Interview with Inez Willeboordse – werkinafrika.nl
Dear Inez, Your website, ‘werkinafrika.nl’, assists students and professionals in obtaining a career in South Africa. What motivated you to start with WerkinAfrika?
In 2008 I moved to work and live in South Africa and later Malawi myself. During this time I was asked frequently if I knew of western educated people who were looking for work in Africa. On the other hand a lot of people looking for jobs in Africa approached me inquiring network and employer contacts. I looked for vacancies in Africa myself twice during my career and found it very difficult to find reliable vacancies and people responding to my application. What I also found is the perception of mostly SME owners / managers are false. They think they have to offer western people full expat contracts with major benefits, which they cannot afford. The opposite is true. a lot of candidates are more than willing to work under local contracts with affordable wages and benefits. Not many recruiters focus on this group of people. When moving back to the Netherlands the idea of starting up a company that could bring both employer and employee together was born. WerkinAfrika started in 2012 and the network has grown ever since.
How would you describe the experience to work over there?
The nice thing about moving to a place and living there for longer than a few months is you really get to know local life and culture. This is a huge benefit for people looking to explore the continent. Working in Africa is seriously challenging in many ways, it is hard work, but is the best experience ever if you enter the adventure with an open and flexible mind. Every country and tribe is different and will offer you new experiences and insights.
What kind of vacancies do you offer?
Our niche is more geographical than sector related. Our network exists of people looking to work and live in Africa, live and work in Africa as we speak or have done this before. Off course we see a tendency in the jobs we recruit for. The main branches we currently see are Agriculture, Logistics, IT and Tourism. Within these specific branches we are asked to look for mainly Operations, Finance, Sales & Marketing and Business Development managers. Though we are open for any challenge!
Where in Africa at the moment is the demand for foreign employees high?
As WerkinAfrika is English focussed we focus mainly on English speaking Africa although we get more and more inquiries for French speaking countries too. Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi are the main countries we recruit for at the moment. The demand in South Africa is high but due to difficult Visa requirements it is more challenging to hire foreign candidates there.
How can SANEC members communicate their companies vacancies to you?
We are very happy to have a look into your requirements. You can always contact us for advice via our email [email protected] or call us via 06-81018924.
What do you recommend for entrepreneurs?
What is the best way to employ Dutch professionals or students? In case you are considering sourcing an international (or Dutch) candidate it is wise to get informed about local visa and local requirements. Once you are aware of these procedures you can proceed to look for suitable people inside your network or outside. WerkinAfrika can help you look for the best candidates within our large database.
Would you like to communicate a special message to our members?
Did you think hiring an international would cost you a great deal or even it would be impossible to arrange a matching working visa? Think again, let WerkinAfrika advice you on the possibilities. We work in a fast and informal way and look forward to your requests.