Being proud of what goes well and spending time on what is more difficult.
Adriana Vainer on “her” division: Let’s Work International
It is now 10 years since our colleague Adriana Vainer started working at Let’s Work and we cannot let this occasion just pass us by!! Step by step - or rather, brick by brick - she has built up our International division: a story of cross-border recruitment, behind-the-scenes administration and, above all, making life easier for candidates and companies.
Adriana, 10 years of service: congratulations! How do you look back on the past years?
Adriana: “Time passes quickly, those ten years seem to have flown by. I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been given. We started small with two offices and look where we are now. Through trial and error, a lot of figuring out, taking on every challenge and ultimately scoring successes. I am happy now to be able to share my knowledge and experience with my teams.”
How has working at Let’s Work changed you?
Adriana: “I have learned to be patient and to put things into perspective. Being proud of what goes well and spending time on what is more difficult. Good things take time, even though the recruitment world moves rapidly.”
"I also try to encourage colleagues not to get bogged down when a setback occurs. Pause for a moment, brainstorm and then take the appropriate action, that’s the only way to make progress,” says Adriana proudly.
You are now International Division Manager. Please will you tell us about it?
Adriana: “That’s right. I started out in a food office. In 2015, I was given the opportunity to be part of a pilot international recruitment project, specifically in Romania, my home country. Gradually the demand and the pool of candidates became so large that the international story had to be developed: the Let’s Work International division was born.”
- Well-oiled tandem
“Today, the International division is a well-oiled tandem with the International office handling the finding of foreign workers, supporting their relocation, housing, administration and integration from start to finish. Above all, with International we are their fixed point of contact.”
“Office Food acts as an extension of Office International: thanks to our fixed portfolio of client companies, we can quickly help these foreign employees to find a decent job,” says Adriana.
What does the International division do?
Adriana: “On the one hand, with International, we want to offer an answer to the shortage in the Belgian labour market. Just think of the many bottleneck vacancies in technology or in production. On the other hand, International stands above all for decent work for people from abroad.”
“We now have a large pool of candidates and we also recruit potential candidates ourselves on site in Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, etc. We are present (together with the client) at local job fairs, we organise job days, and we have close contacts with the local technical universities, etc. Together with the client, we examine which channels we can best use to get the vacancies filled as quickly as possible,” explains Adriana.
What makes International so strong?
- Behind the scenes
Adriana: “In addition to filling the bottleneck vacancies, International also does everything behind the scenes. Think, for example, of residence permits, housing, mobility, appointments with the bank, mutual health insurance funds, integration within the company, etc. There is a lot involved.”
- Own initiative
“That’s why we go to great lengths in the screening. Candidates must be 200% sure that they want to take this step. Otherwise it is all a waste of effort. So we let the initiative come from them above all. Let’s Work offers the possibility, but will never actively try to get people to take the step. For us, it is about a sustainable long-term match, nothing less," Adriana emphasises.
Adriana: “The entire procedure usually takes about six months. That is no mean feat, both for the candidate and for the company. Given the intensity of the entire procedure, the involvement of our employees with each individual candidate is also very high. This is necessary because, at the beginning, you are talking about a distance of more than 3,000 km. Then proximity and accessibility are very important.”
Adriana explains: “We can also guarantee this thorough follow-up because, on the one hand, we appoint a (dedicated) dossier manager at the company and because, on the other hand, all International colleagues are native speakers. Language mustn’t be a barrier. On the contrary, communicating in the candidate’s own language makes it easier for us to build trust.”
Adriana: “Furthermore, many of our International colleagues know only too well what it is like, or perhaps they themselves first worked in a vegetable factory. Their own life experience also helps to create a connection.”
“And for this community, connection is of the utmost importance when it comes to integration. Most of our foreign temporary workers live together with 4 to 5 people - sometimes colleagues - in the same house. They are each other’s first point of contact or even support and crutch, both at and outside work. People talk with each other and share experiences.”
“The network on which we can now rely is due to the word-of-mouth advertising in this community. And it is expanding more and more each day... They do not call me the mother of all Romanians for nothing.” (laughs)
What ambitions does International have for the future?
“I chose Let's Work at the time because I wanted to do something with my roots and also because of the social importance of my job. That is no different today: I am bubbling over with the desire to move forward, I want to utilise every opportunity. But I do not lose sleep because of the number of countries in which we are active,” Adriana says.
"Recruitment is about working with and for people. The International division must continue to grow organically and focus on a high-quality service for each party. In 2021, International has also been taking its first steps in the East Flanders region, so we are already well on the way.” (winks)
Finally, what else can we still wish for, Adriana?
“I would like to see out at least another 10 years with Let’s Work! I still see a great deal of potential and cannot wait to grow further with the whole team,” says an enthusiastic Adriana.
Well then, we look forward to seeing you again in 2031 for the next interview! Thank you for your commitment, creativity and perseverance these past years. We are very happy to have you on board!