Nico Geerlings a guest at Bollenstreek Entrepreneurs

On Sunday, September 16, 2018, Nico Geerlings of FHS was interviewed by Bart Weijers on the program Bollenstreek Entrepreneurs. Each week, Bollenstreek Entrepreneurs features an entrepreneur from one of the five municipalities. In Bollenstreek Entrepreneurs, Nico Geerlings talked about how FHS, Flexible Human Services, came to be, what FHS does and how he sees the future for the company and the industry.

The start of FHS

Once Nico Geerlings started in the agriculture and horticulture industry, but eventually started his own employment agency. With his work in his father's company, he already came into frequent contact with workers from different countries, from Irish to English to Polish. Within his father's company, working with migrant workers went very well. A relation had problems with workers in his company and came to Nico Geerlings for help. Eventually he helped his relation to find good migrant workers. One thing led to another and so Flexible Human Services was born in January 2002.

Recruitment of migrant workers

FHS has now built a large and trusted network in Eastern Europe. Because Flexible Human Services has a good name here, local offices are eager to cooperate. FHS does not have offices in Eastern Europe itself, but care is taken to maintain the quality of the office and its workforce. Traditionally, many migrant workers came from Poland and the Baltic states; today, much recruitment is done in Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria.

The housing of migrant workers

Providing labor with housing is a basic need. Good housing is the basis for motivated workers and is therefore very important for FHS. The labor force must be able to live neatly and feel at home. That is why flexwonen .nu was started in order to eliminate misunderstandings and misunderstandings about labor migrants, housing and exploitation. By now offers some 1400 to 1500 housing places for labor migrants.

Continued learning and certifications

Nico Geerlings considers it important for himself and his employees to keep learning. Therefore, all employees are now taking an English course to be able to communicate in multiple languages. In addition, FHS meets the criteria of various certifications, such as SNA, SNF, VCU and ABU. If you are a member of these certifications, you are audited every six months or every year. Nico Geerlings himself sits on the board of ABU and thus faithfully monitors the criteria of the various certifications.

FHS also has its own education center. In this education center, FHS gives its workers the opportunity to learn Dutch. They then follow an intensive traineeship for six consecutive weeks. Especially the workers who intend to stay in the Netherlands longer have the motivation to do this well and keep learning. The migrant workers don't have to do anything, but, "people who join are the talents of tomorrow."

FHS in the Netherlands

The FHS office in Noordwijkerhout employs 40 people with 5 to 6 different nationalities. In total FHS has 1500 to 2000 talents at its disposal and there are now over 140 clients for whom FHS provides labor. The job placement of FHS reaches from the head of North Holland to Rotterdam and Utrecht.

The future of FHS

Nico Geerlings sees a lot of opportunity in engineering and construction, as there is now a scarcity in the Netherlands in these sectors. However, this requires a certain amount of knowledge, so workers will have to be retrained. There is also a labor shortage in healthcare, but there communication between the patient and healthcare provider is quickly becoming a problem. That is why FHS offers the education center to teach the workforce Dutch so that they can work in these kinds of industries.

Currently, much aging is taking place, but Nico Geerlings sees that changing. Therefore, the rise of younger migrant workers will soon follow. Temporary work will always remain and will be a gateway to permanent work in the future.

Working at FHS

Listen to the full radio program below. Want to know more about FHS? Are you curious what we can do for you? Or would you like to apply directly? You can! Contact us or apply directly via our website.