Finance professionals were highly sought after throughout 2017, with economic growth spurring businesses to further increase headcount. Given the strengthening candidate driven market, employers had to contend with candidate shortages and needed to make competitive offers to secure top talent.

Our latest Salary Survey reveals that 52% of employers expect the number of job vacancies to further increase in 2018.

Which finance roles will be most in demand and how will employers respond to acute skills-shortages? Marie-Astrid Carlier, Senior Manager explains:

Which finance profiles will be most in demand in 2018?

“Strong economic conditions led to widespread business growth among both large multinational firms and SMEs, creating opportunities for finance and accounting professionals across a wide range of sectors. As talent shortages persist, finance professionals who can provide strategic insight will be the most sought after. The demand for permanent and temporary accountants will remain very high, both within SMEs and larger companies. Controllers and credit specialists with an accounting background and good language skills will also remain highly desired. As investment levels continue to increase as a result of the strong economy, firms will continue to optimise their cash position, creating significant demand for treasury specialists”.

How has recruitment within financial services evolved?

“Despite many firms focusing on cost reduction, demand for financial services professionals was high throughout 2017 and we expect this trend to continue in 2018. Regulatory pressures helped to shape recruitment strategies, with internal auditors and compliance professionals in demand. Other profiles such as cost controllers and accountants are also highly sought after. Businesses in the insurance sector are expected to remain active, with transformation projects spurring demand for project managers as well as digitalisation and analytics specialists”.

As talent shortages persist, finance professionals who can provide strategic insight will be the most sought after.

How will employers respond to talent shortages?

“Securing top professionals will remain a challenge, with employers needing to promote strategies to encourage a good work life balance such as flexible working hours and job rotation programmes which can offer candidates varied and interesting experiences. Given the acute candidate shortage, employers will also need to focus on operating fast and efficient hiring processes, moving quickly to make an offer when a desirable candidate becomes available”.

How will salaries and recruitment activities evolve?

“Employers will scale up their recruitment activities in 2018, with businesses in Belgium being influenced by the broader European recovery. Due to the shortage of candidates employers were forced to increase salaries in order to remain competitive, and our Salary Survey’s latest Employer Expectation Survey reveals that 75% of employers expect salaries to even further increase in 2018”.

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