“Hordijk is a family business whose history dates back to 1922. The company has transformed itself from a manufacturer of wood packaging into a highly mechanised, capital-intensive company. We have a holding company with four companies. We make plastic packaging for the food industry and aluminium system building for the greenhouse horticulture sector. We were looking for a managing director who, on the one hand, should give the operational managers in the 4 subsidiaries free rein and, on the other hand, should be at the steering wheel. The person who takes on this role is responsible for both general and financial policy, for formulating and monitoring the vision and strategy, and for coordinating the coherence between and course of the four companies.
For this search we got in touch with Maes & Lunau. It was our first experience with them. They started with a very extensive, in-depth introduction to the company Hordijk: the structure, the people and the culture of this family business. We then coordinated the job profile with them and they came up with a longlist. That didn’t surprise me that much, but the shortlist they then came up with was very interesting. The man we eventually selected did not, at first sight, have the technical training we wanted, but he more than made up for it with his very broad management experience. Moreover, he had also done general management in production at several large multinational companies. In the interviews we grilled him about his knowledge of and affinity with the manufacturing industry. What definitely also helped was that he hails from the region where our factories are located, so he understands the canon of our kind of companies, which is important for a family business like Hordijk.
Mattijs Kropholler of M&L coached us well in this process. If necessary, he stands back and, if need be, suggests a different path. If he differs with the customer, he is very clear about this. That’s good, because it hones the decision-making process. The selected candidate eventually was head and shoulders above the rest. As far as that is concerned, such a selection process is similar to house-hunting. You have to see a lot of properties before you know and feel exactly what suits you best.”