Sanne Chateau cover 2023

Sanne Chateau

Never a dull moment in the life of a Senior HR Consultant

You don’t often hear of someone switching from a permanent organisation to consultancy, even though it offers many opportunities. This is demonstrated by Sanne Chateau, Senior HR consultant at Quintop. In 2020, she took the plunge into consultancy and to this day she is very happy with her decision, because the ”never a dull moment” feeling is precisely what gives her energy. We spoke to her about her move and her role as a change and communication expert within HR consultancy.

After fulfilling various roles as HR Business Partner/HR Advisor and HR Project Manager at various national and international organisations, Sanne decided to make the switch to Quintop as Senior HR consultant. “What attracted me, especially at Quintop, is the opportunity to actually help build organisations and feel that my contribution matters.”

It is precisely the difference in sectors and assignments that keeps Sanne curious: ”You come across a lot of different places. I have now had the opportunity to do nice assignments for the Fast Moving Consumer Goods sector, the mortgage/financial market and the wonderful world of film and television. Every assignment is different, sometimes focusing on a specific component and other times a broad issue. This is a world of difference compared to working for just one organisation.”

Start from scratch

Having previously worked on the client side, Sanne can now empathise well with everything involved in an HR department. “Before this, I worked at Kindergarden as an HR consultant, at Carlson Wagonlit Travel as an HR Business Partner and for 3 years as a Regional Project Leader on an HR transformation within CWT, among others. This not only gives me broad knowledge of the HR field, such as payroll & administration, performance management, HR systems, consultancy, training & development, sick leave, but also of reorganisations, change management, Works Council processes and coaching. I apply all these experiences daily in my work as a consultant.”

Nevertheless, she advises other consultants not to be completely influenced by previous experiences: “Every organisation is different, so I advise other consultants to approach every assignment without an already-made solution or approach in your head. Ask questions, explore, try to understand what is happening and what the exact bottlenecks are. Then use your backpack full of experience and learning moments to determine the best change and communication strategy.”

Change management

Sanne is currently working as Change and Communication Manager for an international organisation in the MedTech world. Within a large internal transformation project, she uses her years of HR experience and focuses on making change sustainable by putting the human aspects at the centre. She advises and supports the organisation in engaging employees.

In this assignment, she also applies her own developed sustainable change model. Together with Wilco Bontenbal, partner at Quintop, she developed a six-step model to guide change processes within Quintop. “Organisations often already have their own Change Management methodology, or they use an existing recognised one, and as a consultant you naturally adapt to that. Nevertheless, I always juxtapose our own pragmatic model to make a real impact on the organisations unique requirements. This is how I ensured that all the different change initiatives at my current client became a coherent story. It is important that it is really clear to the people in the organisation why certain actions are being taken and what the ultimate goal is. As they did not have the expertise in-house at the time, I was then added to the team. And a big advantage is that I’m not familiar with the medical world. I then started from scratch, simplifying the story to make it universally comprehensible without adding unnecessary and confusing details.”

Sharing knowledge

Sanne has no regrets switching to consultancy and to Quintop: ”The great thing about Quintop is that we have the best of both: a warm home base and at the same time large international environments where we can fine tune our experience. At Quintop, we sit and collaborate on the same side of the table as our client and strive to make the project a success together with them. It truly is teamwork. Moreover, we also have enough support and knowledge at Quintop to spar and get advice from colleagues.

In the future, Sanne wants to focus more on providing training. She says: “I have already had the opportunity to give internal training sessions on Change Management & Communication several times. I have noticed how much fun and how important I find it to share my knowledge. During these trainings, you not only learn a lot from each other, but I also learn a lot of myself. I am very happy that Quintop gives me the space to do this alongside my consultancy work. It really is true: Never a dull moment in Consultancy!

Curious about switching to consultancy? Check out our open vacancies and who knows, maybe we’ll see you at Quintop soon!
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