The Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital (AVL) in Amsterdam has a mission: to turn cancer into a non-lethal disease. Its employees play a leading role in this. In order to attract, engage and retain the right talent, PROOF and the AVL developed the employer branding concept #nietzonderjullie (#notwithoutyou). The concept was first successfully deployed to attract oncology nurses. Next, to avoid a scarcity of qualified professionals for the operating room, AVL deployed the concept to attract anaesthetists, surgery assistants and recovery nurses.
The AVL is one of Europe’s top ten Comprehensive Cancer Centres – a status and reputation that some find intimidating. Many potential employees question whether they are ready to work at the AVL and so decide not to apply. The #nietzonderjullie branding concept supports the AVL’s status while at the same time positioning it as open and accessible. The idea is to remove the self-doubt that discourages people from applying.
The AVL is very aware that its employees are the key to its success. All AVL employees work as one team with one mission: to turn cancer into a non-lethal disease. Only with the contribution of each employee can the AVL reach its objectives. The promise ‘not without you’ applies to every group within the organisation.
Specialists as spokespeople
The AVL is also unique for the very short lines between its doctors and nurses, who work together as equals. This is why renowned specialists such as Wanda de Kanter and Alexander van Akkooi serve as the faces of the campaign to recruit oncology nurses, sharing the message that they can’t play their part without them.
Representing various discipline
This way of working as equals also applies to the operating room. For this reason, staff from various disciplines (and not only surgeons) were chosen to serve as spokespeople. The campaign features anaesthetist Aletta Houwink, surgeon Winan van Houdt, Supervisory Board member Emile Voest, patient Astrid Nollen, anaesthetics and recovery team leader Nancy Hellwig-Toussain and team leader of surgery Nanette Oudwater. They all share what makes the AVL unique to them, what their contribution is, and how they cannot play their part without the operating room staff. Their stories illustrate the complex interventions that take place, the human factor in this and the contribution made to cancer research.
The website nietzonderjullie.nl, originally developed for the oncology nurse campaign, has now been added to with a special section for operating room staff. There, you will find interviews with the faces of the campaign, as well as video portraits of a recovery nurse, an anaesthetist and an operating assistant who explain what it’s like to work at the AVL. In various videos, the three operating room employees come across each other, illustrating how, despite their different roles, they are all part of one team.
The site also includes information about open days when you can shadow employees, as well as traineeships and internships.