#10: The powers behind Meijer&Co Consultancy:
Meet Vince Szymczak

Mirjam Donáth
18 August 2023

As part of introducing the people behind the powers of Meijer&Co, meet Vince Szymczak, Advisory Board Member of the sustainability recruitment company.

“We need people to start to step up and lead with examples to show that sustainable life can be done.”
By the age of 34, Vince Szymczak, a sharp millennial, who talks almost as quickly as he thinks, has learned all that was there to learn about “sourcing”, aka “the science of proactively identifying, contacting, and engaging qualified candidates” – one of the most important skills in the field of recruitment. If you want to know where to find the talent, Vince is the man. Why, he even held the position of Master of Sourcing at the largest HR services company in the world and today every minute away from his family of five is spent training and consulting top human resources professionals.
Click on Vince’s name on LinkedIn and the machine tells you to pronounce it as “vins”, the way Vince Szymczak is called within Meijer and Co. and his largely international professional world. In his motherland, Hungary, though, he is called “vintsɛ”, son of a Polish father and a Hungarian mother who met in Moscow while studying. Vince grew up in Szolnok, “a little central Hungarian city with not much to do”, then with a bold move from a boy of 14, he left the family home for attending high school in Budapest and has never looked back.

Choosing HR for his profession “was a very conscious choice”, Vince says, during his final university years. He later narrowed down his field of expertise to sourcing and sourcing technology driven by his strong conviction that “in order to succeed in life you need to become a specialist.” He says that when he takes a whim into his head, there is no obstacle to stop him. “Whatever I start to do, if I dedicate myself to it, I’ll be good at it”. Vince, who speaks fast and fluent in English, explains that just when he left his childhood home for the metropolitan, he started to self-learn English by playing MMO games (which, now I know, means massively multiplayer online games) participating in online discussions, watching movies in English with English subtitles, and reading English language articles on topics that interested him even when he couldn’t yet quite follow them, and has never taken an English class in his life because “hey, this is the language I must know in order to succeed in life.”
Vince was not what in HR-language they call “an ideal fit” for Randstad when they hired him at the age of 22, but they did it anyway (“they liked my energy, the personality, and the motivation”) and he did not disappoint. Finding female students in Saudi Arabia who study IT but prefer to enter into IT sales? For this sourcer, it wasn’t a problem. When at the age of 32 he parted with the giant recruitment company, he left the post of Global Director of Technology. “I am a very loyal type,” Vince says recalling that at the time of his leave he was the longest-serving employee of Randstad Sourceright. “Just when work became substantially less fun, a new challenge found me.” That challenge was the Source Code Agency where he currently provides custom training for sourcers and sourcing leaders and advises about best recruitment practices via audits and mystery shopping.

Vince’s professional connection with Thijmen Meijer is another gift from their mutual Randstad-era. Today Vince, whose great expertise is admittedly recruitment technology, advises Meijer and Co. on how to always  be one step ahead of others by using the smartest technology for integrating various recruitment systems. If Meijer and Co. were in the advertisement business they would go into raptures about the CRM system Vince helped them find to manage their clientele.
Vince remembers taking an interest in environmental issues first during a university class where he looked at a chart that demonstrated the environmental costs that came about from the sudden rise of quality of life in the post-world wars era. “That realization was the first shock for me.” His green worldview has been also shaped by his wife who works in waste management and helped him to see things in a new light. Their house in Kajaszo, a village of 1000 people, only a 30-minute drive away from Budapest, has electric heating and cooling powered by solar panels. They also make good use of their wastewater by not utilizing the main grid for water waste management. “It means that we can only use eco-friendly soap, dishwashing and detergent products, because our drainage goes directly into our garden’s fermenting system to water our soil.”

Does he still have a desire to play MMO games today? “Now I’m a father of three, the oldest being three and a half, so good luck to me on the game front,” Vince laughs, admitting that every two years he logs into his account and plays a week or so to check how the game is changing. You know. Making sure he is still on the top of his game.
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