Simone Groeneveld appointed Managing Director MSP services HeadFirst Group

Simone Groeneveld has been appointed Managing Director MSP services by HeadFirst Group, market leader in HR services and platform for professionals. Simone started at the beginning of April at Staffing Management Services, the primary Managed Service Provider of HeadFirst Group. Under her leadership, Staffing MS will take the next step in its growth in the Benelux and beyond.

Simone Groeneveld has over twenty-five years of experience in HR services, both in MSP, RPO and temporary staffing. The last fifteen years she has had several management and board positions, mainly at large international service providers, partly from abroad. Simone about her new role: “There is a wonderful opportunity to further develop the MSP service – in combination with the total HeadFirst Group ecosystem of solutions. With respect and undiminished attention for the successfully built basis of Staffing MS and the current clients, we innovate to Talent Solution Provider. I believe that setting up good processes, which we as MSP are already very good at, and talent management is a golden combination.”

Next step in growth
Earlier this year, HeadFirst Group already made changes in the top of the organisation with the arrival of Marion van Happen as CEO, giving Han Kolff the opportunity to focus even more on his role as chairman of the board. The growth strategy in Europe is his main pillar. The appointment of Simone Groeneveld is therefore a logical next step.

Marion van Happen: “With Simone we are welcoming a very experienced professional, who is used to leading international and dynamic organisations. She knows what it is like to be hands-on – which suits the Rotterdam mentality of Staffing MS – and combines this with a powerful leadership. Under Simone’s guidance – and with the passionate commitment of all colleagues – Staffing MS will take the next step for growth in the Benelux and the rest of Europe.”

About HeadFirst Group
HeadFirst Group is a leading international HR service provider and the largest platform for professionals in the Netherlands. The organisation offers a diversity of HR solutions: Managed Service Providing, Recruitment Process Outsourcing, intermediary services (matchmaking, contracting) and HR consultancy. On a daily basis an average of 16,000 professionals work for over 400 clients in Europe, with which HeadFirst Group realises an annual turnover of over 1.6 billion euros. The main brands of HeadFirst Group are the intermediaries HeadFirst and Between, MSP service provider Staffing Management Services and RPO and recruitment specialist Sterksen.

Marion van Happen new CEO HeadFirst Group

HeadFirst Group, market leader in HR services and platform for professionals, appoints Marion van Happen as its new CEO as of 1 February 2022. Marion takes over the role from Han Kolff, who will mainly focus on  the international growth ambitions of the company in his role of Chairman of the Board. Marion will lead the group activities in the Benelux.

Leading platform
In recent years, HeadFirst Group has experienced major growth becoming the market leader in HR services on the Dutch labour market. The acquisitions of intermediary Between and recruitment specialist Sterksen in 2020 and 2021 have further strengthened the position of HeadFirst Group as a full-service HR service provider. The platform of HeadFirst Group has recently been extended with additional services for professionals and partners, such as a learning & development platform and tailor-made financial services. For clients, the platform is enriched with targeted talent pools and direct sourcing.

Marion, CEO: “I am really looking forward to this new challenge. First of all, my focus is on getting to know all colleagues and important relations. Next, my attention goes to the strategy for the coming years, which is unchanged: to roll out the tech roadmap, grow into a fully data-driven organisation, offer next-level services, become the leading platform in the Netherlands and realise European expansion.”

International growth
Han, Chairman of the Board: “We are very pleased that Marion is joining us. With her track record in our sector, she is ideally placed to further expand our position as a technology- and innovation-driven labour market platform. Her arrival gives the Board the opportunity to further focus on the ongoing  expansion of HeadFirst Group in Europe. We are looking forward to roll out our growth strategy with Marion.”

Marion has over twenty years of experience in HR services, staffing and recruitment in various commercial and managerial positions in the Netherlands and abroad. Her last position was Chief Operating Officer at RGF Staffing the Netherlands, formerly known as USG People. Marion was previously General Manager of Unique. She also brings highly relevant expertise in digital transformation, innovation and operational performance management.

About HeadFirst Group
HeadFirst Group is a leading international HR service provider and the largest platform for professionals in the Netherlands. The organisation offers a diversity of HR solutions: Managed Service Providing (MSP), Recruit Process Outsourcing (RPO), intermediary services (matchmaking, contracting) and HR consultancy. On a daily basis an average of 15,000 professionals work for over 400 clients in Europe, with which HeadFirst Group realises an annual turnover of more than 1.5 billion euros. The main brands of HeadFirst Group are the intermediaries HeadFirst, and Between, MSP Staffing Management Services and RPO and recruitment specialist Sterksen.

The cooperation with Sterksen

On 16 March 2021 the cooperation between HeadFirst Group and Sterksen became a fact. As market leader in the professional organisation of external hiring, HeadFirst Group, of which Staffing MS is a part, takes the strategic step to become a full service HR service provider. With within the group the unique combination of services in the field of hiring for temporary work and recruitment for permanent positions.

Two leading organisations in temporary and permanent employment together
With the cooperation with Sterksen, HeadFirst Group anticipate the market trend that organisations increasingly organise the use of talent in an integral way – regardless of the type of contract – known in jargon as Total Talent Management. In addition, we respond to the increasing demand from clients for service providers with a broad portfolio of HR services.

Staffing MS as Managed Service Provider
Of course we will remain the Managed Service Provider and reliable partner you know, but now with a strengthened market position and unique combination of services in the field of temporary and permanent employement.

Do you have any questions about the above? Please contact us. We would be happy to help you!
Read more about the merger in the press release.

Trend: Connecting SoW to the VMS

Security guards, maintenance engineers, cleaners, IT specialists from outside – organisations often have no idea who is running around on their workfloor. After all, they are external professionals who are hired outside the regular hiring process. Yet the solution is as logical as it is simple. Just connect a SoW module to the VMS.

The regular hiring of professionals in larger organisations is often arranged via a Vendor Management System (VMS).  The purchase of projects or services (IT) or outsourced work (security, cleaning or the accountant) is often done based on Statement of Work (SoW). The big difference with the regular hiring of external personnel is that with a SoW agreement arrangements are made according to results rather than hours (and rate).

But what if, as an organisation, you also want to get a grip on the costs and processes of external professionals who work for you via purchased services and projects, apart from the regular hiring? This is not standard in every VMS solution.

External hiring and SoW in one system

Staffing MS has now made this part of the hiring programme by also offering SoW Worker tracking with the Nétive VMS (see box). According to Paul Oldenburg of Staffing MS (part of HeadFirst Group), this is in line with the trend. “Over the past ten years, you can see that the professionalisation of the hiring of external professionals has grown. At least half of the organisations in the Netherlands now have this process ( quite reasonably) under control (partly thanks to working with a VMS). These organisations are looking for next steps, such as Statement of Work (SoW), to get a grip on all the external professionals active in the organisation. Think about security, cleaning, but also organising turnarounds and maintenance in factories. A lot of personnel from outside walks around the company, uses systems, needs access, while you don’t know who they are. There are all kinds of administrations for this, but it is very labour-intensive and confusing. What could be more logical than mapping out the SoW in the system in which you arrange your external hiring (VMS)?

SoW Worker tracking

Staffing MS, which has been working with Nétive for over ten years, is one of the first MSPs to offer SoW Worker tracking. In October this year, Nétive added a new SoW module (Project Tracking and SoW Worker Management (Worker tracking)) to the existing VMS. SoW Worker tracking regulates the registration and (compliant) file management of all professionals of (sub)contractors who are deployed for outsourced work; for example screening, registration (issuing passes), compliance, onboarding/offboarding, performance accounting, invoicing and reporting. This gives an organisation a good insight into all the external personnel, both those who work for the organisation via regular hiring (VMS) and purchased services (SoW-module), via a single integrated system.

Risks associated with outsourced work

This SoW Worker tracking takes care of the registration of professionals (per supplier), on- and offboarding and compliant file management. Oldenburg gives a concrete example: “Suppose you outsource an IT project to ATOS. During such a project, up to fifty people walk in and out; developers, scrum masters, testers, and so on. Then it would be useful if you could record in the VMS who, where, when and how the file can be built up. Think about screening, identification (identity management) and applying for an access pass.”

And that’s very important. After all, an organisation also runs risks for outsourced work, especially if the work is carried out on location, such as legislation and regulations (AVG (privacy), VCA certification, liability (industrial accident), identity management and (information) security.

Technology offers a solution

More and more customers are looking for such a solution. “In 2014, UMC Utrecht already had the question ‘who is walking around in our hospital? “They then opted for a different (access management) solution and not for us,” says Oldenburg, who, with the arrival of SoW Worker Management, sees opportunities to offer this from now on. “Pre-employment screening, for example, is particularly interesting for the financial sector and our industrial clients. Now that the technology offers an elegant solution, it’s easier for us to tackle it. So we are actively talking to clients to take care of that access registration for them. We see this mainly as a very good extra service to help our existing customers get even more grip on the flexible shell”.

Connecting VMS

Whether organisations want to make use of this depends on what the customer already has in house, says Oldenburg. “Most of the alternative solutions I have seen are very simple (Excel) or very advanced applications. For us, offering a good solution is simple. The VMS is already there, it’s a cloud solution – so anyone has access to it, the information can be removed or made anonymous if necessary, and it’s AVG-proof, because no personal data remains in all kinds of mail folders.

Nétive is not the only provider that has included SoW solutions in their VMS. Large VMS providers such as Fieldglass and Beeline also do this. Not surprising, according to Oldenburg. “It is very easy to implement and connect to an existing VMS. Just flip a switch, you get a screen and the entire onboarding of external professionals via purchased services and projects (SoW) is integrated into the system”.

Project Sourcing

A step further than project tracking and worker tracking in SoW is project sourcing, in which a supplier even thinks about achieving the desired output and organising work. “Then you go more in the direction of organisational advice. That’s a bridge too far for us,” says Oldenburg. “We do give advice on setting up the hiring process, what better way for the client to do it himself and/or outsource it, but we stick to what we do best.”

However, Staffing MS does undertake project sourcing if, for example, it concerns the staffing of a call centre for clients. This can be compared to the marketplaces that are set up when hiring external staff. The client sets an objective, you submit a project plan and you carry it out. Oldenburg: “We do this for Aon, for example. They always need a lot of people in the call centre at the end of the year; they need to be trained and ready when customers call with questions about health insurance or want to switch. We put that on the market for them and do the pre-selection, after which Aon selects the best party”.

This article was published 2 november 2020 on 


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