Finance departments keep working, and we can help

Key messages

Remote consultancy

Flexible solutions

Recruitment & Selection

The Corona virus disrupts economic life, but financial departments must continue to do their thing. Perhaps more than ever, because managers need figures quickly in order to respond decisively to events. "We have the right people to help out finance departments, say the Leaders of the Belgian Blue Chip Boutiques Transition & Support (T&S) of the international finance consultancy network TriFinance.

How are our people experiencing the Corona crisis? We asked the leaders of the T&S units virtually. The pandemic forces the Leaders to fight on three fronts: clients, candidates, and colleagues. Although 'fronts' and 'fighting'? There’s a lot of work and they sometimes have to make difficult decisions. But there is a lot of goodwill to find solutions and a lot of creativity and solidarity. This is demonstrated by the testimonies of Hanne Hellemans (T&S Antwerp/Hasselt), Kristoff Temmerman (T&S Ghent) and Hilde De Schryver (T&S Brussels). In these challenging times, they consult more than ever.

Project Consultants at T&S are able to act independently and flexibly.
Hanne Hellemans, Blue Chip Boutique Leader T&S Antwerp/Hasselt

Remote consultancy

Corona virus or not, the work of a finance department in companies continues unabated. Just think of the monthly closings and of managers who, more than ever, need analyses and figures at very short notice. After all, they need to be able to respond ad hoc to the difficult situation, for example when it comes to temporary unemployment. "We help them with that. The Project Consultants at T&S are not just executive staff. The fact that they now work more remotely requires mutual trust. Project Consultants at T&S are able to act independently and flexibly. I am proud of our employees and how they manage the situation," says Hanne Hellemans, the Leader of T&S Antwerp & Hasselt. 

One of those employees is Wouter Noben. The company where his current project is running had no problems with the conversion because of the Corona crisis. Wouter works from home and in the current context, he can fill in his working hours more smoothly as long as he notifies his team. "I like to work early and I'm already working at 6 o'clock. Others do it the other way around. That requires a lot of consultation."

The one thing more

The fact that the work in finance departments continues does not mean that it is business as usual. An economic storm is raging and many companies are struggling. Kristoff Temmerman, the Leader of T&S in Ghent, points out that it is working at the cutting edge. First, he mentions people management: inspiring and motivating his team. "Fortunately, everyone puts their shoulders to the wheel. These are difficult times, but we manage them."

Kristoff emphasizes: "Clients think along with us how to minimize the consequences of the Corona crisis for the Project Consultants. It is a result of the way in which TriFinance in 'normal' times always searches for solutions to the customer's challenges - 'the one thing more'. The interplay that now takes place indicates that we have built up good relationships with our clients".

Hilde De Schryver, the BCB Leader of T&S Brussels, agrees. "Today, we need to shift gears quickly. There’s a lot of consultation involved and that is not possible in person right now. We have switched to video calls and telephone calls, and are consulting case by case. The contact with the customers is going well. We’re all in the same 'Corona boat'. I remain available at all times, although I regret that the distance to the people I work with is greater right now."

Clients think along with us how to minimize the consequences of the Corona crisis.
Kristoff Temmerman, Blue Chip Boutique Leader T&S Ghent

Alone together

Project Consultant Arnaud Theunissen of T&S Brussels also experiences the challenge of not being physically in the same space with the customer. "Until now, I was sitting at my project next to my manager and I was able to turn to him immediately with my questions. Because of the distance, that is more difficult". Fortunately, he adds, the organization is running well and the computer systems are working fine.

Arnaud’s colleague Bart Verrijt was in the remarkable situation that he recently started at a new project, picked up his laptop, had a short meeting and was then sent home immediately. "That gave me an extra challenge. I received a lot of information and I bundle my questions, which are dealt with during the calls. Because of the physical distance, I feel a little less what's going on in the organization". But everything will be fine, Bart is convinced.

I'm sorry that the distance to the people I work with is greater right now.
Hilde De Schryver, Blue Chip Boutique Leader T&S Brussels

Flexible solutions

Hanne explains that a lot is on hold at the customer's side, "but there will be twice as much work after the crisis, because the demand for flexible solutions, which we have to offer, will increase. By the way, there are also sectors that are extra busy, the retail and pharmaceutical sectors for example.” She continues to look for candidate Project Consultants and permanent employees for customers. "Because the shortage on the labor market hasn't disappeared. However, recruitment interviews and tests are now being carried out temporarily via video."

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