Companies located in Brussels are struggling to find Dutch-speaking applicants, and here is why
It is getting harder and harder to find Dutch-speaking candidates in Brussels
Because of high salary and mobility issues, it seems complicated to find Dutch-speaking candidates in Brussels. In order to discuss this subject, the newspaper de Standaard met up with two IT companies.
Megabyte is looking for a developer/technician specialised in Microsoft technology. The company has offices in 3 cities (Brussels, Louvain-La-Neuve and Antwerp) and is looking for Dutch-speaking candidates who have a good knowledge of French, if they aren’t bilingual.
Apparently, this isn’t easy in Brussels. To address this shortage, Megabyte has had contacts with Flemish schools in the past; the initiatives were a success, but they required a lot of effort and financing.
What are the main obstacles?
First, the distance between home and the workplace. Traffic jams and hours of driving are responsible for the lack of Flemish employees.
Employers are trying to fix this problem by being more flexible: they give more tasks in the morning, so that employees don’t have to sit in traffic in the evening.
The good economical climate in Flanders does not encourage migration of Flemish workers. Megabyte would like to increase the number of employees who work in public service in an attempt to be more aggressive on that market.
Same aspirations for Efficy
According to its CEO, Efficy, a company specialized in software programs, client relationship and service management, has over 100 employees among whom 40% speak Dutch as a mother tongue.
This year, the company would like to hire about 15 Dutch-speaking collaborators. The working hours are fixed, but there are possibilities to do teleworking. Additionally, they just opened a new office in Ghent.
This location is ideal to stay as close as possible to its Flemish customers. Ghent is the perfect playground to develop IT business. The company wants to start with 5 employees and increase that number to 20 in the future.
To Cedric Pierrard, the conclusion is the same: there is a big mobility issue in the city. Moreover, the capital is perceived as a French-speaking city, which scares potential Flemish candidates off.
Employers offer solutions
The BECI, Brussels Enterprises Commerce & Industry, points out that there is an imbalance between supply and demand on the employment market.
There are 750000 jobs: this should be enough for the local population, but it seems that most workers occupying those positions are in fact commuters. It appears that the locals do not always have the appropriate skills or training.
As a consequence, 18% of inhabitants in Brussels are unemployed. Around 100000 people are not able to find a job in the capital, mostly due to their insufficient knowledge of languages.