“My opinion is that protesting, there’s no problem with it, as long as it is peaceful without violence, without vandalism.”




It became clear during the conversations with the team members: these colleagues are passionate. Passionate about their work during the week and passionate about football at the weekend. The tattoos on their arms left nothing to be desired for club love: ADO, ADO and again ADO. And the next weekend, ADO would be playing against -020-. “Of which club I was a fan”, they wanted to know. Before I could think of it, I blurted out: Heerenveen. Not a lie, because that’s my second club. That was okay, those Frisians were sympathetic. How great was their preference for ADO? I asked them. “Hard core” was the short answer, that immediately said everything. These are men who do not shy away from standing on the barricades at the weekend. Where “fighting” was almost a synonym for “breathing.” If there were Ajax fans in the company, I asked. Not that they knew. Yes, one person had said something about 020, but they immediately took him to an ADO game and he found the atmosphere in the core of ADO ‘indescribable’. And he has never said anything about Ajax ever since.

The salesrep vacancy came with a man who had the right papers, who had a good understanding of the client and who really seemed fit for this job. I had a very nice conversation with him, it felt really good! This man would be a reinforcement for the team, a number 10 who had a strong urge to score. This man was not afraid of asking for a signature, he was always good with people and had a passion for the products and services of this client. We were convinced that we would introduce him. At the end, I asked him:

“And what do you do at the weekend?”
“Then I always go to the football stadium.”
“Oh, interesting, me too! Which football club? ”
“Yes, me too; which section are you in? ”
“The Ultras?”
“Yep! And before that I was on the F-Side … ”
“Hard core?”

You can imagine, we did not introduce this candidate. Even though, everything was a match. Except for the area code 020 instead of 070. And that was enough reason not to offer this candidate, albeit with pain in our heart. It would be 6 against 1, every Monday morning again … The candidate was disappointed, saw his dream job fall apart. But later on, he understood our decision.

In this case OVAL withdrew this candidate for totally different reasons than knowledge and experience. Even the personality of him and the team were very close together. And yet the question: “Which club you are for” led to a rejection. Because we saw “the bigger picture”. And unfortunately we had to search further. There’s work to be done!

PS – the candidate has since found another position at a company in Amsterdam ZO, with a direct view of the Johan Cruijff Arena …

Not everything is to be shown on LinkedIn. That is why this blog is somewhat veiled. Because it’s all about the essence of the story…