Languages are the most in demand skill for business support candidates

Maud Deweer, Senior Manager at Walters People

As revealed in our latest Salary Survey, continued economic growth and increasing business investments resulted in a very active job market in 2017. How will the Belgian labour market evolve this year for business support professionals?

Maud Deweer, Senior Manager Business Support, reviews the latest recruitment trends and tells us which roles will be most in demand in 2018.

 

How did the job market evolve in 2017?

“Demand was high for business support professionals in 2017 as employers expanded in response to the positive economic climate. Pressure on available talent pools rising, the market quickly became candidate driven, with employers needing to move quickly to secure top talent when professionals became available”.

Which profiles will be most in demand in 2018?

“The demand for professionals within customer services, sales and logistics will continue to increase throughout 2018. When recruiting logistics and sales professionals, employers will once again face significant skills shortages particularly regarding bilingual candidates, as demand for these profiles continues to outstrip supply. This will also be the case for employers when recruiting legal and HR assistants, with many turning to agencies to source candidates in favour of recruiting directly.

Apart from the knowledge of French Dutch and English necessary for many customer services positions, we have noticed an increase in the demand for German speaking and Spanish speaking customer services staff and we expect this trend to continue in 2018”.

Why the increased demand for professionals with strong language skills?

“Thanks to our increasingly global economy, professionals with foreign language skills will be in high demand throughout 2018 as Belgian businesses look to further expand into international markets. Language skills are not only a strong asset these days, but may even be deemed a necessity in certain fields such as customer services where growing e-commerce activities within both national and international companies have led to an increased demand for multilingual representatives.”

Apart from the knowledge of French Dutch and English necessary for many customer services positions, we have noticed an increase in the demand for German speaking and Spanish speaking customer services staff and we expect this trend to continue in 2018.

How will salaries and recruitment activities evolve?

“Employers will scale up their recruitment activities even further in 2018. Due to the shortage of candidates employers were forced to increase salaries last year in order to remain competitive, and we anticipate further increases throughout 2018. Our latest Employer Expectation Survey revealed that 52% of employers expect the number of job opportunities to increase while 75% of employers expect salaries to increase”.

 

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