Commerce & industry trends in 2016


Both permanent and temporary hiring was slow as the year started, the market however picked up rapidly by the end of quarter two, and increasing confidence in the market was reflected in new projects and opportunies across the commerce & industry sector.

What were the most popular tendencies in 2015 and what can we expect for the year to come? Here we discuss the latest permanent and interim management recruitment market updates for the commerce & industry sector as revealed in our latest Global Salary Survey.

A recap of 2015 and the outlook for 2016

There was a greater confidence to hire in 2015, with strong growth particularly noted across small to medium-sized businesses. Antwerp saw the most hiring activity as the region’s businesses further developed and professionalised.

We also saw an increased number of new permanent hires within blue-chip companies as firms relocated key positions back to Belgium following HQ centralisation. This was driven by the availability of multilingual candidates. The most sought-after permanent positions in 2015 were project and business controllers, internal auditors and treasury professionals. These skill sets were popular across the wider commerce and industry sector.

Interim management remained a big part of the market in 2015, with candidates actively hired across a wide variety of assignments, especially in HR and for process optimisation projects. As expected, multilingual cash collectors and credit collectors were hired increasingly in 2015, but there was a notable lack of these candidates, particularly in the second half of the year.

Heading into 2016, hiring managers are confident and candidates are willing to move so we anticipate a rise in recruitment levels. Professionals looking for a new role are expecting real opportunities to further their careers within an organisation, this will mean that many strong candidates will be prepared to make a horizontal move to acquire new skills as readily as take a promotion. Employers will particularly be looking for candidates with both technical specialist skills and the ability to add value to business decision-making. Trilingual candidates will be especially in demand, even more so in client and customer-facing roles.

The 5-10% salary rises seen in 2015 will accelerate in 2016, with more emphasis on performance bonuses, sign-on bonuses, and long-term incentive plans. This is the strongest upward trend witnessed since the financial crisis in 2008. However, job movers will also be looking for non-financial incentives, such as flexibility and work-life balance from prospective new employers.

Find out more

Request our Salary Survey 2016 for a full overview of recruitment and salary trends.

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