"Consider transferable skills when recruiting finance professionals in 2019"
As revealed in our latest annual European Salary Survey, 2019 looks set to be another strong year for the economy, with a number of businesses gearing up to expand. Competition for top talent will continue to be the driving force for how businesses recruit in the year ahead.
Els Van Der Veken, Associate Director at Robert Walters Belgium, briefly outlines what to expect in the permanent financial recruitment business in 2019.
What were the key financial recruitment trends in 2018?
Els: “Throughout 2018, we have seen a 25% increase in the number of vacancies in Belgium. The market was very candidate driven, with hiring levels remaining active across both large international companies and SMEs. Business and financial controllers as well as professionals with 'Big 4' experience were in highest demand and we expect this trend will further continue in 2019.
In the banking and financial services sector, professionals with an internal controls background including risk assessment, internal audit and compliance were highly sought after. Demand was also high for ‘niche’professionals at management level to drive underlying teams”.
The best advice we can give to hiring managers is to be flexible in their hiring approach and not focus on a 100% match. Instead, consider transferable skills and think about what career paths and learning and development opportunities your organisation can offer professionals.
How do you think the financial recruitment market will evolve in 2019?
“In 2019, we expect hiring managers will struggle to hire internal auditors and controllers. Companies based further out of the city centre, requiring a long daily commute, may find it difficult to secure top talent. Automation and digitalisation of the banking sector will further increase so candidates who are technically proficient with solid IT skills will be highly sought after as well.”
What advice would you give to hiring managers struggling to recruit top talent?
“The best advice we can give to hiring managers is to be flexible in their hiring approach and not focus on a 100% match. Instead, consider transferable skills and think about what career paths and learning and development opportunities your organisation can offer professionals. By moving away from job-specific technical skills and instead assess soft skills and how a candidate is likely to evolve within the organisation, will support the company’s retention strategy.”
Do you expect salaries to rise in 2019?
“As the labour market will remain candidate driven in the year ahead, hiring managers will need to move quickly and be more flexible in order to secure top talent. In order to remain competitive, we advise employers to raise salaries of highly sought-after professionals, in particular for F&A managers, controllers and analysts. Within the banking sector, salaries on the whole will remain stable in 2019, except in areas where candidate shortages are expected to be widespread.”