Keeping an eye on the ball with Nordex | HEROES 2022

With booming business and prosperous ventures ahead, Nordex P&C Manager Mathilde Hollegien is in pursuit of setting up a foundation for the right talent

With a high-level global buzz across all facets of the sector – from research and development to policymaking – working in wind is indeed the future. Reports by The European Technology & Innovation Platform on Wind Energy confirm that as the world gears up to meet its energy demands wind will play a crucial role in delivering Europe’s new climate and energy ambitions.

The growing sector is characterised by innovations and upscaling and for Nordex Group, one of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers, it means a busy time at work. The farms are increasing in size; the turbines are becoming larger and the skilled labour challenges are greater than ever. For Mathilde Hollegien, P&C Manager at Nordex, this means managing a bustling schedule.

Building the foundation

Atlas Professionals executes white collar recruitment within the renewables sector and found Mathilde to be an ideal choice for Nordex due to a variety in her skillset. Having worked in different industries like rehabilitation, packaging, and pet food in HR roles, moving to the wind industry was a challenging and exciting prospect. “I was put in touch with Nordex via Atlas. The process was smooth and streamlined from their end and after several rounds of tough interviews with Nordex, I was on board with them in the summer of 2021,” she says.

Currently, she is preparing to consolidate the functions at the recently moved company headquarters in Zwolle, the Netherlands. “I take care of all the contracts, onboarding and offboarding, setting up a new way of reimbursement and timesheets, revamping our in-house salary structure and much more. With the company expanding, it is important for us to have our elemental processes in place, and it has been a busy year,” she shares.

A step in the right direction

Mathilde’s curiosity in the wind industry was piqued earlier in life. She wanted to set up a small-scale wind turbine to generate electricity on top of her roof. Many years later, now that she works in the sector, life has come a full circle she feels. “I wanted a wind turbine for so long and had signed up for a wind energy newsletter, which would provide me with all the news about the trends in the industry. But back then my property owner did not agree, and I had to settle for solar panels instead. Now that I work in the sector, I am so satisfied to see and be a part of the development up close,” she smiles.

Her love for the sector and wind turbines, in general, is palpable. “Did you ever get a chance to stand under a giant wind turbine?” she asks, “I had the chance to be under one recently and I can tell you the feeling is very overwhelming – my heart beats faster and the view is mesmerising. You should try it too.”

Affirmative action

In the renewable energy sector, wind is leading the pack and the demand for skilled energy professionals with a technical, economic and management background is huge. Mathilde says. “We need a lot of specialised talent from all over the globe and that’s why Atlas is crucial for us. They take care of all the immigration formalities and are well-versed with the local labour laws. It is cost-efficient to have this working relationship with them.”

Both within the business and with other sectors there is a lot of competition due to the constant need for skilled personnel. Atlas recognises this and with the next decade being pivotal for the sector, it is essential to get young people enthusiastic about the wind industry. For this Atlas Professionals has developed the Renewables Roadshow and partners with high schools, universities, and colleges to give students a feel of what it is to work in the industry with Wind Experience Days.

And Mathilde thinks, this is the need of the hour, “As an industry, we need to educate and partner with technical middle and high schools and universities to spread the word. Let them know that we exist and that there are lucrative career opportunities waiting for talented people. It means opening internship opportunities and retaining talent within the company as well. I’m proud to work for technicians at Nordex.” Nordex believes in taking care of employee retention in several ways. “We try to foster a healthy working environment, have our service points accessible and create an ambience where people would like to work. Employee retention is also an important aspect, and we want to keep our technicians and workers loyal to us. 2022 is an exciting year for us and we are aiming to recruit around 17 people in distinct roles within the company. We like to welcome more technicians to our company. This means we will need Atlas and our in-house expertise to find the right talent.”

 

Find more articles in the latest edition of our in-house magazine HEROES 2022