Project Manager: Marc Van Beethoven
Period: oct 2016 - mar 2017



FLIR Systems was established in 1978 in the US and the company is pioneer and marketleader in the development of high performance infrared imaging systems for a variety of applications in diverse vertical markets (industrial, scientific, governmental). This high-technological company is traded on NASDAQ and employs worldwide around 3.500 employees.

FLIR Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) with headoffice in Marke (Belgium) develops intelligent technology for monitoring, managing and optimising traffic streams in e.g. smart cities and for automatic incident detection on highways, crossroads and tunnels. The company employs a worldwide team of Business Development Managers, Area Sales Managers and Project Managers.

Building on succesful projects in the Middle East and in view of major new infrastructure investments in e.g. the GCC countries, FLIR ITS decides to hire a ‘dedicated’ Middle East Business Development Manager for this important but complex part of the world.  Preference goes to bilingual (Arabic/English) and qualified candidates familiar with both Western and Arabic company cultures. Target-locations for this campaign and possible homebase for this BDM are : Doha (Qatar) and Dubai/Abu Dhabi (UAE) as focal points of growth and major commercial HUB’s with an important talent pool of suitable international profiles.


Since more than 15 years  FLIR Systems relies on Search & Selection for targeted search and cross-border recruitment of e.g. Sales & Marketing Managers for different divisions and product groups (Maritime, Security & Surveillance, Transportation, Cores & Components, Fire Fighting…) all over the EMEA territory.  To find and attract this new Middle East BDM preference is once again given to the team of Seven Seas as experienced and trusted partner. After several briefings, intense preparation, market analysis, media selection and target delineation this campaign is launched early October 2016.

In close consultation with FLIR Systems an integrated multi-channel campaign is deployed in order to trigger and mobilise candidates who are either actively or passively on the lookout for a new challenge in their career.

Seven Seas initiates the following actions and channels :  

  • Selection Internal Database Middle East – Direct Mail/Direct Phone.
  • Activation Jobsites & Social Media Middle East : Monstergulf,  Gulftalent, CareersinGulf, NaukriGulf, Dubaijobs, JobsinQatar, Bayt, LinkedIn, Aljazeerajobs...
  • External Direct Search : Sourcing and mobilising successful BDM’s in similar industries and related high-tech solutions (e.g.  Transportation, Security & Surveillance, CCTV…)
  • Exposure via online communities, networks and local recruiters : Dubai Jobs & Career, Middle East Career & Networking Group, Gulf Jobs, Qatar Opportunities, Gulf Jobs Network, Middle East Hot Jobs…


Preselection & Filtering

Excessive number of applications (+6000) with a strong geographic spread : e.g. UAE, Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Syria, KSA, India, Kuwait…

4 weeks (mid October – mid November) of intense filtering by using advanced Applicant Management Systems (from +6000 to 150 potential candidates).

Followed by a more thorough preselection by using extensive, focused and detailed questionnaires : from 150 to 50 candidates.

Telephonic interviews enable us to select a longlist of 30 candidates. Focus on : intrinsic motivation, spoken English, expectations, ambition, reasons for applying, remuneration…

3 interview-days on location in Doha, Qatar (10 candidates) and 4 interview-days on location in Dubai (20 candidates).
Presentation of the Shortlist mid December : extensive oral and written reports on a total of 9 recommended candidates.

Mid January 2017 : 2nd interview-round on location in Dubai. Interviews with Vice-President Worldwide Sales and Senior Business Development Manager of  FLIR ITS.   Selection of 3 final candidates and 3 backup-candidates.

Final conference calls with FLIR ITS management in Belgium and with FLIR Systems HQ in the US. Selection of 1 candidate out of final shortlist of 3 candidates.

Final Selection & Completion

  • Seven Seasis responsible for planning and organising the final interview-rounds, meetings and conference calls with FLIR ITS management in Belgium and with FLIR Systems HQ in the US. We support the decisionmaking process and we coordinate the decisionmaking unit up to the final decisions. Integration and synthesis of findings and conclusions.
  • Anticipating and supporting the contract-proposal, Seven Seasadvises on realistic remuneration levels by providing market-analysis and ad hoc benchmarking-data.
  • Seven Seasfacilitates in finding and selecting suitable local payroll partners.
  • Seven Seasadvises on relocation, work permits, visa.
  • Seven Seasgives personalised feedback to all candidates.
  • Seven Seastakes care of the administrative process for reimbursing declared travel expenses of final candidates.

In March 2017 this campaign is brought to a conclusion. FLIR ITS decides to hire an experienced and ambitious candidate from Egypt (Electronics Engineer, University of Cairo + MBA, Maastricht School of Management) with a successful experience as BDM with a reputed system integrator in e.g. security & surveillance projects (Bosch, Honeywell, Tyco) in the Middle East.

June 2017 sees this new FLIR ITS colleague starting in the Dubai office after an intense training- and introduction period in Marke. His fluency in French will probably make him also the right person to spearhead future expansion in North-Africa.  


A strong reputation and prominent position of FLIR Systems in the Middle Eastern markets for Security & Surveillance definitely contributed to the massive response we received in this campaign. It goes without saying that impact and exposure of this recruitment will probably also reinforce the strong image of FLIR Systems with an important target-group of professionals and decision makers in the Middle East.

As spin-off of our actions we were able to source and identify several specialists (projectmanagers, product developers, researchers…) in the world of Intelligent Traffic/Transportation Systems in view of future projects and expansion in the           Middle East.

Random samples certainly indicate that this type of professionally executed multi-channel recruitment campaign effectively reinforces the Employer Brand of FLIR Systems in a vital region and market and with a valuable target-group. 


Do you also like to use our knowhow for your international recruitment projects?
Contact Seven Seas.

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