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Belgium Recruiting & Hiring

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Hiring the right team members can make or break your new subsidiary, and hiring isn’t as simple as finding a talented employee and onboarding them. You have to learn all of Belgium’s employment compliance laws, recruit candidates from another country, and establish a subsidiary. Although setting up your subsidiary is a necessary first step, it can take weeks or months to incorporate, potentially causing you to lose time and good job candidates.

By acting as the Employer of Record, Globalization Partners will help you hire Belgian employees through a fast and productive process. We’ll use our subsidiary to shoulder all compliance and hire employees who all work for you, helping you accomplish everything in just a few days.

Recruiting in Belgium

Before you start staffing and recruiting in Belgium, you’ll want to gain some knowledge of the country’s business etiquette and culture. Belgium is a preferred location for international business, so many candidates will most likely understand that you may have different expectations than they’re used to. Even so, a level of cultural understanding can make all the difference in securing a good first impression with your new team members overseas.

As you start setting up meetings and interviews with Belgian candidates, you and your recruiting team may find these tips useful.

1. Consider Translating Your Business Cards

While some countries have a strict protocol in place for the exchange of business cards, Belgium does not. It’s fairly common to exchange cards during meetings and interviews, though. You should consider translating one side of your business card into the appropriate language for the region you’re in. Dutch is often spoken in northern Belgium, while French is common in the southern part of the country. French, Dutch, and German are the official languages of Belgium. English is widely spoken as well.

2. Make Punctuality a Priority

If you’re used to doing business in a time-conscious country, you’ll feel right at home in Belgium. Belgians typically arrive at meetings and interviews on time or a few minutes early. They also tend to follow the set agenda for a meeting if there is one, so you generally won’t have to worry about scheduling back-to-back meetings — each one will likely end on time.

If you happen to be running late to a meeting with a prospective employee, it’s a good idea to give them a call ahead of time to let them know about the delay.

3. Focus on Getting to Know the Candidate

In Belgium, people like to take their time and consider their options before making business decisions. Rather than rushing the recruitment process, take some time to get to know your prospective employees. First meetings are typically more socially oriented than focused on business.

What Is the Recruitment Process in Belgium Like?

Utilizing the right recruitment channels and following all of the country-specific laws for staffing are just as important as understanding the culture when you’re recruiting and hiring in Belgium. When it comes to sourcing talent in the country, corporate job sites are popular among companies looking to fill office positions. Recruitment agencies are somewhat popular as well, especially among younger job seekers. You can also use job sites, such as Indeed, to advertise your company’s open positions.

You should know that many Belgians prefer to grow and develop their careers with a single company rather than moving elsewhere. As a result, it’s essential for your company to invest in finding the best possible candidates during the recruitment process. There’s a good chance that the individuals you hire will be with your company for quite a while.

Legal Requirements for Recruiting and Staffing in Belgium

Belgium has a set of laws in place to prevent discrimination, and it’s critical for your recruiting team to keep this legislation in mind during the recruitment process and beyond. The law forbids discrimination on the following grounds:

  • Racial criteria
  • Sexual orientation
  • Age
  • Social background
  • Trade union beliefs
  • Religious or ideological beliefs
  • Disability
  • Civil status
  • Birth
  • Wealth
  • Political beliefs
  • State of health
  • Physical characteristics

With so many protected characteristics to keep in mind, you’ll need to stay mindful of the language you use in interviews and job advertisements. While some of these traits might come up in casual conversations with candidates, be sure to avoid asking direct questions about them.

How to Hire Belgium Employees

Learning how to hire Belgian employees can be a challenge because of the prevalence of trade unions and collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) in the country. Most companies’ wages are fixed through a CBA, and trade unions and employers frequently negotiate changes to these contracts. Salaries increase each year automatically based on the health index and cost of living increases.

Belgium also promotes hiring local employees over non-European-Union citizens. Employers must apply for work permits for citizens outside of the EU, and you need to demonstrate that you could not find a local employee to fill your position.

Belgium Employment Compliance Laws

Belgium’s employment compliance laws require employers to draft an employment contract that includes compensation, benefits, and entitlement and termination terms. Your contracts should be in the local language and use the Euro for all salary and compensation amounts.

Another aspect of employment compliance is working hours. Your employees cannot work over 38 hours, and if they do, they should get paid overtime unless they’re a senior executive or manager. Compensation of overtime is compulsory and depends on the day and time your employee works.

How Do You Onboard Employees?

Onboarding employees looks different for every company, but every company must take certain steps as soon as they hire an employee. You need to register the employee with different government authorities, an insurance agency, a health provider, and Dimona, an electronic system used for social security.

After that, you’re free to onboard employees using a process that works best for your company. Hiring is complicated in Belgium, so we recommend reviewing your employment contract, CBA, and more with employees on their first day. Providing job training can also help prepare employees for their positions and give them more information about your company culture.

Benefits of Belgium Hiring Outsourcing

Because of many complex employment compliance laws, hiring Belgian employees is a challenge for companies looking to expand to the country. Globalization Partners’ Belgium hiring outsourcing services can take the stress out of finding the right candidates. We’ll provide a positive hiring experience and make sure your employees are productive from day one.

Globalization Partners Can Help

When you don’t have to worry about how to hire Belgian employees, you can instead focus on running your company. Globalization Partners can help through Belgium hiring outsourcing. Contact us today to learn more.

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