It was 1995 when Marja Beumer and Ellis de Gans decided to join forces and found a company. Both had accrued years of knowledge and experience in the temping sector by that stage therefore the choice was easy – it was to be a temping agency. Projob was born. They chose a beautiful old building in a prime location - Van Baerlestraat 63 in Amsterdam.
At that time Projob stood for a real traditional temping agency specialised in administrative roles. They tackled their goals with enthusiasm. Their mantra: “We will conquer the Amsterdam market by proving our worth!” whilst reiterating that they would remain small.
They achieved their first goal – the Amsterdam market soon realised their worth. Contacts were made with companies who still, today, work with Projob. This, however, made it difficult to reach their goal of remaining a small player. If you are successful then you will grow. The number of permanent employees increased and the first expansion of the premises took place. At that moment they could not know that the company would increase several times over….
The next expansion to the premises was the opening up of the first floor where the business department was set up. This grew quickly to become a team of 4 people
In addition to salary administration and invoicing, this department was tasked with administrative jobs such as drafting temporary employment contracts to relieve the consultants. “Everyone is good at something and a salesperson should not have to do admin tasks!” It worked! Projob was one of the only companies in this sector who had this vision.
Projob was now drifting away from the image of a traditional temping agency. It started to focus increasingly on recruitment and selection and predicted the internationalization of the Amsterdam job market already at this early stage. A new branch was founded in the year 2000 - Projob International, but again, more space was needed. The adjoining building housed a clothing shop whose owner wanted to quit, but only under the premise that she could find another job. Projob solved this dilemma easily by doing what they do best – the clothes shop owner was found an amazing job and the building was added to Projob’s existing premises!
Projob demonstrated to the expanding group of international companies which were taking seat in and around Amsterdam that they brought added value to the table as a business partner. Partnerships began to emerge which are still strong today.
Projob’s development and expansion was not to be halted. In 2005 the coaching department was added, and training and outplacement was to follow. Marieke Verhagen, one of Projob’s first staff members, attended the Adriaan Hoogendijk training course, which helped her to set up the branch professionally.
At that time, Projob had been going strong for 10 years and decided to celebrate. On a warm sunny day, customers and family were invited onto a 3-mast boat during the Amsterdam event Sail and then again for another event on a cold day in Iceland in March.
In 2005 Marja Beumer and Ellis de Gans decided to go their separate ways. Their joint vision had succeeded and now was the time to pursue new and different goals.
Marja Beumer decided to create Projob anew according to her own vision. Marja is a natural connector of people and wished to give the temping sector often-used term ‘The right person in the right place’ a deeper meaning. She got inspiration through the ideas of Paul de Blot, a professor at the Business University Nijenrode and attended his lectures on spirituality. She even introduced him to her customers by inviting him to a meeting organised by Projob.
As a result, Projob developed an ever more unique character with quality and people being paramount in all services they were offering - well-being over profit. Their vision took on a clearer form: Here at Projob we want the people we talk to feel heard and sense that we are aware of what they need. Only then can we place people in a position where they will feel at home, where they will experience the value of good cooperation and where they can develop. For every customer, job seeker or candidate on a coaching program, we commit ourselves with our expertise and commit to working from the heart.
At this time, the building got another make-over. No more a separate name for Projob International – it became Projob. Projob’s window display is dressed every 2 weeks by Krankzinnige Vormgeving (Crazy Design.) The name says it all – inspired by nature these amazing window displays have become a phenomenon in Van Baerlestraat.
Even during the crisis Projob remained afloat. In the Van Baerlestraat, ever referred to as Amsterdam’s Temping Street because of the large number of temping offices, the workforce disappeared one after the next. Projob remained agile – it adapted, and didn’t even have to let go of any colleagues.
In 2011 Projob was ready for another expansion. The job market had been turned on its head, but these changes were not to be permanent. Projob anticipated the changing structure of the ‘flex’ concept and an interim professionals branch was set up by Els Brouwer in September. We started by listening to the freelancers who wished to become affiliated with us. We held a monthly breakfast meeting where topics such as the job market and what is needed to be a successful freelancer were debated. After a year, a new form of collaboration with these professionals emerged – co-creation. A good example of this is the large and diverse spectrum of training courses offered by freelancers in the arena of career coaching and training.
In 2014 this branch proved that it was here to stay and was awarded three prizes, one as a freelance placement agency in 2014, first place nationally in recruitment and selection and one in business services.
The interim professionals branch initiated a new concept offering a varied spectrum of training courses aimed at job seekers. Both the independent trainers from the branch and Projob’s regular trainers started to give workshops to job seekers registered at Projob. The Projob offices are open on Saturday during the day and Wednesday evenings for this purpose. After a year, the next logical step was targeting companies with a range of training courses. This was so successful that assignments for setting up customized summer schools and developing training course followed. Projob’s full-time coaches decided to specialise increasingly in diverse areas and work in co-creation with coaches from the interim professionals branch. They also started taking on larger projects such as company re-organisation and large outplacement assignments.
In 2014 Marja Beumer made the important decision to make Projob a fully self-organising company. She gave her blessing to all staff to develop and assume their own personal leadership and experience growth, pleasure and a more meaningful experience at the workplace. A company doesn’t become self-organising overnight - there was trial and error at Projob too. It is nice to see how these developments are progressing to date.
At the end of 2017, another completely new department practically organically evolved from Projob’s innovation department – Projob Company Onboarding. This was the result of an e-book written by Els Brouwer. The book is about the onboarding of international companies establishing themselves in the Netherlands from abroad and can be read as a guide to the Dutch job market. Online content and a community platform were set up for international and Dutch companies along with an offline network of companies who wish to create an appealing business climate and offer joint services to international companies in the Greater Amsterdam area. This new department beautifully reflects the heart of Projob as a network organisation. Els Brouwer became the Executive Director of Projob Company Onboarding.
2019 was the year for letting go and starting afresh. Projob built a new website and implemented a fully customised CRM system. The career coaching and training department became an even larger part of Projob. The full-time Projob coaches and trainers started to work more and more with an increasingly larger and more varied group of interim coaches and trainers in co-creation. 23 years later and Projob is nowhere near finished! New plans are always in the pipeline and Projob’s capacity to distinguish itself is far from exhausted! New developments and opportunities are constantly being sought with extreme pleasure. One thing that will never change: The love for the profession and the people who make it all happen. Those people who use all opportunities to contribute to society.