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Belgian companies once again prioritising recruitment

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Companies located in Belgium are once again looking to focus on recruitment as the economy slowly starts to recover, and when doing so, are increasingly looking internally to fill positions.

One in three vacancies in Belgium (34%) is now being filled internally, according to a study conducted by human resources specialist SD Worx in fourteen European countries.

“Quite a few companies have taken a different approach since the corona crisis and have, for example, shifted up a gear in their digital transformation or adjusted their way of working and even their products or services in response to the new needs of their customers,” Cathy Geerts, Chief Human Resources Officer at SD Worx, said in a press release.

This can often require different or new skills, which is why recruitment is once again higher on company agendas, as they may no longer have suitable profiles.

Whereas in 2020 recruiting was only in tenth place, in 2021 it rose to first place on the list of priorities for Belgian HR departments, and on average third in Europe.

However, Geerts stressed that “employees with the desired skills are not always easy to find, which is why “one solution is to recruit internally and, if necessary, to retrain existing employees to take up a new position within the company,” she said.

Win-win situation

Although internal mobility is increasing in Belgium, it is still doing so less frequently than in Spain (38%), France (36%) and the Netherlands (31%).

Meanwhile, in Switzerland (53%) and Ireland (52%), companies are more likely to fill a new profile internally than externally, whilst companies in Austria (49%), Italy (47%) and the United Kingdom (47%) find someone within their own ranks for approximately half of the vacancies.

Only a third (35%) of companies in Belgium indicated that they communicate vacancies internally, whilst managers in just three in 10 companies discuss which talents they are looking for with the HR department.

Meanwhile, less than three in ten Belgian organisations, managers, mentors or coaches discuss career and development opportunities with employees.

“Many companies underestimate the importance of internal mobility. They seem to forget that internal mobility enables them to keep their staff motivated. In addition, it also saves on recruitment costs. It is a win-win situation,” Geerts said.

Few Belgian companies rely on technology, including digital applications and intelligent systems, talent management systems and workforce planning tools, among others, to structure their internal mobility.

“By using Assessment and Development Centres, an employer can detect unprecedented talent, motivate internal mobility choices, and create adapted development paths, giving employees the opportunity to start a new job in the best possible conditions. This is how you turn internal mobility into a success story,” Ariane Coryn, Operations Director Career Solutions at SD Worx Staffing, said.

The Brussels Times

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