committed to the organisation as they help build its continued growth and success.

And the winning channel is?

Each channel has its pros and cons. For example, posting a job vacancy on your company website is a small effort, but you reach fewer applicants. You can reach more prospective candidates in LinkedIn, but you will bump into thousands of other companies.

Ultimately, the classic word-of-mouth wins: your employees promoting the organisation. By activating your employees in your recruitment strategy, you attract new and high-quality talent faster.

Curious about how to activate your employees in this word-of-mouth strategy?

Discover the 5 crucial steps in the e-book “How to turn your employees into ambassadors and build your employer brand?”

Recruit via your own employees: 3 successful steps

Employee advocacy: the key to successful recruiting

90% of people trust an organisation more when it is recommended by friends or family. Because, honestly, wouldn’t you rather believe the words of a good friend than those of a company? That is precisely what employee advocacy is all about: getting your employees to talk about your organisation.

“The opinions of people in your professional and social network are still more influential than most marketing tools.”
– Patrick de Pauw, CEO Social Seeder

This form of labour market communication remains the most effective. But, like Rome, you don’t build employee advocacy – or employee engagement – overnight. Engaging employees is an ongoing process. We share 3 tips to successfully launch your employee advocacy programme.


3 tips for a successful employee advocacy programme

1. Make it fun & easy for your employees

To make your employees ambassadors, it is important to emphasise the added benefits for them. For example, they can look with pride at the number of likes and shares they receive, when they share company posts on social media.

Furthermore, it is important to remove all possible barriers from your employee. Therefore, make it easy for them to share social media posts about your company. Thanks to the Social Seeder platform, this can be done in just one click.

Finally, it is important that your employees feel appreciated. Treat your ambassadors to an exclusive breakfast, or involve them in your organisation’s content.

2. Share authentic content

Keep your communication authentic and not just commercial. Your employees don’t like only sharing job vacancies. Besides, distributing a vacancy has true impact if you communicate the company’s values and standards beforehand.

So, avoid just talking about yourself on your website or social media. But, also post a fun company activity or feature an employee. Moreover, they can add personal comments to the company message via the Social Seeder platform – that gives authenticity quite a boost.

3. Analyse to optimize

Measuring is knowing – which is why it is important to evaluate your programme after a few months. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a data geek to do this. At Social Seeder, we are happy to help you analyse the results.

Delve into the analytics and find out what content employees prefer to share, and what the optimal days are for sharing posts. That way, you can do more of what works, and keep your employees proud brand ambassadors.

Make it fun, authentic and measurable

In a nutshell, your employees are top recruiters! By launching an employee advocacy programme, you turn your employees into proud ambassadors – and they will be happy to share company content on their social media. As a result, you will generate greater reach and trust among potential applicants and customers.

Engaging your employees is a continuous process in which there should be space for fun, authentic communication and analyses for optimisation.

Curious about how this works in practice? Discover the Social Seeder platform in 2 minutes.

Post-COVID Dutch & European employment: legal trends and necessities

Hiring trends

Although seeking stability has always been a characteristic of job seekers, the current candidate market has made the hiring process more evident as the number one trend. The trick is that candidates are also looking for flexibility, and flexibility can also be helpful for you as a company, such as in the form of a trial period which is flexible for both parties. One thing to keep in mind with a trial period is that the candidate is also able to ‘quit’ before they even show up on the first day. If this is something you would like to avoid then you can agree to leave out the trial period, which offers more stability for both sides. However, do keep in mind that it is quite common to have a trial period, so if you decide not to use one you should consider all of the pros and cons first.

Finding a win-win situation between flexibility and stability for both parties is a great way to start off on the right foot when you hire new talent, especially in the current market.

Another great way to provide stability when hiring a new team member is to offer an indefinite contract right away. Keep in mind that this does remove some of your flexibility as an employer but this option can be especially effective when you are looking for experienced or specialised candidates. The main point to keep in mind while hiring is finding the right balance between stability and flexibility offered, and maintained, by you as an employer. Make sure that you are transparent and clear to the candidate as well, so that the contract provisions do not come as a surprise to them and they know what they are signing up for. Finding a win-win situation between flexibility and stability for both parties is a great way to start off on the right foot when you hire new talent, especially in the current market.

Retention trends

The next big point that needs our attention is how to retain talent in this market. The contract and company conditions are not only important when hiring, but remain a very important aspect for employees already within your organisation as well. The option to work from home or offering flexible working hours to your employees can make a big difference. These two options are especially relevant at the moment, so if you are able to implement this employees will feel heard and it will increase employee morale and their opinion of the company, which, you guessed it, increases retention. Other opportunities that make a difference to employee attitude are providing training courses and a clear career and growth perspective. You can also be creative in finding which conditions and benefits work best to fit the needs of your company and employees.

One such creative option is to offer discretionary bonuses. This can provide additional motivation because employees know that they can receive a bonus for their work. It also provides flexibility for you as a company because it is not part of the agreed upon monthly/yearly salary. The salary payment is something that you must always pay and most employees will never agree to a decrease in salary, but will be looking for an increase where possible. The discretionary bonus provides occasional additional income to employees, which they will welcome, while leaving you the flexibility within your budget to pay this out when it is fiscally responsible.

An important thing to keep in mind when offering contracts and benefits is equal treatment. You are not allowed to discriminate in any way. This means that the available benefits need to be accessible for all employees regardless of if they work remotely or on site, internationally or locally, on an indefinite or fixed term contract, or full-time or part-time. Make sure that any benefit you put into place does not discriminate against any group and that all employees can make use of it. This can increase retention because employees will be working in a fair environment and therefore will not leave due to feeling that they have been unfairly treated.

EU directive on transparent and predictable working conditions

As we know, the work world is opening up more and more to remote working which opens the possibility to work not just from home, but from anywhere in the world. While employees love this option and it also provides great options for broadening your search when hiring, you need to make sure you stay up to date on the legal requirements for working in this way.  The EU Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions outlines some of the changes going into effect in this post-Covid market.

As of August 1st, 2022, you will need to keep the following things in mind:

  • Change to mandatory training and study clause. Mandatory training following from the law or a CLA (Collective Labour Agreement) must be provided at no cost to the employee and you are no longer allowed to include a study costs clause (with repayment obligation) for training that falls in this category.
  • Ancillary activities. You are no longer allowed to prohibit ancillary activities unless this is justified by objective grounds. There is no need to change current contracts that may have a clause prohibiting ancillary activities, but be aware that when an employee requests permission to perform ancillary activities you, as the employer, either needs to grant permission or provide objective grounds for the refusal.
  • Right for employee to request more predictable and certain working conditions. Employees are now granted the express right to request more predictable and certain working conditions. The employer should take this seriously and accommodate the request where possible.
  • Duty to provide information. This requirement existed already but is being emphasized even more now in an effort to make the contract and benefits more transparent and accessible for the employee. Some specific topics that are important to provide information on to potential and new employees are: whether or not the work location is flexible, under which circumstances are they entitled to paid leave, whether they can expect predictable working hours or not, and which working days and hours will be applicable for them. Pallas would advise employers to double check your employment contracts and personnel handbook to make sure that you are compliant with the duty to provide information article of this directive.

Relevance of EU Posting of Workers Directive

The EU Posting of Workers Directive has also become a lot more relevant in the last couple of years as more employees are working while they travel, expats return to their home country to work for a while, or companies post workers abroad for temporary projects. There are also a couple of important things to keep in mind with regards to this directive:

  • Minimum pay extended to ‘equal remuneration’. This means that the minimum payment allowed needs to take both the rules of the employer country and the rules of the host country into account.
  • Temporary postings longer than 12-18 months. Usually you will be able to continue applying the Dutch rules and regulations for the first 12 months. After 12 months the employee posting changes from being temporary and you will need to make arrangements to comply with the taxes, benefits, and other requirements of the country where the employee is working. This is typically after 12 months, but sometimes after a maximum of 18 months. When you extend the posting past this time period you will need to comply with the host country’s rules and regulations.
  • Employer obligation for international posting within the EU. When you post an employee internationally you must inform the authorities of the posting. There is an obligation to provide a digital notification to the Dutch authorities as of 2020, so make sure you don’t forget this step. This requirement was put into place to help with information sharing and addressing issues related to fraud and the circumvention of rules.

Regardless of what your current situation is with your employees it is always important to stay up to date on the changing legal requirements and trends in the market. This way you can make sure you are finding and hiring great talent, retaining your workforce, and fulfilling your obligations to comply with all of the applicable laws and regulations. This way you can keep both your company and your international teams working successfully. 

Are you curious about what services Undutchables has to offer? Take a look at their website or contact them directly.