Credit specialists, actuaries, chartered accountants, IT engineers, lawyers: finance is not immune to the talent shortage faced by many economic sectors. How to answer it? What advice should be applied to attract and retain the right profiles? Response elements.
If there is one sector where we are looking for arms and brains at the moment, it is this one: finance. On the side of the country’s big banks alone (BNP Paribas Fortis, KBC, Belfius, ING Belgium), it is planned to hire more than 1,500 people this year. Young graduates are especially sought after for commercial functions, in the IT field, in the field of compliance as well as in contact centers.
If there is one sector where we are looking for arms and brains at the moment, it is this one: finance. On the side of the country’s big banks alone (BNP Paribas Fortis, KBC, Belfius, ING Belgium), it is planned to hire more than 1,500 people this year. Young graduates are especially sought after for commercial functions, in the IT field, in the field of compliance as well as in contact centers. However, “as in all sectors at present, there is also a great shortage of talent in finance in general, plants Iris Houtaar, senior director at Robert Half. And of course, the more specific the expectations are (some knowledge technical, linguistic, social skills, etc.), the more difficult the situation becomes in all functions. We thus see certain very specific shortages, in moderately experienced profiles with 5 to 10 years of experience, in jobs related to accounting or in more specialized functions such as internal audit or treasury”. Lack of graduates, competition from large consulting firms (Big 4) and regulators (National Bank, etc.), new generation which attaches more importance to the quality of life: several factors explain why many jobs are provide in banking, insurance, trustees, etc. Starting with the fact that “young people are less numerous than in the past to choose a job in finance, observes Iris Houtaar. In certain regions of Flanders, they are no more than a third compared to 10 years ago. , although there are also interesting prospects for the future”. Of course, the covid has also been there. “The pandemic has obviously changed a lot of things, continues Iris Houtaar. For example, the widespread introduction of telework, which was not possible in many companies before. Employees have seen the advantages that this brings and therefore do not want to return to a model where you are in the office five days a week. We see offers being refused at the last minute if there is no possibility of working from home”, notes the specialist from Robert Half. This observation, the vice-president of the Order of Chartered Accountants and Chartered Accountants of Belgium (OECCBB) also raises. Vincent Delvaux believes that “the profession is having difficulty recruiting due to the lack of graduates but also because of the image of a profession that does not seem to turn quickly enough to new technologies, and yet…” This said, even tech start-ups and their seemingly sexier work environments are not immune to the phenomenon. “As a fintech, we are also faced with the current talent war, testifies Alessandro Drappa, co-founder of Recovr, a young company specializing in automated invoice management. IT profiles are very difficult to find. This is also the case to find good sales people or digital marketing experts. The fight is tough.” And not just to recruit young people. This is the case for all types of candidates. Indeed, observes Iris Houtaar, “they know that they are in a privileged situation today, they are often overloaded with job offers and have several application processes underway simultaneously. The exercise is difficult to position themselves as the best choice as a company”. In particular on the financial level, points out Alessandro Drappa: “In the field of digital marketing, where there is no training strictly speaking for modern techniques, it is not uncommon to see profiles with a year and a half of ‘experience who start as a freelancer with a daily rate of 500 euros, which is equivalent to an expert’s rate in his field”. Offering a competitive salary package is no longer enough. “It is not on this that we fight to attract new people, adds Alessandro Drappa. We first emphasize accountability and involvement in the project, that of a growing fintech, etc. .” Presenting other assets has indeed become a sine qua non. And not just in terms of a flexible and contemporary way of working. It’s true, remarks Vincent Delvaux, “some people don’t necessarily want to go into a job where the pressure of deadlines and hours to work are an unquantifiable unknown as to the time to be devoted to it and the appropriate remuneration. more than a balance between private life and professional life, they are also looking for regularity in working hours in order to be able to organize their free time or their time to spend with family. careers in non-international accounting or tax consulting firms are equivalent, although the latter and medium-sized or large companies often offer upfront benefits such as meal vouchers, a company car, insurance hospitalization, additional days off, etc.”. This is the case, for example, at KBC (and CBC) where the strengths of the banking and insurance group lie, according to him, in a global package accompanied by a vast cafeteria plan in which it is possible to convert part of its salary into various benefits (leasing bicycle, additional vacation days, company car, smartphone, extended group insurance, etc.). Not to mention the support in the career which often translates into opportunities for learning and development within the company, thanks for example at KBC to an online training platform. In short, “it’s the whole narrative aspect that is important, notes Iris Houtaar. Tell the story of your company. Don’t just say that you do this or that, but especially why you do it. Clearly explain to employees and candidates the impact they can have themselves and the impact of the company on society. The greater the added value, the more attractive you will be as an employer”, advises the specialist from Robert Half. If today’s job seekers place great importance on the big picture, it is therefore essential for a company to start the search process well to have a chance of distinguishing itself. “As an employer, you obviously cannot change the influx of candidates, explains Iris Houtaar. What you can do is control the recruitment process in order to attract the right candidates. And that already starts with Writing compelling job ad copy, where you as a company tell your story in a detailed, engaging and coherent way What does the company stand for, where does it want to go, what are the standards and values, what about the corporate culture, etc. Be open-minded and opt for telephone or video interviews, this will save you time. may not have the right background, but he has the right mindset and fits the business.” Ultimately, as the Axa group’s HRD, Karima Silvent, points out to us in the short interview she gave us, it is very important to move away from the old recruitment model (read “The onboarding of new engaged has become more complex”). According to Iris Houtaar, we must indeed work on a more modern and faster recruitment process. “Not all conversations have to be face-to-face, but they can also take place digitally. This will save you time. And don’t cling desperately to the ‘ideal profile’ because then you might be looking for it. for a long time. Skills can be acquired in the workplace but not the attitude and the willingness to learn. Take this into account as well”, concludes the specialist from Robert Half.