The 3 steps toward recruiting abroad

The search for recruitable talent usually starts in the local job market. It used to be easy. You posted a vacancy online and the resumes poured in. But in today's Belgian job market, it is no longer that simple. Vacancies don't get a response, or the candidates who apply lack the right competencies. After a search lasting several months, you are really at a loss and the impact on the organization becomes more and more tangible. Refusing assignments because you do not have sufficient capacity is sour. Very unpleasant. This is why at Link2Europe we usually apply the "3 month rule". Still haven't found a suitable candidate after 3 months? Then it's time to start with the 3 steps towards recruiting abroad.

Step 1: Recruit in Belgium

VDAB, Jobat, Indeed and even LinkedIn, they are brimming with job openings. In the third quarter of 2022, according to Statbel 210,778 vacancies at Belgian companies. The total number of vacancies is thus down by 1.4%. A good thing! But on December 31, 2022, there were also 277,213 citizens at VDAB enrolled. 67% were job seekers without work, 28% employed and 5% students or other. The number of job seekers without work thus amounts to 184,776. So finding the suitable candidate, (or snatching him away from the competition) will not always be easy.

Some tips:

  • Get digital: Almost everyone goes digital to look for a job these days. Therefore, make sure job postings are mobile readable and that your website is mobile friendly.
  • Stand out as an employer: Work on your image as an employer. Only as an ideal employer will you be first in line to attract the right talent. Turn your current employees into true ambassadors of your brand.
  • Forget copy/paste: Don't fall into the trap of comparing candidates to your current employees. If you don't pay enough attention to other profiles, your organization lacks diversity and you run the risk of overlooking talent.

Step 2: Recruit within the EU

The numbers don't lie. The Belgian labor market is in a mess with itself. You can take a wait-and-see attitude and hope things get better. Or you can take action now before your organization sits with the consequences. Usually you make the move to recruit within the EU after about 3 months. And recruiting abroad therefore doesn't even have to be such a big step. A big advantage of recruiting within the EU is that there are no additional visa or work permit requirements are. This provides a faster implementation of your job posting and easier administrative processing. Another advantage is that cultural differences of candidates in our surrounding countries more limited are, making the integration faster will proceed.

Some tips:

  • The common language: Write and post your job openings in English and make sure your website is available in English as well. English continues to gain in popularity and a decline in the trend seems far from imminent.
  • Oh precious Belgium: You are not only asking candidates to come work for you, but also to live in your area. So sell both the job, your company and your country. Show what makes your area special for foreign employees. What is there to do in the area? Is there lots of space, a vibrant nightlife or just lots of nature? Or is a city or area progressive in a particular industry?
  • The right partner: Why brave the Belgian bureaucracy on your own when you can also call on a partner who already has experience in recruiting abroad? After an intake meeting, you determine the plan of action together and they do all the rest until it is time for you to interview the pre-selected candidates. Found a new foreign employee? Even then the right partner can take care of the follow-up.

However, there is a downside to recruiting within the EU. Because the European labor market is also very competitive for some vacancies. Think about technical and higher profiles. On to step 3!

Step 3: Recruit outside the EU

The biggest advantage of recruiting outside the EU is that the pool of candidates to choose from is much larger. So you see more qualified candidates per vacancy. You increase the diversity within your company, and foreign talent may allow you to tap into new markets and partners.

Some tips:

  • Gather information: Recruiting outside the EU sounds great, but what about the extra visa and work permit? What do you need to consider? On vlaanderen.be you can already find a lot of information.
  • Don't wait too long: Because of the extra administration, recruiting outside the EU also means a longer recruitment process. So don't wait too long to make the move. Again, we at Link2Europe recommend taking the step after 3 months.
  • (Again) the right partner: To overcome these challenges, it is best to hire a partner with experience. They can verify the references and work experience of foreign candidates, take care of the administration and offer a 360° approach.

Borderless recruiting opens up a world of possibilities for your company. You can attract talent from all over the world and thus find the best candidates for the open positions within your company.
Still not quite sure if you want to take the plunge?
Review it webinar "How to recruit worry-free outside Europe?"
Experts Massimo Maesen and Igor Van Assche zoom in on how, as a company, you can attract higher-educated profiles around the world for your bottleneck vacancies.

Share this post


Whoever you want to recruit

Link2Europe finds the best solution in the international labor market:

Fully deployable temporary workers and permanent contracts quickly

Had enough reading? Book yourself now a conversation with our specialists.

Please leave your details here and our specialists will contact you as soon as possible.

Are you looking for a job? Please visit: link2europe.eu