Finance hiring trends in Belgium

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The Walters People Salary Survey 2017 includes comprehensive information on salary evolutions and recruitment trends regarding contracting business. The salary tables provide a useful tool for benchmarking salaries.

Here we discuss the outlook for finance roles in Belgium.

 

 

Increased investments result in newly created positions in finance

As the year started, we saw businesses shift from focusing largely on cutting costs to actively increasing headcount and pursuing business growth. Belgian SMEs and international companies increased investment in new projects in 2016 resulting in a significant number of newly created positions, especially in accounting, internal audit, analysis and controlling.

Despite layoffs being announced in the banking sector, those with audit, risk analysis, and compliance and digitalisation skills were highly sought after. The majority of temporary assignments were linked to business improvement projects, resulting in high demand for operational roles such as assistant accountants, credit collectors and data analysts.

Risk and compliance professionals will remain highly sought after, alongside audit and controlling specialists, to provide strategic insights to help support business growth. 

Banks recruited junior professionals for back office roles. Demand for financial advisors was also relatively high, mainly because of internal staff movement and to replace permanent employees on sick leave.

Finance professionals with strong business acumen and the ability to bring added value to the business became more confident and were again willing to change jobs. As a result, accounting practices had difficulty retaining staff, leading to a growing demand for multilingual accountants, and we expect this trend to continue in 2017.

Outlook for 2017

In 2017, risk and compliance professionals will remain highly sought after, alongside audit and controlling specialists, to provide strategic insights to help support business growth. Temporary recruitment will rise as businesses recruit for operational roles in accounting and finance to support ongoing business improvement projects. Salaries for temporary workers in Belgium will remain relatively stable, with slight increases anticipated for trilingual professionals who can also demonstrate strong soft skills.

The salary rises we saw in 2016 for permanent positions will increase in 2017 with companies also offering additional fringe benefits and flexibility to provide a better work-life balance. Similar to the previous year, we expect employers to be more flexible when negotiating salaries if candidates meet all expectations.

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