On May 9th, members of the Labour Mobility Practitioners’ Network (LMPN) convened to discuss ways to facilitate safe and legal migration to the EU. Johann Daniel Harnoss volunteered to share his experience working with the Imagine Foundation as its Co-founder and CEO.
About the Imagine Foundation
Imagine Foundation is a volunteer-run NGO based in Germany that supports young talents from non-European countries to find jobs in the EU. They do this through services such as online and in-person mentoring and coaching for CV writing and interview skills. By leveraging a network of volunteer fellows, Imagine can support individuals one-on-one, provide personalised feedback, and most importantly, inspiration. More than 300 candidates have found a job after completing their core programme, and the interest in their initiative is rising.
The hyper-personalised mentoring and coaching is where Imagine’s strength lies. It bridges communication and culture gaps and helps students better understand the EU job market requirements.
Students enrolled in Imagine’s programme are mostly high-skilled graduates with engineering/IT backgrounds. They mainly come from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and about 70% of them find jobs in Germany, while others find employment in Sweden, Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and Canada.
About the Session
The private sector is a key stakeholder for Imagine – like many other network members. Peers were eager to hear more about Imagine’s engagement strategy, which focuses on making recruiting as effortless and effective as possible for companies. Indeed, reducing the burden of matching means winning the hearts of recruiters, who have limited time and resources to invest in searching for talent from abroad.
Imagine also stressed the importance of curating information in CVs and applications which appeals to the private sector. While such curation cannot be automated, it can be somewhat standardised. Volunteer fellows follow a structured approach when advising their mentees, and former mentees often move on to become fellows and coach new candidates, thereby contributing to a growing community of support.
Imagine aims to scale and sustain its work – by 2025, the Foundation aims to have 1,000 fellows who complete the programme. Although stable, long-term funding will be required to take this next step, Imagine also hopes to embed its matching platform in the full recruitment journey of employers (e.g. help lower concerns on visas, onboarding, etc.).