As revealed in the latest edition of our annual Salary Survey, strong economic growth and rising business investments over the past few years have led to an increase in recruitment activities.

How will the Belgian job market evolve this year?

Özlem Simsek, Director of Walters People Belgium, reviews the latest recruitment trends and summarizes her expectations for 2018.

What were the top recruitment trends in 2017?

“In response to the positive economic climate, companies across all types of sectors were recruiting in 2017. Given the growing number of vacancies, pressure on available talent pools rose and the market quickly became candidate driven. Functions which had in the past years faced hiring freezes, such as HR and marketing roles, were once again created to support or reinforce new departments. Within finance, business controllers were highly sought-after by large businesses. As investment levels increased many firms also focused on optimising their cash position, creating significant demand for treasury specialists”.

Which profiles will be most in demand in 2018?

“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 sought-after”.

“Within business support, the demand for professionals in customer services, sales and logistics will continue to increase, particularly for candidates possessing strong language skills in French, Dutch, German and English. Bilingual HR and legal assistants will also be highly desired”.

How will salaries and recruitment activities evolve?

“Employers will scale up their recruitment activities even further in 2018. All sectors will continue to be highly active in recruiting, with businesses in Belgium being influenced by the broader European recovery. 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 75% of employers expect salaries to increase this year”.

What recruitment strategies will employers turn to in order to attract top talent?

“Given the increasingly candidate driven market, securing candidates will be an on-going challenge. To attract top calibre professionals, employers will need to manage recruitment processes in a fast, transparent and efficient way. More importantly, they will also need to offer stimulating and competitive offers, improve their staff’s work/life balance and provide them with a clear view on potential career progression opportunities...”

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