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Belgium – Hiring expectations to increase but staff retention problematic

17 April 2012

As many as 19% of HR managers in Belgium are planning to hire permanent admin staff, according to a survey conducted by OfficeTeam, a Robert Half brand specialising in the provision of admin support staff.  The company polled 200 HR managers on their hiring expectations for the coming months.

According to the survey, 42% of respondents indicated that an increase in workload is the main reason for hiring staff. Furthermore, 4% of the surveyed HR managers believe they will have to reduce their headcount, thus suggesting that the net hiring expectation for admin support staff is 15%.

The most difficult-to-fill posts can be found in project management support (17%), office management (16%), and general admin staff (15%), according to respondents.

The survey also showed that retaining talent is not easy as 38% believe their admin staff would be attracted to another company which could pay more. But career progression (27%) and a better work/life balance (19%) were also amongst the reasons mentioned by respondents. This may explain why 29% of HR managers already offer bonuses and pay rises as incentives to attract and retain admin staff, while 42% pay for training. Furthermore, 31% of respondents offer flexible work hours to their staff.

Internal coaching and mentoring programs are still only marginally used in Belgium, as only 9% of respondents indicated they had implemented any as a mean to attract and retain staff.

According to Dries de Vos, director at OfficeTeam, “good salaries and benefit packages are a major tool to attract and retain staff, but increasingly career progression opportunities are just as important. “

“Some sectors in Belgium, such as the industrial sector, are currently facing an increase in activity. Many businesses are coming out of the recession with very low headcount. Flexibility is currently a major asset and businesses are using temporary agency workers to adjust to the fluctuating level of workload and select workers to fill permanent positions.”

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