‘The white raven is no longer of this time’ – Trends magazines on PC

‘The white raven is no longer of this time’ – Trends magazines on PC
‘The white raven is no longer of this time’ – Trends magazines on PC

Trends selects groundbreaking themes and stories. Kameo Jobs deserves the label because it is committed to a more diverse and inclusive labor market, with opportunities for everyone. Kameo wants to do things differently than the other temporary employment agencies. More diversity among the staff is not always easy, according to the founders, but in the war for talent it is a must. “I don’t understand that you receive subsidies because you are diverse. We don’t participate in that.”

Many companies talk about diversity and inclusion, but what about in practice? “It has improved lately,” says Bo Vandervondelen, who co-founded Kameo Jobs with Hakima Farihi four years ago. “It usually doesn’t matter to them whether they employ a Jan or a Mohammed. Some customers are more reserved, but if you call them and explain, they are open to it.” Kameo Jobs’ client portfolio includes SMEs from the construction, automotive and metal sectors as well as large companies such as Katoen Natie and Multi Masters. “That’s great for us, because then we can put employee profiles as well as workers and technical profiles to work.”

Many companies talk about diversity and inclusion, but what about in practice? “It has improved lately,” says Bo Vandervondelen, who co-founded Kameo Jobs with Hakima Farihi four years ago. “It usually doesn’t matter to them whether they employ a Jan or a Mohammed. Some customers are more reserved, but if you call them and explain, they are open to it.” Kameo Jobs’ client portfolio includes SMEs from the construction, automotive and metal sectors as well as large companies such as Katoen Natie and Multi Masters. “That’s great for us, because then we can put employee profiles as well as workers and technical profiles to work.” Attention to diversity and inclusion is not only necessary in the war for talent, it is also enriching for the company through the mix of new ideas. “We want everyone to have it better,” explains Hakima Farihi. “A company that only does it for the money doesn’t have the right mindset. I don’t understand that you receive subsidies because you are diverse. Or that you get money for someone with a disability, because you wouldn’t hire it otherwise. That feels wrong, doesn’t it? We’re not going to participate in that.” Both women look back with satisfaction on the past four years, although it often went through trial and error. “The most important lesson we have learned? To become harder, but not always in a negative way. In the beginning, we as women were often confronted with prejudices: me as an articulate Belgian, born in Antwerp, with a Belgian mother and a Moroccan father , and Bo as a blonde. With age you become more confident,” says Hakima Farihi. Kameo’s founders wanted to do things differently from the other temp agencies. Kameo Jobs has one team in one office, unlike its competitors, who often have several small offices with one or two employees in the same region. “They often don’t know each other and they steal each other’s customers,” explains Bo Vandervondelen. “We also make no distinction between blue-collar workers and white-collar workers. Everyone does everything and knows what the other is doing. That way they don’t end up in each other’s way and help their colleagues move forward. They contribute to a greater whole.” The seven-member team meets at Kameo Jobs at Berchem station. It reflects the diversity that the temporary employment agency stands for. The employees have Brazilian, Congolese, Ghanaian, Polish, Moroccan and Belgian roots. “In the beginning the turnover was large, but now the team is on the same wavelength,” says Hakima Farihi. The biggest challenges now are the influx and growth of the company. “In the current economic circumstances, this is not self-evident. We are also often checked by the inspectorate. Allowing your company to flourish is then pushed aside. We also keep an eye on the rising wage costs due to indexation.” Kameo Jobs consciously chooses not to work only with experienced temporary employment consultants. “Our vision differs too much from traditional temporary employment agencies. That clashes. It is difficult to unlearn old habits and they nevertheless revert to the old pattern. That is why no employee is currently a temporary employment consultant by training. They previously worked as a receptionist, forwarder or insurer Vandervondelen says. At Kameo Jobs, they prefer to look at what the employees have to offer as a person. “For example: are they smart enough to learn something?” says Hakima Farihi. “We give them internal training on the field on social legislation, safety certificates, etc. That the CV is not the most important, we also try to make it clear to our customers. Meet the person and don’t look at his or her skin color or name.” But if it doesn’t work out, they also say goodbye to employees. “We support them up to a certain point, but then they have to add value to the company, also in numbers. In the beginning we carried too many people on our backs for too long. We are not a non-profit organization, but a commercial company.” says Hakima Farihi. “We had to learn that.” Diversity and inclusion are not empty words at Kameo Jobs. “We’ve been doing this for years, but don’t shout it from the rooftops. I feel like everyone is jumping on that bandwagon now, but for us it was always obvious. This is just what our society looks like. We want to put everyone to work .” What can employers do to be more attractive to people with a migrant background? “Take time and listen to the candidate in front of you,” Hakima Farihi says. “If you are open to a different background and culture, you learn from it and you enrich yourself. Maybe they don’t have the right diplomas, but if you give them the time to learn in the company, you have a good workforce in-house “A white raven is out of date. They may start out as a gray one, but in time you will turn them into a white one. You can forget about the ready-to-use candidate with the right diploma and the right experience. He probably started on a self-employed basis and rents out at a high price. Look for someone who has the potential to learn. Kneading it will get him there.”


The article is in Dutch

Belgium

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