The Jewish cakes that are probably familiar to many people have a new name. Patisserie Pater took over the production of the large crispy canned biscuits and henceforth calls them Odekoeken. And not only the name is new: the recipe is again based on 100 percent vegetable ingredients and the cakes are now packaged plastic-free.
Bakkersfamilie Pater also has a special hiring policy. In Zwaagdijk-East, where the cakes are baked, the principle of Open Hiring applies. This means that everyone who wants to work at Patisserie Pater has a chance of a job, regardless of background or past. With this, the bakery wants to promote equal opportunities on the labor market. Manager Madeleine Slooff was specially hired to lead this project at Patisserie Pater. She tells Business Insider more about the selection process and the company’s ambition to contribute to an inclusive society. Where did the idea of Open Hiring come from?
Slooff: “Open Hiring is a principle that was introduced in 1982 in a New York suburb by Bernie Glassman. He founded the Greyston Bakery with the aim of fighting poverty by creating work for those who find it most difficult to find a job. The idea was that anyone who wanted to work could work at Greyston.” “Open Hiring has now become a worldwide movement and Greyston has found a partner in the Netherlands in Start Foundation. They guide companies like ours to offer as many people as possible who are standing on the sidelines in our country a chance to find a job.” How does it work?
“The principle is simple: a company opens a vacancy and people who are interested in the job put their name on a vacancy waiting list. There is no application procedure, so there is no looking at someone’s background or (work) past.” “There was so much interest that we have now stopped the procedure for a while, but before I used to sit behind a table in the bakery every Thursday to receive people who wanted to register. An important aspect of this hiring policy is that people really have to show up to register and cannot do this anonymously via a website.” working as a production employee in our cake factory. Together with 2 trained bakers, they take care of our entire production line of Odekoeken and gingerbread.” Why did you choose this hiring policy?
“We were approached about this and Renee Pater, responsible for HR at our parent company Amarant Bakkers, was immediately enthusiastic.He always asked, ‘Can you work? Do you want to work? And do you have a car?”. What we’re doing now with Open Hiring isn’t much different. It’s in our DNA.”
How are things going so far?
“It goes well. So we have now hired 6 people in this way. After a few months I can say that they have really become a team. In the beginning they mainly came to me and to the life coach who is also associated with this process, but now I see more and more that they also share things with each other and help each other.” “Of course this is not the easiest way to help people. to assume. If you, as an entrepreneur, really only care about short-term efficiency, I would opt for a different personnel policy. This takes time and attention, especially in the beginning. But I find it incredible to see how much people want to work and how important a job is for your self-esteem.”
“All the people who have now started working for us are really worth their weight in gold. And I am convinced that most of the people who are still on the waiting list are too. It’s so important to give people a chance to show who they are and what they can do.” What are the pitfalls with a project like this?
“I think the biggest pitfall is not hiring the wrong people, as some skeptics might expect, but wanting to hire too many people. Of course you want to help as many people as possible, but if we let employees move through quickly so that workplaces become available for the people on the waiting list, we will miss our goal.” “Ultimately, it’s about giving people the confidence that they are worth something and to contribute something. You can’t do that in a few weeks, we really want to enter into a long-term partnership. Our ultimate goal is that the people who enter via this route will move on to a workplace at one of our other bakeries. We see it as a kind of incubator for talent that otherwise might not have had a chance.” “We hope that other companies will follow our example and start working with Open Hiring, so that as many people as possible who want it will really start working again in the short term. to get started.” “I see this hiring policy not only as an enrichment for people with a distance to the labor market, but also really for entrepreneurs. Because we can all talk about an inclusive society, but this is a way to really contribute to it. You cannot imagine how much ambition and talent people have.