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EURES (EURopean Employment Services)
News article12 December 2018European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion3 min read

‘Speed dating’ interviews in Madrid: EURES Spain and EURES Sweden team up to create opportunities in the catering industry

EURES Spain and EURES Sweden collaborated on the third edition of an innovative ‘speed dating’ event for the catering industry. The event was the latest in a number organised as part of the ‘Chefs in Sweden’ project.

‘Speed dating’ interviews in Madrid: EURES Spain and EURES Sweden team up to create opportunities in the catering industry
© Daniel Bellón Serrano, 2018

“The project about recruiting chefs started in 2015 with at least two recruitment events in Spain every year,” Daniel Bellón Serrano, an Adviser at EURES Spain, explains. “It’s a clear case of a win-win situation: Sweden has a growing hostelry sector and Spain has a long tradition of training chefs and other hostelry professionals, with a lot of professional schools across the country.”

The 2018 edition of this unique recruitment event took place in Madrid and welcomed representatives from 10 Swedish restaurants (five in person and five online) who were looking for chefs to fill open positions at their companies. Niklas Cramer from the Falkenberg Strandbad hotel was recruiting for his sea-view restaurant. “We have recruited from Spain before with very good results,” he says. “We hired two full-time and four seasonal staff for the summer. Everyone we hired has done a great job and I’m super happy!”

The event was held at the Spanish Public Employment Service facilities, and was based around the idea of speed dating-style interviews. Over the space of a few hours, participants got the chance to take part in 4-8 interviews with the restaurant representatives. “It was good, fast and informal,” Niklas shares. “In a short amount of time we could meet many candidates in person.”

One of those candidates, Rocío Rapallo Fernández, agrees. “I thought it was a great way to connect employers and employees. You can also get some impressions about the company and what the workplace will be like.”

Rocío was one of 27 Spanish chefs who found a new job for the Swedish summer season through the event. A passionate chef and world traveller, she was on the look-out for a new gastronomic adventure. “I was fortunate to be selected by different companies, so I had the chance to choose the one that would fit me the best. So far, I’m really pleased with the company and the environment here in Sweden. I would definitely do it again!”

As well as the speed dating sessions, EURES Advisers were on hand to provide information to the candidates about living and working in Sweden, what paperwork would be required on arrival and the various mobility schemes on offer. The EURES Advisers also took the restaurant representatives to one of the hostelry vocational training centres in Madrid – the Simone Ortega Vocational Training Centre – where they could see for themselves the quality of the training Spanish chefs received. This sparked discussions about future cooperation between Swedish companies and Spanish training centres.

The event as a whole proved to be a big success. “Feedback was quite positive from the job seekers and employers,” Daniel says, “and the placement results were good. Of course it depends on the needs of the employers – and our Swedish colleagues are doing remarkably good work with them – but if everything goes the same way as it did in previous years, I think the Swedish and Spanish EURES teams will organise a similar event next year.”

“I would totally recommend this experience to anybody who loves to travel and work abroad,” Rocío concludes. “It’s a great way to discover a country, their culture and traditions, while feeling like a local.”

Related links:

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EURES Sweden Facebook

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