Belgian SMEs start the new year full of good cheer. A study by the HR management company, SD Worx, stated that 36.3% envisage recruiting during 2017. Only 28.3% had predicted this last year. This is especially true amongst small SMEs that are sustaining this increased economic confidence.
Thierry Van Eesbeeck is delighted saying, “Employment prospects remain excellent.”
He is the strategic adviser for SMEs at SD Worx. He goes on, “This figure of 36% is in the top three best percentages ever recorded.”
The recruitment predictions are identical throughout the year. “This is the first time that the proportion of SMEs having the intention of recruitment is more than 35% during two consecutive quarters,” states the HR manager.
Nearly one in three businesses currently employing between 1 and 5 employees (30.5%) believe that staff numbers will have increased by the end of the year.
Amongst those with between 5 and 19 workers, the proportion is 45.1%, compared to 36.5% last year.
Van Eesbeeck says, “As part of these expanding recruitment expectations, we observe that 35.8% of Belgian SMEs predict an increase in their work volume,” whilst the figure was only 30.5% last year.
He goes on, “It is particularly the small SMEs which are more optimistic than last year: 32.3% compared to 26.6% in the category of 1-5 employees and 43.9% compared to 37.7% for SMEs with 5-19 employees.”
Besides, only 5.8% of small and medium-sized businesses are expecting a reduction in staff numbers, or the lowest percentage recorded by SD Worx in this study, since September 2011.
The SD Worx employment survey was conducted amongst 884 businesses employing between 1 and 99 employees. The margin of error in the study is 2.5%.