Over the past year, the Belgian economy has grown by no less than 1.7%, the highest recorded growth rate since 2011. Employee confidence also rose: the latest edition of our salary survey reveals that 74% of professionals are optimistic about the Belgian economy in 2018, compared to just 56% last year.

But how do professionals feel about their salary levels and do employers understand their expectations? 

Looking back at salary and compensation trends in 2017

For more than half (55%) of the surveyed professionals, their salaries remained quite stable in 2017. Even so, one employee in five did receive a pay increase between one and three percent and 17% received an increase of more than three percent.  For overtime worked, more than half of finance and support respondents received compensation either in salary (11%), time off (34%) or in the form of a gift voucher (1.44%). 15% were however not compensated at all for the extra hours worked. In order to acquire new skills or further develop their existing knowledge, 39% of surveyed professionals received training courses paid by their employer in 2017. 

Salary satisfaction

67% of employers surveyed  believe that their employees are satisfied with their salary level. Our Employee Expectation Survey however reveals otherwise: 40% of surveyed Belgian professionals said being unsatisfied with their salary level and believed being paid below market value. 44% even indicate that their salary is not in line with their skills and experience. More than one in six professional is ​planning to change jobs this year.

Salary increase in 2018

When considering a new job offer, professionals revealed first looking at the overall impact a new role would have on their work-life balance and the time required to commute. Salary and extra-legal benefits such as bonus, pension plans and company cars then follow in their decision.

The expectations this year are very positive: in addition to the legal indexation of 1.87% (PC 200), more than 55% of respondents expect to receive a salary increase of more than three percent and 17% believe they will receive a  slight increase (1-3%). Employers confirm: 74% of our surveyed employers expect salaries to increase throughout 2018. Only one in four of the surveyed employees and employers think salaries will remain stable.

Given the shortage of qualified professionals and the highly candidate driven market, increasing salaries will be a way for employers to remain competitive and attract the best talent. Within finance, this will particularly be the case for roles in accounting, audit, financial analysis and control, where shortages are. For support staff, multilingual office managers and talented professionals within supply chain, purchasing and payroll will be the most in demand and therefore most likely to benefit from a salary increase when considering a new job.

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