Story behind the founders
In 2009, Validata Group was founded in Amsterdam by Harm Voogt and Job van der Weijden. Being a Law graduate and having worked in the Staffing and Recruitment sector for many years, Harm had grown to understand the market’s requirements and also, what was missing.
Checking relevant data of (potential) employees had proven to be an inefficient process; personal data and paperwork were fragmentally collected by various departments. Therefore, many organisations were experiencing long turnaround times and data-sharing issues.
However, it was not until Harm came across DUO, a government organisation responsible for registering all Dutch diploma’s and degrees, that he spotted a real business opportunity. If he could establish professional data partnerships, organisations would not have to struggle with the fragmented and privacy-sensitive process of collecting and checking personal (potential) employee data. Moreover, companies would not have to face the challenge of accessing numerous (inter)national data sources to verify information.
Onboarding the team
When Job was introduced to the idea, he was triggered by the simplicity and its great potential. Having graduated in Business Economics in Rotterdam and been involved in several entrepreneurial businesses, he started with Heineken and worked in several commercial positions. He left Heineken for an investment fund where he closely observed several start- and scale-ups. He was an entrepreneur, but missed the dynamics of his own product and instantly knew that this was a unique opportunity. Together, Harm and Job established CV-OK, a small venture that would later become known as Validata Group.
In 2011, Bart Bijkerk joined CV-OK. By this time, Bart had also directed several businesses and experienced many years working in the HR and Recruitment sector. Together with his deep understanding of ICT staffing, coaching, and account management, he was eager to become involved in this niche opportunity and further develop the innovative business with Harm and Job.
The perfect solution
Harm, Job, and Bart were certain that they had created the perfect solution for recruitment and secondment organisations, as these were keen to meet their clients’ expectations. Makes sense right? Well not exactly.CV-OK soon realised that its innovative solution was not yet ‘top of mind’ and awareness of digitised employment screening still needed to increase.
In the meantime, next to CV-OK, two additional solutions were initiated: Vrijwilliger-OK, to check the personal data of volunteers, and Wonen-OK, to screen tenants and home buyers.
From CV-OK to Validata Group
In 2016, CV-OK changed its name it Validata Group. A logical step, as next to checking the CV’s of (potential) candidates, verifying additional information such as creditworthiness, criminal records and integrity statements was becoming more important.
With the number of clients from various sectors steadily increasing, Validata’s expertise grew at a similar rate. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Validata became the market leader in employment screening for the Netherlands several years ago.
A fast growing market
Nowadays, organisations increasingly focus on recruiting and retaining capable and honest employees. A wise move, not only because of risk management, but also to ensure compliance with current (privacy) laws and regulations. Validata’s smart software solution is currently used by clients from all over the world, screening candidates from more than 60 countries. With numerous international data and HR software partnerships, Validata stays at the forefront of employment screening in Europe.
In addition to its headquarters in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Validata recently opened a subsidiary in Stockholm, Sweden. This is an important step to further develop employment screening in the Nordics, and it allows Validata to help local organisations by sharing its deep knowledge and experience.
Harm Voogt, Founder & CEO of Validata
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