The future belongs to the young

Young BDO unites young talent within BDO Belgium

Laurien Van Nieuwenhove, Content Officer BDO Marketing & Communication

Our future lies in the hands of the younger generations. However, with the corona pandemic and the fierce ‘war for talent’, it has not been easy for them in the business world. Young BDO offers solace in the form of a new platform where young professionals in BDO Belgium can make their voices heard.

Building your career in the business world over the last 18 months has been far from easy. And certainly not for those just starting out – including a large number of young professionals who have just graduated and are starting their careers or who already have several years of experience.

In BDO Belgium, their ages range between 18 and 31. This group currently makes up about 40% of the organisation. “Talent management is a spearhead in BDO’s strategy. We can only provide our customers with the best service and quality thanks to the deployment of talents (including young people) who get the best out of themselves and want to develop optimally,” explains Peter Van Laer, CEO BDO Belgium. “Young people look to the future in a different way and can spot valuable new challenges, goals and opportunities when they stand on the shoulders of our more experienced staff. If we want to broaden our horizons, it is essential that we involve this group fully in everything we do.”

“Young people look to the future in a different way and can spot new opportunities when they stand on the shoulders of more experienced staff.”

Peter Van Laer, CEO BDO Belgium

One BDO feeling

Using this vision as a springboard, 3 young professionals decided to join forces. Nick Huysmans, Manager BDO Risk Advisory, Katleen Coppens, Consultant BDO Strategy & Transformation, and Wannes Rousseau, Project Manager BDO Marketing & Communication, together launched Young BDO, following the example of our northern neighbours. “Young BDO wants to make the difference by actively listening to, and learning from, our passionate young professionals,” Nick Huysmans explains. “We want to organise a (cross-business) workshop, event or keynote at least once per quarter. In order to create a stronger sense of connection among colleagues and with the organisation as a whole.”

The kick-off event at The Refuge in La Hulpe was a big hit. “During a visit to our office in La Hulpe, we discovered by chance a walkway, strategically hidden among the trees, which led to the log cabins of The Refuge. The perfect location for a pleasant afterwork with music provided by Olivier, our in-house DJ,” Wannes Rousseau recalls with satisfaction.

“To see a new future, you have to be young and open-minded.”

Peter Van Laer, CEO BDO Belgium

More than just an events committee

Young BDO is strongly committed to fun, but by no means loses sight of the strategic aspect. “Young BDO functions as a sounding board for management. We make sure that the interests of our young professionals match management’s strategic objectives – such as intrapreneurship, corporate social responsibility, and mobility,” explains Katleen Coppens. “In this way, we also want to have a positive impact over time on employee satisfaction, knowledge, retention and the profiling of BDO Belgium as a ‘fun place to work’.”

Ready for the future

The foundations for the future have been laid. It is now up to the younger generations to walk that path. “To see a new future, you must be young and open-minded. Young BDO supports this idea perfectly. The talent of tomorrow will surely make something beautiful of it. I look forward with curiosity and confidence to the young people and the future of BDO,” concludes Peter Van Laer.

Young BDO seeks to understand the needs and interests of young professionals at BDO Belgium and convert them into specific actions.