In the spotlight – IVY Global

In Newsby Ashley Hofmann

At IVY Global they believe in the principle that everyone is valuable. Personality is put above skills. Skills you can learn, you cannot change who you are. There is no hierarchy and no defined job profiles, decisions are made together, there are no budgets, and holidays are taken as you see fit. A conscious choice when IVY was founded in 2014. The company is built on freedom, responsibility, equality, transparency and trust. And not without results, because in those six years they have grown rapidly. Erik, Edwin, Watse and Jorn give a look inside IVY Global and how they really do it all together.

Changing the engineering world
IVY was born out of the need for innovation and new knowledge in the port and industry. Many companies and organizations acknowledged that need, but without further action. Reason enough for Jorn and Watse to take the initiative themselves which resulted in a unique formula: deploying tech students under the wings of experienced project managers. With these valuable combination they started carrying out specific (maintenance) projects for companies who were looking for innovative solutions. In addition to these innovation projects, the students carry out work for which technical knowledge is needed, but not so much experience. In this way they relieve the experienced people in a company who can be deployed on the more complex projects. IVY Global was born.

With all these students it is no surprise that the average age at IVY is 22 years. In addition to the students in the field, the recruiters are also mostly students who work at IVY for an average of half a year. Some of them further develop inside the company but a large part of them goes on with a huge bag of experience. Those who do stick around have plenty of opportunities to grow. For example, Watse started at IVY six years ago as a recruiter (still being a student): “After being a recruiter for a while, I wanted to gain more experience and became a project manager. But this didn’t fit me very well, so I was offered career coaching and found out that I’m most happy in a position as account manager”. This wasn’t an existing job profile within IVY but was created to match Watse’s career opportunities. Positions and job profiles are formed around the person and not the other way around. Which results in a low turnover because career opportunities are created within the company.

Erik: “Invest in the happiness of your employees, make them extremely happy! Find out what motivates them intrinsically and make sure you invest in that. The effect will amaze you”.


This way of working brings a lot of dynamics to the company, which fit perfectly with the young character of the organization. Jorn wanted to implement a way of doing business, which matches the company’s young spirit, where the organization is self-managing: Semco Style. By creating ownership and giving a lot of responsibility to the people, the organization is supported by everyone. The company’s interests will come first because everyone has been able to exert the same amount of influence on what these interests are.

And does this mean that nothing ever goes wrong or wrong decisions are made when everyone has a say in it? Of course not, at some points guidance is necessary. For example, decision making is structured by using a flow diagram. This makes it much easier and it takes less time to make decisions. This also explains why there are no budgets: anyone can propose an idea and together they agree upon it or not, as well as for the costs. But most important is that they trust in each other. There’s always room for improvement, after all, you learn from your mistakes.

When the Dutch government announcement the COVID-19 measurements, the whole team responded immediately to take inventory on what this means for IVY. Which projects will continue, what will come to a standstill? Edwin tells: “Everyone felt responsible to act in the interest of the company and was bringing up ideas how to pursue in the best way.” But also, to look beyond the crisis and create opportunities out of it by attracting (a lot of) new students, now schools and universities are closed, and offer workforce to the medical and pharmaceutical industry.

Discover in which service IVY Global can be of value to you: