Wanted: project consultant and project engineer

Tec is looking for a project consultant and project engineer in many fields. The COO explains. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the job of project consultant and project engineer.

As a project sourcing company, Tec is constantly looking for people who can fill the position of project consultant or, in particular, project engineer. COO a.i. Michiel Van den Brande explains how Tec tries to find those profiles and to bind them to the company.

What does Tec actually do? What is your core business?

Michiel Van den Brande: “In the beautiful Antwerp dialect, Tec is described as a ‘secondment company’, but we prefer to use the official name. Tec is a project outsourcing company specialised in white collar profiles – i.e. white collar workers – and then almost exclusively technical profiles.”

“The majority of the people who work for us are highly skilled and have a bachelor’s degree or an engineer’s degree in a technical field. Occasionally, there are A2 graduates among them who have progressed through the ranks because of their years of experience and specialisation.”

Tec may also feel the scarcity in the technical labour market. Is it difficult to find enough people?

“We can’t complain, we are still employing more people than we are leaving, but of course there is always room for improvement. We are working hard to increase retention at Tec and we do that by offering our employees nice extras. But that is not so obvious.”

“Among our 360 employees, there are indeed many different profiles and age classes. Juniors and seniors work side by side in teams and each has their own expectations. Starters naturally expect different things from more experienced people.”

What is a project consultant? Because that is the general name for the profiles you are looking for?

“Project consultant is the umbrella name for some thirty core profiles, we have a variety of vacancies for draftsmen, project managers, project leaders, work planners, project engineers… ”

“A project consultant is literally someone who does a project for a client. This can be a project lasting six months, a year or even several years. But it always involves technical challenges.”

Why don’t your customers hire their own staff for those big projects?

“Because it is often a fluctuating business, especially in multinationals. One year the budgets are higher than the next, but that has everything to do with the priorities of the company. In that case, it is difficult to effectively employ people on a permanent basis because there is a chance that you will have to let them go after a year.”

“Moreover, multinationals focus on their core activity and that is mainly production. The activities besides that are easier to fill in with external people. Working with a temporary employee from Tec is then the solution.”

“By the way, our employees carry out their assignments and projects excellently, because we notice that after a certain time, as soon as there is a budget again, they are often asked again to do a new project at the same customer.”

What are the biggest challenges in your business?

“As I said, we have thirty core profiles, but of course one core profile can perform several functions. For example, a draughtsman can be used as a work planner.”

“Every time we recruit someone new, we do a technical screening. This reveals the areas in which that person can work. Many of our profiles can be used very flexibly. We want to make that clear not only to potential job applicants, but also to our customers.”

“We must not only attract new blood, but also teach our customers that the labour market is changing rapidly. It is no longer possible to attract the white raven. Together with the customer, we have to look at which elements are really important and use them. Profiles that match for 70-80% are very good alternatives because we can give them additional training. The only condition is that the right motivation and personality must be present.”

“By the way, we notice that the big names are systematically moving away from their high personnel requirements. This is obviously the result of the scarcity on the market of high technical profiles.”

In which domains do you need a project consultant?

“A project consultant can be deployed in many domains. But in the heavier industries where there are projects, such as (petro)chemistry, pharma, metal, food, … the profiles are all somewhat in the same line. That’s where we can move different people on.”

“From every project consultant we expect that they have technical knowledge and can do work independently.”

Which project consultant vacancy are you most looking for? I’m guessing project engineer?

“Indeed, we are not looking for one project engineer, but at least twenty, in about all our areas of expertise. The market is crying out for project consultant profiles like project engineer, and so are we. Unfortunately, they are not walking around by the dozen.”

“To be a project engineer, you must surely have the educational level of master industrial or civil engineer, or an equivalent level through years of experience.”

Tell me, what does a project engineer do?

“A project engineer is located just below the project manager. For example, a project manager is responsible for a larger project that is sometimes too big to manage alone. In that case, he delegates certain subprojects to a project engineer.”

“The latter then becomes responsible for the planning of the sub-project, the delivery, giving presentations to stakeholders, reporting, meetings with all the different departments within the company, technical verification of the drawings and/or calculations made, …. Furthermore, they talk to suppliers, negotiate about the price or about invoices that are not correct.”

“All this requires a flexible and generalistic attitude, and a lot of social and commercial skills.”

Looking for a project engineer as a project consultant seems like looking for a needle in a haystack?

“Yes, you can say that. But they do exist! We are mainly looking for a project engineer who has been working for at least three to four years. Our customers expect a certain basic maturity and a minimum of experience is required.”

Does of a project engineer have a good salary?

”A pretty good salary, especially at Tec. Every so often, we compare salaries on the market and commit to paying slightly above market value. In addition, we provide several solid training courses every year and our employees are offered a wide range of extra-legal benefits.”

You also work with freelancers? A freelance consultant can apply at Tec?

“Indeed, even as a freelancer you can start at Tec as a project consultant in various assignments and positions. In the junior profiles, we do not see so many freelancers because they are still looking for their specialty. But with project consultants who have been active for several years and have built up a certain specialism, we see the number of freelance profiles rising.”

“Since we have many experienced people working on projects at clients with the necessary specialisation, it is normal that a quarter of our consultants are freelance.”

–> Would you like to be part of the dynamic dream team at Tec?

Then apply now! We are looking forward to getting to know you!

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