MATCH: Hiring African Talent

MATCH is a 3-year project that aims to address labour market shortages in 4 EU member states: Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. The project promotes existing legal pathways to enable talents from Nigeria and Senegal to work for a period of 1-2 years for companies where specific sectorial labour shortages have been identified – primarily the ICT, technology and digitalisation sectors. In addition to tackling labour shortages in Europe, the African talents will, through their temporary work placement, have the opportunity to upscale their skills in Europe and increase their employability upon return to their home countries.

In the Netherlands, NABC will be responsible for implementing the project together with IOM the Netherlands.

MATCH in practice - an overview

I am interested, how do I join?

The MATCH project provides tailor-made services based on your needs and preferences. After identifying your need for talent, we will launch a recruitment campaign and present you the top five profiles. This comes at no cost for your company. Similarly, there is no legal obligation for your company to recruit from the pre-selected candidates if the selected profiles do not meet your needs or standards. Once you have made your selection, we can provide support with the onboarding of your talent(s) including the obtainment of their visa, work and residence permits.

Please get in touch with NABC’s focal point for the MATCH project, Myrthe van der Gaast, to discuss your hiring needs and to find out how the MATCH project can assist you. For more information on MATCH, please check our FAQ.

For more information, contact:

Past MATCH webinars

Webinar I: Introduction to MATCH - Hiring Talent from Nigeria & Senegal

Webinar II: Legal Pathways for Hiring Talent from Nigeria & Senegal


General Information

1. What is MATCH?

The MATCH project, is a three-year project that seeks to address labour market shortages in 4 EU member states by enabling young graduates from Nigeria and Senegal to work for companies in Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg or the Netherlands where specific sectorial labour shortages have been identified. The project seeks to upscale young migrants’ skills and increase their employability, while addressing EU labour market shortages. With the world’s youngest and fastest growing population, Africa is an untapped source for talent that can strengthen European companies’ workforce, brand and their knowledge of local markets and consumers.

2. Which organisations implement the MATCH project?

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) leads the overall implementation of the project. Project partners support efforts in each of the four EU member states, including EUROCHAMBRES (regional); Agoria (BE), VDAB (BE), VOKA (BE), Unioncamere Piemonte (IT), IMS (LU), NABC (NL)

3. What is the goal of the MATCH project?

  1. Tackling structural labour shortages experienced on the European labour market due to democratic and socio-economic developments (e.g. aging population, skill mismatch, digitalisation) by tapping into talent pools in Africa.
  2. Skills development: selected candidates will be offered various trainings organised by the individual companies and employment agencies.
  3. Knowledge transfer: labour migrants will also be invited to engage in projects in their home country to facilitate skills and knowledge transfer to their communities of origin.
  4. Peer-to-peer capacity building: MATCH will facilitate the exchange between employer organisations and employment agencies in the four participating EU Member States and their counterparts in Senegal and Nigeria. Employer organisations and employment agencies in Nigeria and Senegal will benefit from capacity building trainings on labour market analysis, matching of labour supply with demand and exploring labour opportunities abroad. This will facilitate the roll-out of future labour mobility schemes benefiting countries of origin and destination alike.

4. What are the focus sectors of the project?

The MATCH project will primarily focus on filling vacancies in the ICT, technology and digitalisation sectors. These are sectors experiencing structural labour shortages and do not require Dutch proficiency. The MATCH project is however also available to support companies active in other sectors.

5. What are the benefits for Dutch companies to join the MATCH project?

The four main benefits for Dutch companies to join the MATCH project include low costs, high quality, flexibility and compliance with CRS standards

  1. Low cost – The MATCH project enables companies to recruit highly qualified candidates at low cost while complying with high ethical recruitment standards. The MATCH project does not charge any fees for launching a recruitment process. This is a considerable gain for companies given that recruitment fees required by commercial recruitment schemes tend to range between 15 – 20 percent of a candidate’s first annual salary and can go as high as 30 percent for hard-to-fill vacancies.
  2. High quality – The MATCH project will provide high quality matches of talent through selective advertisement, advanced skill assessment technologies and a network of reputable talent management providers.
  3. Flexibility – The MATCH project offers flexibility to companies by introducing them to a qualified candidate in a short timeframe. This allows companies to adopt flexible hiring strategies that correspond to their needs and changing market demands. The project also supports the development of distance work arrangements at a time where international mobility is limited due to the COVID–19 pandemic. There is no legal obligation for companies to recruit from the pre-selected candidates if the selected profiles do not meet company talent needs or standards.
  4. CRS standards – The MATCH project will support corporate social responsibility goals through a commitment to IRIS standards. By participating in the MATCH project, companies can invest into the human capital of the young candidates and support skill development through training activities. During work placements, the MATCH project will facilitate candidate engagement with diaspora organisations and candidate participation in projects that support development in Africa. The MATCH project offers an opportunity to promote gender balance as we aim to select a minimum of 30 percent of female candidates.

6. Is the objective to roll out the MATCH project to other countries?

Within the three-year duration, the MATCH project will only support companies in four EU member states (The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, the northern region of Piemonte in Italy) and candidates who are based in the two African countries (Nigeria and Senegal). Possible expansion to other countries will be explored for future phases of the project.

7. What are the expected candidate caseloads?

The aim of the MATCH project is to identify a total of 210 vacancies in the four targeted EU member states and to fill these with candidates from the two African countries. In the Netherlands, the aim is to fill 80 vacancies. Priority will be given to female candidates in order to reach at least 30 percent female participation.

The recruitment of candidates

8. Are there any specific criteria for candidates?

Specific criteria will depend on the requirements of each employer for each vacancy. While the MATCH project facilitates the screening and matching of candidates with the vacancies, ultimately, the selection criteria and subsequent selection of candidates is dictated by the employer.

The MATCH project strives to empower women, and special considerations will be granted to uphold a gender balance amongst candidates.

9. From which candidate pools in Nigeria and Senegal will the MATCH project source the candidates?

Efforts are taken to manage the volumes of interest from candidates via targeted recruitment through reputable networks, recruitment agencies and educational institutions in Senegal and Nigeria. Local public employment agencies, Aldelia and the IOM offices in the two African countries will support the project consortium in identifying the relevant candidate pools that satisfy the talent needs of European companies.

10. Does the MATCH project offer standardised contracts? How do you ensure that candidates are recruited and treated in fair conditions?

The project partnership conducts robust monitoring and evaluation to ensure that the rights of both the employer and candidates are upheld for the duration of the work placement. Employers who participate in the project are obliged to follow national labour regulations and establish fair employment contracts in line with their national legislation and IRIS principles. National chambers of commerce form part of the wider network of the MATCH project. The pre-selection of candidates is conducted by a recruitment panel comprising of recruitment experts from within and outside the project partnership. Technical tests will be systematically organised to ensure the selection of candidates with the strongest skills without external interference.

Application process for interested Nigerian and Senegalese candidates

11. How can job seekers in Nigeria and Senegal apply to participate as candidates in the MATCH project?

The MATCH project will pre-select candidates from profiles that are collected by the talent management company Aldelia. The MATCH team does not accept any unsolicited or individual applications. Instead, please express your interest with Aldelia.

Visa procedure

12. Which type of visa would be applicable for the candidates of the programme? How is the visa process organised, and to which extent are companies involved in this?

There are several legal pathways available under the Dutch immigration law; much depends on the circumstances surrounding the recruitment of the candidate (age, intended salary during work placement, duration of stay, employment conditions, status of employer). Once the company has provided the details of its vacancy, the MATCH team will support companies in identifying the most suitable pathway. The MATCH team works closely together with Migrantic tax and immigration lawyers, to offer Dutch companies the best legal advice. For more information on the different conditions and the types of visas/legal pathways to the Netherlands, please watch the recording of the second webinar on the MATCH project.

Partner cooperation

13. What is the selection process for talent management companies and recruitment agencies to contribute to the project’s pool of Senegalese and Nigerian talent?

As the project includes a training component for candidates during their placement in Europe, we would be interested to share thoughts with existing talent management companies. Please make sure to reach out to the MATCH team to discuss your proposal.

The MATCH project supports the implementation of the followings SDG's:

Implementing partners