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Belgium – Are recruitment policies appropriate to face labour market challenges?

11 June 2012

Are recruitment policies appropriate to face labour market challenges, such as growing youth unemployment, skills shortages and the problematic retention of talented staff? A survey by the federation of employment agencies in Belgium, Federgon, has aimed to answer this question, surveying over 1,000 companies in the country about their recruitment and retention policies.

It found that, while companies may be aware of labour shortages as this makes it more difficult to fill vacancies, this varies dependent on the size of the business. Nearly 7 out of 10 large companies believe filling vacancies will be more difficult in the future while this drops to 55% for mid-sized companies and to 49% for small businesses.

The survey also showed that companies are becoming more critical of the skill set that jobseekers have to offer. Most companies said that candidates simply do not bring the right skills with them which automatically narrows the pool of potential workers. This also explains one of the main findings, namely that companies seem to favour skills over qualifications.

Among other key findings are the following:

  • HR policies of companies are not strategic enough to meet labour market challenges
  • Companies remain fairly traditional in their use of recruitment tools
  • HR policies are changing, but only in a small group of companies
  • HR policies are not innovative enough
  • Labour shortages could lead companies to make “radical” decisions
  • There is a gap between small and large businesses when it comes to recruitment and HR policies

Read the whole study, in French, here


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