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Organizing for Inclusion - From the Federgon Conference

HRPro was visibility partner at Federgon's annual conference about the roadmap towards the future of Recruitment, Search and Selection on January 31st at Technopolis in Mechelen. This is an account of the presentation of Patrizia Zanoni during the conference.
HRPro holds its annual conference on Inclusion on March 16 2023. Find out more about it here

Published on February 14th 2023

Careers in 2023: Organizing for Inclusion

Just search the job vacancies on recruitment agency websites, and you'll see many of them mention "the perfect match." But doesn't a perfect match get in the way of more diversity and inclusion? In her presentation, Patrizia Zanoni (UHasselt) talks about a "not-so-perfect match".

"If you are looking for 'the perfect match,' you are recruiting what you already had in your company yesterday,” she said. According to her, diversity and inclusion are at a crossroads. And it's up to HR professionals to choose the right direction in the future. And that future is now.

A Call for Diversity

Belgium is among the frontrunners when it comes to the number of open vacancies. And we have trouble filling those vacancies despite the high number of unemployed and inactive people. This shortage in the Belgian labor market should open doors for minority groups.
There are two streams of potential labor that are underutilized today. On the one hand, there is the prospect of increased migration; on the other, there is the enlarged group of "other-actives". Both groups are still not addressed sufficiently today to actively participate in the labor market. The legislative framework surrounding this situation also provides limited options. This jeopardizes a movement towards more diversity. The workplace should reflect society and vice versa, and here significant steps can still be made. 

Jobs as "Glass Slippers"

In meeting the need for greater diversity and inclusion, recruitment and selection agencies face a major challenge. According to Patrizia Zanoni, jobs are still too much developed as "glass slippers." They are designed in a way that is not "neutral" and systematically excludes some segments of the population. Implicitly, people already have a "perfect" candidate in mind when they describe a job and a profile. Because of that,  the job itself is too little questioned and taken for granted.
Organizing for inclusion would mean not starting from a fixed, "perfect" profile or vacancy but putting the actual candidate at the center and looking at their strengths and the opportunities for them in the organization. Also, more attention should be given to the talents of the non-working population. This will make the application process more inclusive and the applicant pool more diverse. 

Where to start? 

Diversity policies are still too focused on the individual. For example, there is diversity training that focuses on dealing with prejudice in the workplace. For disadvantaged groups, there are also initiatives like assertiveness training, negotiation training, language training, etc. These practices revolve too much around changing personal beliefs but leave jobs and corporate culture unchanged. Values and policies regarding diversity should be present in the foundations of the organization and should be reflected at every level. 


The increasing diversity in society requires that the job market must become more diverse as well. Today, recruiters are too often looking for "the perfect match," automatically excluding people with a minority background and having difficulties entering the labor market as candidates. HR professionals face the challenge of defining jobs in a less delineated way, resulting in a larger and higher-quality applicant pool. Diversity and inclusion are not just the responsibility of recruitment and selection agencies and departments. It must be a permanent focus throughout the entire organization.



There are 2 brilliant comments

  • Smith

  • David Ducheyne

    Het begint bij het denken over jobs. Maatwerk leidt tot meer inclusie.

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