11 July 2022
It has become a tradition for global recruitment firm Robert Walters to look at what happened in the financial job market over the past six months in early July. The demand for accountants and controllers continues to rise in 2022 and the number of vacancies for C-level positions in finance follows the same trend.
Christophe Paquay, manager at Robert Walters, takes a look at the most remarkable figures.
In the past six months, the number of published finance vacancies has increased by an impressive 61% compared to the same period last year. This increase is mainly noticeable in Flanders and Brussels, and less so in Wallonia. Especially in the period April-May, we noticed an enormous peak in the number of published finance vacancies. In the past six months, 54% more jobs for accountants were posted than a year ago. For controllers the number of published jobs also increased month after month. There were 46% more jobs published for financial controllers, and for business controllers the number of vacancies increased by no less than 88%. This shows how tight the Belgian job market is at the moment.
"That's absolutely right," says Christophe. "The number of vacancies continues to increase, but it is becoming tougher and tougher to find the right candidates. The range of interesting job opportunities is so large that finance professionals find themselves in a luxury position and can often choose from several job offers. It is therefore a big task for employers today to convince the best candidates to opt for their organisation."
The top 3 of most sought-after finance profiles in 2022 has not changed compared to the first half of last year. Christophe: "It still includes accountants, financial controllers and business controllers. The accounting profession is still in the top 10 of jobs difficult to fill, and controllers play an important role in monitoring business processes and must identify possible errors as quickly as possible. These tasks are of great importance in today's landscape. It should come as no surprise, that these professionals are in high demand."
The number of vacancies for insurance specialists also shows a significant increase. Compared to the first half of last year, the number of vacancies for insurance specialists increased by no less than 59%. In the insurance world we see the same upward movement. An example is the role of insurance claims handler, where no less than 71% more vacancies were published compared to a year ago. The number of vacancies for insurance agents rose by 34%, and despite a second quarter in which slightly fewer vacancies were advertised for insurance advisors, they still proved to be in demand, with the number of jobs rising by 61% by 2022.
"There are several reasons for the increasing demand for insurance specialists. The pandemic of recent years has made people more aware of the importance of having proper health insurance and digitalisation is also playing a part. Insurance can now be arranged remotely and people no longer have to go to the insurance office. To make this work smoothly, there is an extra need for staff. In addition, increasing regulations play an important role: the introduction of IFRS 17 (International Financial Reporting Standard) is one example. This regulation changes the administrative processing of insurance contracts. It is important for institutions to hire insurance specialists in order to carry out all the administration correctly," says Christophe.
Accountants and controllers are not the only ones in high demand on the labour market. The demand for top finance professionals rose by no less than 63% in 2022. "During the pandemic, there was very little movement within top finance functions. But since the second half of last year, we have seen this change, and the trend is clearly continuing in 2022. C-level professionals in finance are clearly ready for a new challenge, which explains the sharp increase, which we also see in the pharma, IT, financial services, consumer goods and retail sectors," Christophe explains.
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