This is the conclusion of the Hays Global Skills Index and its analysis specific to Belgium. In addition to the gap causing a shortage and a war for talent, the lack of skills puts the temporary job market under pressure. Hays therefore highlights the benefits of contracting, both for businesses and professionals.
Unemployment in Belgium has reached a historically low rate of 5.5%. Businesses were able to count on the favorable measures introduced by the government, which increased the number of jobs, yet only 70% of the workforce holds one.
Job offers are increasing, but skills aren't
According to the Global Skills Index and the Belgian analysis of the recruitment expert Hays, this 30% gap is the direct consequence of the inability of companies to attract profiles with the right skills. Robby Vanuxem, Managing Director at Hays, comments on the findings:
"The policy measures in favor of employment have increased the number of jobs and vacancies. However, an attractive employment environment does not guarantee companies that they will find the profiles with the skills they are looking for."
The increase in the number of available positions spurns the war for talent, all while putting pressure on the temporary contract labor market.
“Employers prefer fixed contracts to temporary functions. By offering permanent positions, companies have the impression that they will have less difficulty in retaining employees with the skills and talents they are looking for - but they are wrong.”
Skill injection at a specific time
Offering fixed contracts, however, is not always the best or the safest option.
“Given the shortage, profiles with specialized technical skills, such as IT professionals and engineers, will have the luxury of being able to work in multiple locations. They compare benefits and conditions. Companies that are really looking for specific skills to boost their transformation or growth have every interest in calling on contractors. These flexible staff allow us to provide a team with the skills required at a given time,” explains Vanuxem.
And Hays emphasizes not the advantages of contracting for businesses, but also for the professionals themselves.
“January is a good month for a career change. If you hesitate to work as a contractor, look now,” Vanuxem suggests. Contracting offers, in fact, maximum flexibility and advantages. “Contractors often work remotely and determine their pace of work. Many appreciate this freedom - a freedom which is not limited to planning and timetables, but which also extends to the content of the function. The contractors choose whether or not to accept the assignments; they, therefore have control over their career and professional development."