Always wanted to become a technician? Then Unilin’s Talent Pool is just the ticket.

With the Talent Pool programme, Unilin is introducing a new way of recruiting talent.

23 January 2024

For five weeks, new hires enrol in a basic technical training programme. Subsequently they are employed as technicians at one of the Unilin sites.

In a nutshell:

  • Technician Talent Pool = a remunerated, basic technical training programme for non-technicians. Through the Talent Pool, Unilin is looking to remedy the shortage of technical profiles. It is one of the initiatives that fit in with Unilin’s philosophy of ‘training is the new recruitment’
  • Both Unilin and non-Unilin personnel can enrol
  • Professional support and training take place at The Dive, Unilin’s training centre

The participants are paid because they have already been hired as future technicians. The aim is to motivate people who are currently in another job to take the plunge. Once their training is complete, the ‘actual’ work starts. This new form of recruitment is Unilin’s response to the acute shortage of technical profiles on the job market. Talent manager Steven Buysse: “The search for technical talent is becoming increasingly difficult but at the same time we want to keep growing as a company. We already have a number of initiatives aimed at finding new personnel: through schools, temporary employment agencies, recruitment campaigns, ... But it’s still not enough.”

Training unknown talent

That is why Unilin has launched a new recruitment concept: the Technician Talent Pool. Steven: “Technical experience or prior knowledge is not a must but a genuine interest is. During the job interview we mainly try to determine whether the candidate has the right motivation and attitude and whether there is a match with our organisational values. The learning part takes place mostly on the work floor, in this case first of all at our training centre The Dive.” Anyone can enrol in the training, both from inside and outside Unilin.

More rapidly deployable

Through this proactive approach, Unilin wants to train a pool of technicians and deploy them immediately. “Proactively training people shortens the search. In the current job climate, some vacancies remain open for a long time”, Steven explains.

Once the programme is completed, the freshly trained technicians of the Talent Pools are given the opportunity to further fine-tune their knowledge on the work floor. “The training at The Dive gives them a significant head start. They know Unilin and their colleagues and know what the job entails.  That’s a win-win, also for the departments they will eventually be joining. They don’t have to get to know and train them from zero.” He also points out another benefit of this new formula: “The ability to introduce new technicians on time gives more experienced technicians the opportunity to take the next step in their careers more quickly.”

What do the participants think?

Jonas Cools worked as a bricklayer in the construction industry but he needed a new challenge. “I came across the call for the Technician Talent Pool on the Unilin job site and it appealed to me right away. I want to work as a technician but I won’t get the chance anywhere else because I lack the skills and the knowledge. Now thanks to the Talent Pool I did get the opportunity and I’ve taken it with both hands.

Peter and the other trainers frequently check if we can keep up. If not, they do a quick recap. The training combines theory and practice: we immediately have to put into practice what we’ve learned and that makes it easier to remember it all.

It’s neat that during the training, we get to do one day of internship per week at the place where we’ll be working. This way I already get to know my future colleagues and it gives me a good idea of what the job entails.”

What are the trainer’s thoughts?

Peter Seynnaeve works as a technical trainer at The Dive. Normally he trains people who have been with Unilin longer and groups with the same background. “This group is very diverse: Jonas is a bricklayer, someone else is a printer, another participant studied film & photography. It took us a while to figure out how extensive and how in-depth we could make our training. Everyone is motivated and wants to learn, we see that every day. It’s very enjoyable to teach a group like that. These past weeks we’ve been able to cover everything we wanted, which is better than expected.

It’s an advantage for them to get their basic training here. The participants can’t do anything wrong here (laughs). They are in a controlled environment and can rely on our assistance. We also have all the necessary materials at our disposal.”


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