‘We’re like a family’ – HR advisor on Econvert’s diversity

The anaerobic wastewater treatment company Econvert is benefitting from increasing its diversity

Renee Katuin (1)

The anaerobic wastewater treatment company Econvert is quite like a family, according to its HR advisor Renée Katuin.

Katuin, who’s been at the company for around a year, spoke with Make it in the North about the benefits of internationalisation and how Econvert helps make its employees at home.

Econvert was founded in 2012 to deal with anaerobic wastewater treatment and over time it developed into a leading contractor in biological wastewater treatment and biogas conditioning. As that period progressed, the company became more and more international. Today it's even recognised by the IND as a sponsor for candidates from outside the EU.

People bring their talents and that helps us grow

Katuin believes Econvert benefitted from increasing its diversity. 

“I think we benefitted because people bring their own experiences. Every country is handling wastewater treatment differently. So what we see is everyone bringing their own talents and that really helps us as a growing company. With different cultures and different nationalities, we see this as one of our strong suits,” Katuin said.

According to Katuin, one of the biggest challenges their international employees face has little to do with the company – it’s actually finding accommodation. The company tries to help its employees in this regard and also tries to make them feel at home.

While Katuin said there are no really big differences between internationals who studied in the Netherlands and those who didn’t, the former group may be more familiar with Dutch culture. However, she said it’s not such a big struggle for the rest.

Providing Dutch courses (and the time to follow them)

Katuin said Econvert helps internationals by providing them with Dutch courses and granting them time to actually follow them. However, English is commonly used at the company such as during meetings and for posting vacancies. So while it’s not expected that internationals speak Dutch it’s appreciated when they make an effort to do so. Econvert also created an onboarding programme to help new hires transition into the company.

What makes working at a company like Econvert better than working for a company in the Randstad area? The ability to be part of a large project from start to finish Katuin says, explaining that in the larger cities where the larger companies tend to set up shop employees may only get to work on smaller parts of projects potentially missing out on learning about all its different details.

“We’re not really a hierarchical company with different levels. We’re more like one family,” said Katuin.

Connect with Econvert Water & Energy B.V.

Video: Julia Dumchenko
Interviewer: Annaléa Chatelier