“What is happening? Is the ‘talent pond’ empty? Are there ponds where there are still fish? In my search to find a solution for this apparent mismatch, I found some interesting facts. Statistically, your new hire has (some of) the following characteristics:

FACT #1: 25% is working part-time

In Belgium, one out of 4 employees is working part-time and the desire to work part-time has been increasing the last couple of years. Traditionally only women requested to work part-time, but more and more men ask or would like to ask to work less hours per week.

Some research shows that the younger generation is more likely to work part-time or combine several part-time jobs, rather than to opt for one full-time role.

So, if you are looking for talent, do you offer part-time roles?

FACT #2: 20% is 50 years old or older

Almost 20% of the working population is 50 years old or older. This number is increasing as the retirement age has been going up and the retirement plans are less favourable as they used to be. Also, people tend to become older and stay in good health, so people are working longer.

However, only 52.3% of the Belgian population aged 55 to 64 years old earn a salary (being employed or self-employed). The other 47,7% are unemployed, are on long term sick-leave, benefit from pre-retirement plans etc. Although more and more people of this age group start a job or become self-employed, there is still a lot of untapped experience and potential out there, waiting to be discovered…

So, if you are looking for talent, do you attract and recruit candidates of over 50 years old?

FACT #3: 26% of people in Europe experience some form of disability

26 % of Europeans have some form of disability and 80% of those disabilities are invisible. Only 2% of them are in a wheel chair. What is remarkable is that only 47 % of them are employed…

There is an untapped potential of people we pre-qualify as dis-abled, whereas, if we look into it more profoundly, we will discover opportunities to en-able them to become part of our talent pool. There are plenty of organisations who are always looking for opportunities for this specific group of people.

Before you think: “this is impossible in my team”, “this is too difficult”, etc. look at this example of a hotel in India: https://www.cnbctv18.com/economy/lemon-tree-hotels-bringing-opportunity-deprived-indians-into-mainstream-63403.htm

So, if you are looking for talent, do you take action to en-able, so called dis-abled candidates?

FACT #4: 20% chance that your new hire will have foreign roots

The number of new hires with foreign roots are on the rise all over Europe. 30% of the 12 to 17 year old in Belgium have foreign roots. So, very soon they will present themselves on the job market. Currently, 25% of the non – EU – immigrants in Belgium are unemployed. So, finding ways to reach, attract and retain these talents will be more and more important.

So, if you are looking for talent, do you recruit employees with foreign roots?

FACT #5: 1/3 of the inflow of new hires will be an 18-24 year old

This inflow has been declining over the years as young adults study longer, but amongst those that present themselves on the job market, there is an unemployment rate of 13%!

So, if you are looking for talent, do you recruit young adults?

Statistics show numbers without context, meaning that they do not take into account the specificities for your industry, your specific business, your special requirements …

However, knowing that these pools of talent are available, it is worth wile assessing your current recruitment practices, your communication channels, your talent attraction processes, your ways of communication, … to check if you address these different audiences.

In summary

Some ponds with talented ‘fish’ are the following ones:

(1) The talent pond of part-time workers

(2) The talent pond of people aged 50 years and older

(3) The talent pond of able, so called dis-abled people

(4) The talent pond of people with foreign roots

(5) The talent pond of people aged 18 to 29 years old

I hope this article inspires you to find suitable candidates for your vacancies. When you know which candidates are available on the job market, you can take that into account when starting your talent attraction process.


For the readers of this article:

  • For the first 5 people who send me an e-mail, referring to this article : I offer a FREE online Wings Session where I can help you to take the next step for filling your vacancies (with a value of 225 EUR, 1 hour)
  • If you are ready to Boost Your Vacancies and prepare your 2020 Hiring Strategy, do join me Dec 2nd in Leuven in my free Boost Your Vacancies Training, (Registration is open: www.BoostYourVacancies.be). As a result of attending my “boost your vacancies training” you will be able to attract candidates from larger talent pools; you will discover how you can keep your candidates engaged throughout the whole hiring process by optimizing your candidate experience and you will improve your hiring results by embedding inclusion into your talent attraction process.