As the economic crisis hits labour markets all across Europe, the services provided by EURES and national employment services are becoming more important by the day to a growing proportion of the population. As a consequence, perfect matches between jobseeker and employer demand more flexibility and additional commitment from the EURES staff.
Raphaëlle Denis is one of the many committed EURES Advisers who have been putting in great efforts in the last months to make those perfect matches happen. Based in Dijon, the capital of the picturesque French Bourgogne region, Raphaëlle has been very busy attending job fairs, responding to email requests, meeting with employers all across Bourgogne and advising jobseekers on the present employment opportunities.
Despite the huge workload she is faced with, Raphaëlle still wants to make sure that she provides the best possible services to her clients, no matter whether these are jobseekers or employers. ‘I believe that a successful emigration is an emigration where everything has been taken into account. Even if we presently have more work than usual, I think it would be wrong to rush through the process of matching employer and jobseeker.
I would not be a good EURES Adviser if I just focused on forwarding CVs and distributing leaflets at job fairs. I also have to make sure that I thoroughly advise foreign workers on the living and working conditions in France, that I explain to them all the cultural differences and that I also help their families settle in.’
That such great efforts eventually pay off is illustrated by Raphaëlle’s most recent successful match: the Centre Pasori, a physical rehabilitation centre situated in Cosne-sur-Loire, regularly needs physiotherapists that are difficult to recruit in the more rural parts of Bourgogne.
A couple of days before Raphaëlle planned to attend a job fair in Granada (Spain), she was approached with the centre’s request for a physiotherapist. Raphaëlle, who beyond her professional specialisation on Spain also has a personal love of the country, regularly attends job fairs there and co-operates very closely with her Spanish EURES colleagues.
This time she was invited to the fair by her Spanish colleagues Ricardo Panzuela Santiago, Sol Santamaria Cid and Eva Touriño, all of whom also helped Raphaëlle with her EURES stand at the job fair. Throughout two days Raphaëlle provided hundreds of Spanish jobseekers with information on the Bourgogne region and on potential jobs in her region. However, as the fair was about to close in the evening of its last day, she still had not found the right candidate for the Centre Pasori back in France.
At literally the very last minute of the job fair, Raphaëlle’s Spanish colleague, Isabel Moya Rocher, made Raphaëlle aware of Luisa, a young Spanish physiotherapist who had travelled all the way from Malaga – almost 100 km – just to attend the job fair in Granada. Raphaëlle only managed to briefly speak to Luisa and to take her CV and contact details. But as she returned to France it turned out that Luisa was the ideal candidate for the Centre Pasori.
Raphaëlle helped Luisa to adapt her CV to French standards and arranged for a phone interview to be conducted with the centre. It did not take much time for the Centre Pasori to realise that Luisa was the best candidate for their job opening. Once the centre’s decision was made, Raphaëlle also helped Luisa with advice on the administrative procedure in order to get her French accreditation.
Although Luisa’s case is now sorted, Raphaëlle’s commitment didn’t stop there! Luisa’s fiancé, Mario, wants to follow Luisa to Bourgogne and would accept many different kinds of job, but does not yet speak French very well. Raphaëlle has therefore taken the time to help Mario translate his CV and cover letter from Spanish into French and to help him with his job search in Bourgogne.
To Raphaëlle, being a EURES Adviser is not just a job: ‘it’s true that all the additional commitment takes extra time and that perhaps not everybody is prepared to commit themselves to such an extent. But I have to say that, when I met Luisa and managed to get her in touch with the Centre Pasori, it compensated for all the hard work and I understood exactly how useful my role as a EURES Adviser can be.’