Sébastien Pourbaix: employers and jobseekers should
                                                                                expect added value from recruiters (Photo(s) : Sven Becker)

A new group of headhunters in Luxembourg want the government to introduce rules for the recruitment sector.

Has he heard horror stories from jobseekers? “Everyday,” says Sébastien Pourbaix, managing director of the recruitment firm Xpertize Luxembourg. “It’s important for a candidate to know where his CV is sent,” he explains.

But there are many dubious job agencies in the Grand Duchy, “and I would say, a lot of black sheep are just sending CVs to clients without even talking to the candidate. So if you put your CV on Monster and you apply to a company, then the company can tell you, ‘but we already received your CV through a recruitment company’. Sometimes CVs are sent to the [current] employer of the candidate. Then you can imagine what happens.”

That is one reason why his firm has joined the newly launched Federation Recruitment, Search and Selection (FR2S). Luxembourg’s headhunting sector is unregulated, says Pourbaix, who is president of the FR2S. “That means that anyone who wants to start a company can do [it] without being necessary good or experienced. This [contrasts] with the interim business, which is regulated.”

FR2S is part of the 98-year old Business Federation Luxembourg (better known as Fedil), an umbrella outfit for construction, industry and services sector trade groups, which also houses the FES, the federation for temporary job recruiters.

Search firms

Pourbaix estimates there are 60 to 70 recruitment firms for permanent positions in Luxembourg, and two dozen or so have signed up for the new federation. The FR2S plans to take action in three main areas. The first is to work with national authorities such asAdem, the state employment bureau. They hope to exchange information about difficult-to-fill vacancies.

The group will also lobby for a minimum level of government regulation, for example, a requirement “to prove that you are able to do this job in a proper way before you start” by demonstrating previous experience and awareness of ethical standards.

In addition the recruitment agencies want to improve the image of their industry. “It’s important for the market to understand what we do.”

Finally they plan to set out best practices for dealing with both clients and candidates, and to combat shoddy firms. “It is important for us to support candidates who had bad experiences. Because until now they have had no platform where they can complain or just inform that such a company or bad practices exists.” So they will offer advice to jobseekers; eventually they could start a mediation service.

Pourbaix says: “We want to get this federation [going] because we want to outline good practice. And it includes good relations and the ability to bring added value to clients, and to candidates, by the way.”



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