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The auditorium of the Conference Center at the High Tech Campus is full. “Not bad for a Friday morning at half past ten,” Bert-Jan Woertman from HTC says. “Certainly if your audience consists mainly of students.”

After Woertman opened BoostIQ Career Event, the audience could listen to Hans de Jong, CEO of Philips Benelux. “That’s a speaker who appeals to the imagination of the students, great to see that so many people come out. The energy in the room is quite good. ”

The rest of the day is packed with lectures, workshops and an exhibition, where visitors can get acquainted to the existing companies. There are lectures on the Internet of Things, cyber security, robotics and other related issues. “But also things beyond the technical, issues that occur when you go to market for example, or want to know what consumers really want”, Woertman says. “It is a trend in recent years. The time that all Willy Wortels shut themselves up in the lab, and only came out – loudly shouting ‘Eureka!’ – with a new invention, is over. As a consequence, companies increasingly look toward social skills.”

Woertman gets confirmation for his statement in the background of the visitors: “This morning I asked who of the attendees follows or completed a technical study. That was two-thirds of the room. So no less than one third does something else. 20% of them are studying something business-related and 10% has a social education. There were even psychology students in the audience. ”

Another trend that Woertman signals is the increase in data; more and more products and services are linked to the Internet of Things and cloud businesses. “With all the data you can do a lot of things. This will only increase further in the coming years.”

Dennis Croonenberg is one of the job seekers who are really eager to work with data. He graduated in neuroscience. “The link between man and machine I find very interesting. I would like to move towards the manufacturing industry. That attracts me more than continuing with the research I have been doing.”

IMG_8411Croonenberg has seen some great opportunities among the 29 companies that are present at the Career Event. “For example Philips Lighting and VanderLande, where certainly would see myself working.”

Recruiters from Yacht know that demand for new employees in manufacturing is higher than supply. “Companies need technically trained staff. We often see that candidates with whom we speak have more than three job offers to choose from.”

IMG_8421At Alten they also recognise this. “We have a shortage of engineers, they are just hard to find.” Tessa Lips says. She is recruiter at Alten and she tells her audience about the company. “Of course we do this partly because of our branding, but we really have jobs openings. So when we talk to candidates and they report back, they can certainly expect a call from us.”

For Aquantia this is the same; suitable staff is not up for grabs. The company is located on the High Tech Campus and is engaged in the development of chips in network cables. Joost Briaire is a senior engineer and tells visitors today all about his work; he hopes to meet new colleagues. “Because we make such specific and technically complex products, finding new colleagues is difficult. The whole sector is growing enormously. Because the products we make are so complex, it is difficult to hire starters. We would like to, but because the internal training takes a lot of time, this would be too much at the expense of our own work.”

Aquantia is originally from Canada and now works from five other places in the world. “Not because we grow that fast, but only to find specialised personnel. If talents don’t need to move to the other side of the world for a good job, they are more likely to come work for us.”

IMG_8422Woertman looks back on a successful day with more than 600 students and professionals. “The companies on the campus increasingly recognise that something like this makes sense.” NXP has found at least five interesting profiles, recruiter Edel Creevey says. But exact figures Woertman doesn’t have. “I know that the participating companies are enthusiastic, they put their company in the market, have been talking to potential candidates and have met new people. They love to come back every year.”

On to the next BoostIQ, as far as he’s concerned.