Many organisations are still struggling to find staff, but there is a way to make the search for new employees easier. What if, when assessing applicants, you disregard proficiency in Dutch or French all together? "Then you get an international and therefore much larger candidate pool to choose from," says Jülide Tunali, senior manager Engineering & Supply Chain at international recruitment specialist Robert Walters. Jülide outlines the benefits of hiring international candidates.
1. International candidates master multiple languages
Most international candidates master at least two languages: their mother tongue and English. Multilingual professionals are especially beneficial for Belgian branches of international organisations, as they can collaborate more easily with colleagues from other countries. "Keeping English as the working language makes more sense because of the many international collaborations within such a large company. Consequently, fluency in Dutch or French is not a must, and as an organisation you can easily opt for an international candidate," Jülide explains.
It is also true that for some roles in the production environment, for example engineering jobs, there is a lot of interaction with blue collars, for which knowledge of the local language is beneficial. Jülide: “In these cases, we notice that international professionals are often more than willing to learn the local language, as it opens up more opportunities for them.”
2. International candidates can often start working immediately
Many international candidates who want to work in Belgium have already moved to our country. This makes the job search easier. Candidates who get a job in Belgium from abroad and have yet to relocate usually arrange all practical matters immediately. This means that international candidates can start working quickly. Jülide: "Usually, international candidates - besides building a successful career - have another reason for moving to Belgium, such as family. This is why they make sure all their affairs are in order. Most vacancies and temporary assignments are urgent, so then it's nice that as an employer you don't have to wait months for a new employee."
3. International candidates have less strict requirements
Belgium has a favourable working environment with good employment conditions. This is more than enough for many international professionals, making them less inclined to make high demands. "Belgian candidates know the labour market and are aware of the talent shortage," explain Jülide. "This is why they often engage in multiple application procedures at the same time and aim higher when negotiating salaries. International candidates especially want to gain stability in Belgium, and that is challenging enough because of the prevailing preference for Dutch-speaking or French-speaking applicants."
Professionals coming from other countries have different cultural values and bring a new approach to the business, which makes for a nice melting pot within the organisation.
“Moreover, international talent is often very hardworking to get integrated into the working environment. Companies that open the door to international talent can certainly benefit from these advantages,” Jülide concludes.
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