Brabantia CEO Tijn van Elderen during his shift as order picker

70 vacancies: CEO switches to the shop floor

Tijn van Elderen is the CE0 of Brabantia, a Dutch company that produces items for the home like laundry racks, waste bins and food storage containers.  You might have expected him to spend his time in the boardroom or his office, but due to nearly 70 unfilled vacancies at his Belgian plant he’s decided to switch to the shop floor.

Brabantia’s plant in Pelt (Limburg) has up to 70 vacancies it can’t fill.  As a result CEO Tijn van Elderen has now joined the morning shift and is at work as an order picker.

“My alarm went off at 4:15AM and I was at work by 5:30” says this entrepreneur, who clearly wants to sound the alert with regard to labour shortages. “I’m working as an order picker.  I prepare our customers’ orders and make sure they get dispatched. It’s very physical work.  When you are used to sitting down all day, it’s a pleasant diversion.”

Brabantia’s Pelt plant is in urgent need of new workers, especially in the logistics division. 

“There’s a general labour shortage” explains Tijn.  “We are looking for order pickers, who can operate a forklift truck.  It’s proving hard to find people like that.”

Tijn has only praise for his new close colleagues: “The atmosphere in this work environment is incredible.  My employees are teaching me stuff and telling me what to do.  I am experiencing the sense and the nonsense of some of my own decisions.  We’ve just introduced a new system and that went very smoothly.  I have noticed a few drawbacks and some changes will have to be made.”

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