As usual, early July recruitment consultancy Robert Walters reviews what has happened in the financial job market over the last six months. Accountants and Controllers remain in high demand and the demand for Insurance specialists also increased month-on-month. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the labour market for CFOs and top positions within finance remained relatively quiet over the past year, but in the past few weeks we have also seen a lot of movement here.
Christophe Pacquay, Manager at Robert Walters, explains.
Top 3 most sought-after finance professionals
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw no change in the top 3 of most wanted finance professionals in the past half year. Accountants are still number one, and this is also confirmed by the VDAB list of bottleneck professions, where Accountants rank in the top 10 for the first time this year. Financial Controllers and Business Controllers are also in great demand on the Belgian labour market. Christophe: "CFOs were faced with a difficult task in the past year and did everything they could to steer the organisation through the crisis. To succeed, they needed the help of data-driven Controllers more than ever."
More jobs than a year ago
In the past six months, 4% more vacancies have been published than in the same period last year. Looking only at jobs in finance, we even see an increase of 8%. Especially at the end of April, we noticed a peak in the number of financial job adverts. Yet, we also see a downward trend: in the first half of this year, the number of vacancies for recently graduated finance professionals was about 37% lower than in the same period last year.
This is due to the fact that in the past few months employees mainly had to work from home, making it difficult for many organisations to train junior staff 'on the job', which is very important for young graduates starting their first job. At the beginning of May, the tide turned and the demand for Junior Accountants, for example, began to peak again.
Auditors and insurance specialists
Besides Accountants and Controllers, the first half of 2021 also showed a high demand for Auditors again. Christophe: "Big4 firms have a high level of recruitment activities but also organisations are keen to attract experienced Internal Auditors. After all, they play an important role in monitoring business processes and must identify possible errors and potential risks as quickly as possible and provide the necessary solutions. The demand for these professionals is high, which means that audit professionals who aspire to a new career are currently in luxury position, having the opportunity to choose from multiple job offers."
Within the insurance business, we also saw a lot of movement on the job market, and there are multiple reasons. On the one hand, mergers, digitalisation and automation projects created a strong demand for specialists to manage everything, and on the other hand, the Covid-19 pandemic also played a role. "People have become more aware of the importance of having proper health insurance, and digitalisation has made it possible for customers to take on an insurance via an App or PC, without having to visit an insurance agent. To manage these new insurance policies, financial institutions need additional staff," says Christophe.
Movement in financial management
As a result of the corona crisis, last year remarkably fewer top financial executives made the transition to a new job. After all, they took on the responsibility of steering the organisation through the crisis. Now that the pandemic is largely behind us, we are once again seeing more movement at the financial top management. “Especially in the past two months, we have seen the number of vacancies for CFO’s and Financial Directors increase again and we are even at the same level as before the pandemic”, concludes Christophe.
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