Workers optimistic about job prospects despite market uncertainties

Workers optimistic about job prospects despite market uncertainties
© Dirk Waem/Belga

Two-thirds (64%) of Belgian workers believe they could start working for another employer within a few months, according to HR company Acerta and job site StepStone, reflecting a “war for talent” that has companies competing for employees.

The data comes from their annual 'Talent Pulse' survey, which reached more than 3,800 employees, of which 87% were white-collar and 13% blue-collar workers.

“The fact that more than six in ten Belgians believe that they can find another employer within a few weeks or months, if they were to go for it, is quite striking,” said Britt Winnepenninckx, talent expert at Acerta Consult.

“The current labour shortage has a major impact on the confidence of employees. The fact that many employees want to leave their employer and go to work elsewhere is a good thing because it illustrates that the economy is picking up.”

Employers need to step up their game in order to keep workers

Winnepenninckx said employers would have to prove themselves to jobseekers in a market that offers plenty of options, even for the most picky employee.

“Employers should not only profile themselves as interesting employers, they should also work on their internal career policy,” said Winnepenninckx. “After all, there may be more opportunities for employees to take up and learn new things with their current employer.”

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The confidence in jobseekers is particularly strong among people in their twenties (80%) and thirties (75%).

But despite the fierce battle that companies are waging to attract new talent, 1 in 3 employees would like to stay with their current employer for the rest of their career – a percentage that drops considerably among people in their twenties (24%) compared to those in their fifties (47%).

Companies often 'poach' workers from others through better benefits, additional perks

In the past, employees had to go and apply to companies, but due to the shortage on the labour market and the fierce competition for personnel, it is now often the other way round, Acerta and StepStone say.

Companies even lure applicants who are already employed elsewhere with perks from signing bonuses and top-of-the-line benefits to helicopter flights and vacation packages.

The fact that companies are going ever further to recruit new staff is giving Belgian jobseekers a confidence boost.

“Even though we see a great loyalty of employees towards their employer, we also see an increase in the willingness to job mobility. It is a slight increase compared to last year,” said Killian Cramers, B2C Marketing Manager at StepStone Belgium.

“We don't expect job mobility in our labour market to increase spectacularly in the coming months, but enough movement is there and companies had better make the most of it.”

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