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Breakfast session international recruitment: insights & takeaways

On Friday, September 22, Amon organized a breakfast session on international recruiting in Ghent. Six experts shared their experiences and advice on recruiting international talent. Discover the most important insights and takeaways here. 

“The tight labour market will last until 2040”

Arne OosthuyseDirector of Training & Labor Market at Voka Chamber of Commerce East Flanders

Arne outlined the challenges currently facing the labor market. Unemployment is at an all-time low, and the number of vacancies remains high. Whereas in 2018 there were six candidates per vacancy, that has now dropped to two candidates. This tightness is likely to continue through 2040. In every sector.

Key takeaways

  • Targeted labor migration needs to be encouraged. 
  • Companies and networking organizations play an important role in this. 
  • Attracting international talent is crucial. 
  • Cities must become more hospitable to expats. For example, there should be an “international house” in every city. Themes such as integration, housing and education for expats’ children should be on the agenda.

“Don't start without a strategy”

Jan-Maarten van Damme – Senior Manager People & Change at KPMG

Employment in the Belgian IT sector is likely to rise 16 percent by 2035. That makes international recruiting more important than ever. But, Jan-Maarten pointed out: always work out a strategy first.

Key takeaways

  • Define the desired profile (background, experience, competencies).
  • Want to set up a new office abroad? Place it strategically: choose a location near universities or companies where interesting profiles work. 
  • Set up a talent strategy to improve international recruitment. 
  • International employees are often motivated to go the extra mile. This can boost overall productivity within your organization.

Think before you begin: ask yourself these questions.

Are you planning to recruit internationally? Jan-Maarten stressed to answer the questions below first:

  1. If you also operate abroad: where do you want to grow your teams?
  2. In which countries do you want to recruit? 
  3. Where is there a high willingness to move to Belgium?
  4. Can you set up a new branch close to a university where a lot of IT students graduate? 
  5. Are there opportunities for staff to work remotely?
  6. What are the pros and cons of having international employees on your team?

“Let experts assist you”

Marnix Verberckmoes – Managing Director EMEA at oXya
Wouter Vermeylen – Managing Director at Yesplan

Entrepreneurs Marnix and Wouter shared their experiences with international recruiting. Both recruit foreign personnel for their offices abroad, but also strengthen their teams in Belgium with technical talent from Cuba, Turkey, Romania and Hungary, among others.

Key takeaways

  • Visa and single permit applications are very complex. Enlist the help of experts for this, so you can go through the application with the migration department in one go.
  • As your team grows with international talent, be mindful of the emergence of subcultures, and try to spread employees of the same nationalities across teams, and deploy broadly in your organization to ensure continued diversity of teams as well. 
  • The train to attract international talent has taken off and is not going to stop, so time to join the ride
  • Also leverage the professional network of the first recruited international IT professional to further build your team.

“Choose an EOR and AOR partner”

Ruud Coockson – Vice President EMEA at People2.0

Ruud took attendees through the services and benefits of being an EOR and/or AOR partner.

Key takeaways

An Employer of Record partner is responsible for: 

  • Onboarding and offboarding of employees.
  • Timesheet management and expense reimbursement.
  • Funding, benefits and taxes. 
  • ‘buying out’ employee risk.
  • Social insurance and reservations. 
  • Collective bargaining agreement administration.
  • Knowledge of local laws and regulations.

An Agent of Record partner (focused on independent contractors) is responsible for:

  • Documentation and pre-engagement management.
  • Audit-proof document management. 
  • Administration around contracts.
  • Invoicing and payments.
  • Compliance and knowledge of laws and regulations.
  • Risk management and liability.

“Don't be put off by the administrative process”

Lieven Goossens – Legal manager international HR bij Vandelanotte

What awaits you after you have recruited international talent? That’s what the last speaker Lieven zoomed in on.

Key takeaways

  • International employees bring diversity, broad knowledge and insights. This promotes the long-term success of your business.
  • A work permit allows you to work in a particular country. A residence permit also allows you to live in the country.
  • You must submit a comprehensive dossier to the migration department. It can take months for your application to be processed. So submit this file as complete and as soon as possible.
  • Don’t be put off by the administrative process. And be sure to get advice from experts.
  • Keep the employee informed about the application process. Provide a regular contact person for this purpose.Communication is the key to success. 
  • When in doubt, seek legal advice.

Attending our next session(s)?

You can find all of our upcoming events on our website.
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