Demand for finance professionals remains high as the number of advertised roles for permanent finance and insurance jobs increased by 13% this past first quarter compared to the same period last year.
Flanders continues to dominate the labour market with 70% of finance and insurance online vacancies stemming from this region, an 11% growth compared to the first quarter of 2017*.
Laurence Brutsaert, senior consultant in the Commerce & Industry division, explains which regions observed a rise in recruitment activities and why finance professionals such as controllers and auditors are in the most advantageous position today.
In which regions was recruitment activity the highest?
"Most vacancies were advertised in Flanders (70%). The province of Antwerp represents 22% of these jobs, this is in no small part thanks to Antwerp’s international seaport, the second largest of its kind in Europe, which is home to some of the biggest logistics and petrochemical companies from around the globe.
The Brussels-Capital Region is also responsible for a big chunk of recruitment activity (21%) due to financial institutions and international headquarters recruiting extensively. The province of East Flanders is third in the running with 15% of vacancies coming from this region,” explains Laurence.
Are candidates becoming less flexible when it comes to their commute?
"With so many jobs available, candidates have the 'luxury' to shop around and be very selective before accepting a job offer. Junior and mid-level professionals will very rarely want to spend hours in traffic jams when they are able to receive similar opportunities closer to home. Some are even prepared to take a step back salary wise in order to work close to home. C-level professionals are on the other hand- more flexible when it comes to job location and commute. This flexibility is of course also necessary as the number of available C-level jobs cannot be compared with the high volume of accounting jobs for example. An accountant in Belgium is today more easily able to find a job within a few kilometres of his home compared to a CFO".
Which finance profiles are most in demand?
"Following last year’s trend, (Chief) accountants, controllers and auditors are still the top 3 most sought-after finance professionals. Despite recent restructuration in the banking and insurance sector, we noticed that the leaders in the market were intensively advertising for roles in digitalisation, risk management, IT optimisation, risk & compliance and for actuarial and quantitative roles. Many foreign professionals were also attracted to fill IT positions within the banking sector”.
Does the abundance of vacancies affect salaries?
"Highly sought-after professionals such as auditors, controllers, M&A specialists and digitalisation experts know they are today in a position of power. Due to their high demand on the labour market, they have been able to considerably negotiate their salaries and we have noticed a significant increase in salary levels across Belgium for those very profiles. Employers are increasingly aware of this shift in market conditions and know that in order to attract the right talent, they must offer a competitive salary package”.
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* Source: Jobfeed. Jobfeed is an online platform providing an actual overview and analysis of nearly every new vacancy published on Internet in the European region.