Multilingual Business Communication

February 24, 2009

UCB offers 100 extra jobs!

Filed under: employee communication, Poelaert Nathalie — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 10:13 am

Great news: the pharmaceutical enterprise UCB will create 100 extra jobs in their branch at Eigenbrakel!

This news shows a harsh contrast with the flow of dismissals daily put forward in our newspapers. Every week several companies announce reorganization or the dismissals of several employees.

Nevertheless, the news about these extra jobs might come across as a little paradox! Several months ago UCB announced the worldwide dismissal of 2400 employees and 450 out of the 2400 dismissals would be employees of the branch at Eigenbrakel. So if you make a quick calculation, 350 employees will be fired at Eigenbrakel.

However, we should not see this in a quantitative way, but we should look at this from a qualitative perspective. UCB claims to have a logical explanation. These changes fit in their SHAPE-plan, a plan to reorganize UCB’s strategy at the pharmaceutical market. Their goal is to shift their activities to another focus. Furthermore, UCB says that these extra jobs require different competences.

Nathalie Poelaert



  1. During our company visit to Janssen Pharmaceutica, we were told that pharmaceutical companies are not that much affected by the economic crisis. People need medicines, whether the times are bad or not. The biggest competitors are generic medicines. This might be another reason for the current prosperity of UCB. Nevertheless, it remains a bit strange that they fired so many people just a couple of months ago.

    Lien Van den Broeck

    Comment by meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie — April 5, 2009 @ 10:05 am

  2. I agree with the fact that this ‘stunt’ of UCB is rather odd. On the one hand, I understand that UCB wants to send out a positive signal during these harsh financial times concerning job opportunities. On the other hand, the company should realize that people always remember good news to a less extent than bad news. By stressing their current positive recruitment strategy, UCB is running the risk that people will discover that, in the end, 350 employees will actually be fired at Eigenbrakel. In my opinion, UCB’s stunt will do more harm than good.

    I would like to link the UCB case with an article that I have read about Accent. Contrary to other companies, Accent does not seem to suffer from the current economic crisis. On March 10, 2009, Accent has announced the opening of forty new offices in Belgium and the Netherlands. Moreover, the company will recruit 150 extra co-workers. This corresponds with a 33% growth, an outstanding result in times of crisis.

    Yesterday, hundreds of Accent employees promoted job creations in Ghent in connection with the campaign ‘Jobrevolutie’. In cooperation with its clients, Accent wants to create 15,000 new jobs, provided with the possibility of a fixed contract. With this campaign, Accent wants to stress that some companies are still recruiting people. Lien already mentioned that the pharmaceutical sector is not so much affected by the economic crisis. Moreover, there are still recruitments in the social sector and the sector of the alternative energy.
    Although I think the news from Accent seems to conflict with reality at Job Fairs for students, I still believe that this is a good initiative. And contrary to the UCB case… there is no nigger in the woodpile in the Accent case…

    (Karen Decabooter)

    De Standaard, March 11, 2009 (p E 10)
    De Standaard, April 5, 2009 (p 2)

    Comment by Karen Decabooter — April 5, 2009 @ 3:22 pm

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