How to attract and engage talent?

Our very own BrainTower-partner Caroline Vervaeke was a guest speaker at the 10th anniversary of Generations Recruitment. For this occasion, GR invited four experts in the recruitment field for a debate. Next to Caroline, they also invited Jean-Philippe Mulders, senior HR consultant and HR Milestones founder, Alain Mayné, Communication expert at Hoet&Hoet and Johan Claes, Employer Branding Expert at STIB. The General Manager of GR, Yoni Szpiro took the role of moderator. The subject of the debate was: meaningful recruitment: what are the challenges for today’s talents and employers?

What are the main views expressed in the debate?

1. How to attract talent

Mission & vision

It is crucial for an employer to have a clear mission and vision. With working environments becoming more and more capitalistic, people want to know they are not only working for money or to make their shareholders bigger. They want to find meaning in their jobs and want to belong to something bigger. And that is exactly why it is very important for a company to have a clear vision and mission and stick to it in everything they do.


As a result, corporate bullshit does not work anymore. Promises that can not be fulfilled will backfire in the face of the company making them. Especially the younger generations are very sensitive when it comes to this type of nonsense. And companies are aware that especially this audience is extremely experienced when it comes to spreading personal meanings across the internet using social media, blogs and other means of communication. That is why it’s crucial that companies are authentic in everything they say and do.


One other very important attention point must be, more than ever, diversity. Provided that this attention for diversity is honest, and it is not only for the sake of being ‘covered’ or to make more profit, your company will be much more appealing. Companies really need to shift from being interested in who or what someone is, to what someone can do. No matter what colour, nationality, age or sexual orientation that person has.

Align voices in the company

HR and marketing are not always the best of friends in big organisations. Which is extremely unfortunate, because they are both trying to sell the name of the company as a desired good. The same story is told. That’s why it would be valuable to put these two together and align their stories to attract new talents.

2. And what about freelancers?

Is freelancing for everyone?

Is freelancing a solution for everyone who can not find a suitable permanent job? No, freelancing is not for everyone. With every new project you need to invest in getting to know new people, learning new ways of working, new brands and so on. So it is quite intensive. And most of all, people need to be able to handle the insecurity of working on a project basis. When your assignment ends, you might not already know when you will get a next one.


It is quite easy to integrate a freelancer in a company nowadays. While in the past, companies would only reach out to freelancers when there was almost no other option, nowadays freelancers are seen as a real added value. They are independent people who most of the time have a lot of experience, strong opinions and many ideas. And currently, people who work permanently in big companies, want to get the most out of these newcomers. They want to take advantage of the knowledge that is temporarily present in their company. And thus, they are very welcoming when such a profile enters their workspace.

3. Lifelong learning

Yes, employer branding is very important, but also talents need to be appealing to companies. That’s why people who are looking for jobs as well as people with permanent jobs need to keep track of sector-related developments. Our sector is always evolving and when people do not pay attention, there is always the risk at losing touch with your work and thus, as a result, losing your job.


Written by Peggy Storme – Junior Marketing Consultant

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