About small talk, calves and serious business

Who's Marion Welling?

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Well, what didn't I want to be? I wanted to be a dentist, a journalist, a judge or a lawyer. Marketing- and Communications specialist never occurred to me. A degree in communication sciences didn’t really exist at the time. Maybe only as a minor.

What kind of family are you from?

I come from a real entrepreneurial family. My father was an (independent) accountant by profession, but also a great entrepreneur. He was one of the first people in the Netherlands to start an employment agency for temps in the 1960s. My mother was the driving force behind it all. Both my brothers are self-employed as well. Being an entrepreneur runs in our family DNA.

What was your very first job?

I always did a lot of jobs on the side, when at school or studying. Great jobs that got many a bit jealous! My first job was in a fancy gift shop in the Okura hotel in Amsterdam, where I sold wooden shoes to Japanese hotel guests. Later as a student, I was a tour guide for roundtrips on the Amsterdam canals.

Where were you born and where do you live now?

I was born in the heart of Amsterdam, in a hospital on the Overtoom. I have always lived in or around Amsterdam, and later studied there too. Since the birth of my youngest son we live in 't Gooi. A beautiful area close to Amsterdam with lots of greenery, heathlands and water. Not really a standard environment to grow up in. That's been quite a thing in bringing up our boys...

What did you study?

A long time ago I studied Dutch law at the Free University in Amsterdam and graduated with a master in Law  and a minor in Marketing. After that I did various communication courses. Eventually I even became a part time lecturer in Communications. Years later, at the University of Leiden, I continued Marketing Studies.

Which organisations have you worked for over the past 25 years?

After learning all about the consultancy world at renowned communications bureaus Hill + Knowlton Strategies and Winkelman & van Hessen, I became an independent interim professional.

According to my LinkedIn profile I have held 28 different positions at over 20 different organisations. These were permanent jobs, interim positions, but also a number of supplementary assignments. Hence the high number of jobs, amongst which are legal columnist, consultant, communications teacher, (marketing) communications manager and senior communications advisor. Often I was asked to return, such as for Deutsche Bank, KLM and KPMG. For Nuon I completed four different interim assignments. I also worked for Delta Lloyd, Alliander, Exact, Mc Donalds, Vereniging voor Arts & Auto, Dutch Payment Association, Braun, Unilever and Royal FloraHolland.  

Which assignment did you like the most?

A special and fun one-year assignment for Deutsche Bank! Deutsche Bank had signed a 5-year sponsorship deal with Het Concertgebouw. My assignment was to flesh out and implement this partnership in terms of content and communications. Suddenly, as a communications professional, you’re involved in a totally unknown world (which I only knew as a visitor) and you’re expected to shape policy and communications within a short period of time. With everyone really happy at the end, I was really proud to have successfully completely this challenging assignment.

Has much changed in the communications world?

Yes and no. Yes, the world around us is changing rapidly. Technological developments, digitalisation, new media, they all have a major impact on our profession. This requires a different communications approach in specialist disciplines, such as reputation management, corporate branding, PR and online copywriting.

On the other hand, much of the strategic thinking is still the same, such as analysing a communications problem, devising a strategy, mapping stakeholders and drafting content.

Why the move to Welling Search in 2018?

Once again the entrepreneurial blood runs deep. I really felt I could make a difference as an Executive & Interim Searcher+. With my 25 years of experience and training, I master the communications and marketing profession in many areas. Over the years my network grew around me organically and many of the professionals on my database I have worked with personally or I have found to be remarkable. In addition, I have current industry experience at more than 20 different organisations. So it’s a wonderful challenge for me to use my knowledge and skills now to excel as a searcher.

In which industries is Welling Search mainly active?

As a searcher I focus on the industries in which I have worked myself, as an (interim) manager and a (marketing) communications advisor. Because I am intimately acquainted with the corporate culture and fully understand the dynamics, I am able to apply this to finding the right candidate for the right organisation.

The largest 20 organisations I worked for were in sectors such as aviation, communications bureaus, banks, accountancy, insurance, energy suppliers and network managers, ICT, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), retail and international floriculture.

Marion Welling Welling Search Executive search Marketing en Communicatie

This is what customers say about their collaboration with me

“Since mid-2022 I ‘ve been working with Marion intensively, both as a candidate as well as a client. This has allowed me to gain insight in her valuable expertise on both sides. She manages to surprise me continually by nominating the right candidate for our team and organization.
Her many years of experience as a marketing and communications professional sets her apart as a searcher. For me she’s a great sparring partner, who can give valuable advice with the merest of hints. In addition, she’s a lovely person to work with. Few people make me laugh out loud so much as Marion. I can highly recommend her!”

Marjolein Trok
Manager Marketing & Communication Christelijke Hogeschool Ede (CHE)

“Although I was not short of assignments as an independent communications consultant, I was triggered when Marion Welling approached me for a permanent position that ‘seemed like a perfect fit’ for me. In addition to the matching capabilities, what struck me most about Welling Search was the professional and personal guidance. This manifested itself in clear agreements, thorough preparation prior to the job interviews and regular feedback. The after placement service was also excellent. All this made this procedure a valuable experience, which resulted in a fantastic job!”

Caroline Jooren
senior communications advisor NautaDutilh

“I got to know Marion as a consummate professional who makes a point of getting to know you as a candidate (and as a person) in order to construct a perfect match. Aside from her matchingmaking skills, her ‘after placement service’ feels really good and personal. I especially appreciate her great ability to empathise. I heartily recomment her.”

Peter C.H. van Leeuwen
Manager Marketing & Communicatie a.i. Christelijke Hogeschool Ede (CHE)

"Marion Welling is a professional colleague I’ve known for more than 20 years. From time to time we’d be sparring partners and I always enjoyed her company. But four years ago we found a new connection: Marion as a searcher at her own search agency, Welling Search, and me as an interim professional as part of her network. Marion is uniquely adept at spotting to which organisations my expertise in branding, positioning and innovation is best suited. I’m on my third interim assignment already, currently at Naturalis. Prior assignments for Welling Search were at Carqon (Accell) and RNW Media. On to our next anniversary, Marion!"

Ria van Kempen
Customer journey – CRM marketeer a.i. Naturalis Biodiversity Center

"In my opinion, Marion is far ahead of the competition when it comes to searchers, who often prioritise quick results over the quality of a match. Our briefing was challenging; find two freelance candidates at short notice for two very specific positions for Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. From the start, she was honest about the possibilities and kept us closely updated on the developments. Ultimately, we hired three candidates she put forth, because all three fitted in the team and our objectives. With her humour and flair, she is also a very nice person to work with."

Christiane Anell
Senior CRM Campaign Manager a.i. PVH Corp

“Marion Welling is an excellent searcher. Rarely have I encountered someone who searches so persistently and qualitatively for the right candidate with a top result. In addition, a pleasant and very open discussion partner. I can wholeheartedly recommend Marion.”

Wilmar A. Tax
Chief Strategy & Innovation/Partner at HPB (Het PR Bureau)

"I found Marion Welling’s mediation to be very satisfying. During the application process her advice and our conversations were open and honest and I was really aware of her thorough knowledge of the communications profession.
She made sure the entire procedure was handled as well and as quickly as possible, with her attention always focussed on me, the candidate. I took the job and I have to say: it's a very good match!"

Jan Willem van Hofwegen
senior communications advisor/teamlead RTL

"In 2008 I got to know Marion as a very strong and capable interim professional. For her to choose this new direction didn’t surprise me. This job suits her perfectly; the combination of her extensive professional knowledge and expertise, her great affinity with people and her genuine interest in them plus her sense of humour all make her a top Searcher. I ended up having a great time at RNW Media, so she was spot on seeing that. Thank you for the super support Marion!"

Laura Minderop,
senior communications officer a.i. RNW Media

"Marion Marion has an enormous amount of experience and people knowledge and she understood that I would feel at home as interim Manager Station Communications at RTL. I really enjoyed my time there and the feeling was mutual. Should Marion have another assignment for me, I would go in blind!"

Birgit Jansen
Manager Station Communications RTL a.i.

“When (recently) Marion was looking for a Senior Communications Consultant for an international cooperative in the floriculture sector, I got onto her radar. That's one of her strong points; perfect timing and a really good network”

Yolande Meurs
Communication manager/senior communication advisor a.i.

“Marion is conversant with all facets of (Marketing) and Communications and is a great sounding board and coach. With her great sense of humour, she always manages to create really a relaxed atmosphere.”

Loes Romeijnders
Communication advisor Payments Association Netherlands

“Her expertise and her genuine interest in the person behind the professional make Marion unique as a searcher. Her positive attitude is very inspirational."

Peter Hermsen
Senior communications consultant media relations and external communications International Card Services (ICS)

“Marion is extremely precise and committed to the people and organisations she works for. A strategic thinker who needs very little input.”

Marjolein Ruys-Keereweer
Team manager marketing and communication Almere Municipality

“I'm very pleased with our re-acquaintance. When we worked together before, Marion was very committed, involved and direct. An asset for the executive search market, both for clients and professionals!"

Sonja de Wild
Project manager communication a.i. Babboe Bakfietsen