The State Of The Belgium
                        IT Recruitment Market




www.ITjobboard.be
T: + 31 (0)2 5035 364
Report Background

The purpose of the report is to summarise the current state of the IT recruitment market in Belgium.
Th...
2.2 Demand By Location

Diagram 1 demonstrates the demand for IT professionals in Belgium by region.



                  ...
From the jobs on site statistics it is however obvious that the recession is having an impact on the demand
for IT profess...
Contract vs Permanent Demand

Despite popular belief that contract IT roles increase in demand during the recession, IT Jo...
Conclusion & Feedback

Despite the economic downturn, Belgium as a market for IT recruitment is still showing several posi...
References

•	    EITO, European ICT Market Overview, Sept 2008:
      www.eito.com/reposi/FreeDataSheets/ICT-MarketOvervi...
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The State Of The Belgium Recruitment Market

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Despite the economic downturn, Belgium as a market for IT recruitment is still showing several positive signs for stability and future growth. The research findings show that whilst Q2 will show negative growth in job
vacancies, the industry still foresees a significant shortage of IT professionals in the market. In addition to this the ICT industry is also lacking appeal to younger professionals entering the workforce, which is something local industry bodies and the government is trying to improve. As a result it is important for clients to continue to actively improve their employer brand and work hard to attract the best talent in the industry.

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The State Of The Belgium Recruitment Market

  1. 1. The State Of The Belgium IT Recruitment Market www.ITjobboard.be T: + 31 (0)2 5035 364
  2. 2. Report Background The purpose of the report is to summarise the current state of the IT recruitment market in Belgium. This report has been created through analysis of current and historical IT vacancies on the IT Job Board.be site as well as primary research gathered through candidate surveys and secondary research available online. This report covers the following topics; • The IT Market in Belgium • Demand for IT Professionals in Belgium including; - Vacancy trends - Demand by location & skill - Future Skill Predictions • Other key IT recruitment trends • Companies Recruiting in Belgium 1.0 The IT Market in Belgium According to EITO, European Information Technology Observatory, in a trend report released in 2008, the European ICT market grew by 3% in 2007 / 08 and is expected to grow 2.2% in 2008/09. In particular the IT Services & Software sectors were forecasted to grow by 5 – 6% in both 2007/08 & 2008/09. Like its European counterparts, Belgium has continued to see strong growth in its ICT sector with the entire industry growing by 2% in 2008 and the ICT software sector growing by 4.8% (www.sourir.org / itscan.be, 2009). As a result of the strong ICT market the total value of the ICT industry in Belgium equates to 37 billion euros (Telecom included). However it isn’t just growth that demonstrates Belgium’s strength in the ICT sector. In the latest Global Information Technology Report 2008-2009, Belgium was ranked 24th in the world when it comes to networked readiness. This demonstrates Belgium’s active investment and effective use of technology within the political, social and economic system. 2.0 Demand for IT Professionals in Belgium 2.1 IT Vacancy Trends Despite the recession the number of IT jobs offered in Belgium has demonstrated a degree of resilience when compared with other European markets. This is demonstrated by recent statistics from Agoria which suggest there is still a shortage of up to 10,000 ICT professional in the country. In addition Q1 also revealed positive signs for the Belgium IT recruitment market. For instance, when comparing Q1 year on year, IT vacancies in The UK declined by 38% whilst in Belgium the number of vacancies grew by 26%. However the early positive trends in the markets stability have been followed by a contraction in April and May which will result in negative growth for Q2 of 2009 in the number of IT jobs on offer.
  3. 3. 2.2 Demand By Location Diagram 1 demonstrates the demand for IT professionals in Belgium by region. A ntwer p 19.8% Flanders 14.2% Li m bur g Bra bant 4.7% Bru sse ls 15.8% 42.8% Souther n B elgium 2.6% As depicted in diagram 1, the majority of IT opportunities are concentrated in Brussels, which equates to 42.8% of all IT jobs in the country. In addition there is a significantly higher concentration of opportunities in the North of Belgium which is due to the regions industrial and business centres. As the South is characterised by mining, agriculture and tourism provinces located in Southern Belgium such as Hainaut, Liege and Namur, only account for 2.5% of IT jobs in these regions. 2.3 Demand by Skill May 2008 - IT Vacancies in Belgium May 2009 - IT Vacancies in Belgiu m May 2008 - IT Vacancies in Belgium May 2009 - IT Vacancies in Belgium Other Developer Other Developer 15% 18% 21.6% 14% Business Security Testing Analyst Business 6.1% 8% 9% Analyst 14% Project Support Manager 20% Testing 9% Project 13.3% Support Networking Networking Manager 20% 8% 11% 14% Based on the IT vacancies data, it is evident that the growth of the software sector has fuelled demand for ICT professionals with software positions such as developers, testers, business analysts and project managers equating to 55% of jobs onsite alone.
  4. 4. From the jobs on site statistics it is however obvious that the recession is having an impact on the demand for IT professionals within the software market. In May 2009, the overall proportion of developer and project manager roles onsite decreased by 4% and 5% respectively. However there is some positive news for the software sector as testing roles over the same period represented a higher portion of jobs on site – dem- onstrating steady demand for testing professionals year on year. It is although important to note that the demand for testing continues to be strong as software projects commissioned in 2008 are moving towards completion thus require vigorous testing. As a result the decrease in demand for developers and project managers signals fewer software investments in 2009 which will possibly have a knock on effect for testing positions in 2010. Networking is another skill in decline which is a direct result of IT departments cutting back on hardware dur- ing the recession. It is also interesting to note that whilst other roles are experiencing decline in the downturn, professionals such as those with IT security experience are increasing in demand. Security professionals are increasingly sought after as organisations need to contend with new challenges posed by the Web 2.0 world, wireless devices and new security risks evolving from Cloud Computing and SaaS. Future Skill Predictions Despite the current/historical skills in demand there are several key sectors and skills that IT Job Board believe will be in high demand for 2009 and 2010 which both recruiters and IT professionals to be aware of. According to a global survey conducted by Computerworld, the 9 skills that will be in demand in 2009 and beyond are; 1. Help Desk/Technical Support 2. Programming/Application Development 3. Project Management 4. Networking 5. Business Intelligence 6. Security 7. Web 2.0 8. Data Center 9. Telecommunications In addition to the above skills in the coming years, IT Job Board.be also envisages that the growing trend towards SaaS and SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) as well as ‘Green Computing’ will have a direct impact on the demand for infrastructure specialists. Whilst on the programming and development front it is also important to note that developers with experi- ence in open source will also increase in demand – as it is believed that 40% of IT jobs will be linked with open source by 2020. 2.4 Other key IT recruitment trends Years of Experience in Demand According to Egilia Learning and anecdotal evidence from our clients in Belgium, the most sought after IT professionals are graduates and those with 3 – 5 years experience. Demand for junior to mid level experi- enced candidates is being heightened by more organisations choosing to take on more junior IT professionals as the cost of labour is lower. As a result in the longer term this could see artificial inflation of salaries for those at the more junior end of the spectrum.
  5. 5. Contract vs Permanent Demand Despite popular belief that contract IT roles increase in demand during the recession, IT Job Board.be statistics demonstrate a very different scenario. In April 2008 the split between contract and permanent positions on IT Job Board site in Belgium were 53% of roles were permanent and 47% were contract. In April 2009 however the ratio of permanent jobs increased to 64% with contract now representing 36%. 3.0 Candidate Market Confidence The IT Job Board conducted research in May 2009 to determine how candidates felt the current market was affecting their employment opportunities. Of the 50 respondents, 92% stated that the current economic climate was making the process of looking for a job more difficult. As a result 55% of candidates stated that they have become less selective in their job search. In particular 60% of those who are becoming less selective stated that they are willing to accept a lower salary whilst 30% stated they would consider both permanent and contract roles. This research demonstrates that companies choice to employ lower salaried employees is obviously having an impact on candidate salary expectations. In addition the market is now more favourable to attract high calibre candidates thus organisations who consider recruiting in the near future could benefit from the low competition in the market for highly skilled professionals. As a result of market conditions, many IT professionals are therefore going the extra mile to improve their employability in the recession. In particular 45% are investing in gaining additional IT qualifications whilst an additional 45% are spending more time gathering knowledge about IT industry trends. 4.0 Companies appetite for IT recruitment in Belgium In March, IT Job Board.be conducted research to determine the demand for IT recruitment needs for 50 Belgian companies in 2009. When asked if companies were planning to recruit IT professionals in 2009, 37.5% of employers stated they were anticipating to recruit. Moreover, all respondents in the survey stated they wouldn’t stop investing in new IT projects due to the financial situation. This figure shows that the IT sector should still have a relatively strong year compared to many other industry sectors as organisations understand the value of IT projects to maintain competitive advantage in their respective marketplace. 5.0 Future Challenges For The Belgium IT Recruitment Industry According to the Global Information Technology Report 2008-2009 Belgium has one of the top 3 Computer Science education systems in the world. However despite this the IT sector is not generating the interest it needs to attract younger professionals into the industry. Over the past 10 years, it has been observed that fewer young people were enrolling in IT related studies as many youngsters feel computer scientists are austere and alone. Initiatives to improve the perceptions of the industry are being implemented in secondary schools and universities. However this issue has left many companies with no solution but to relocate global talent to fill immediate positions.
  6. 6. Conclusion & Feedback Despite the economic downturn, Belgium as a market for IT recruitment is still showing several positive signs for stability and future growth. The research findings show that whilst Q2 will show negative growth in job vacancies, the industry still foresees a significant shortage of IT professionals in the market. In addition to this the ICT industry is also lacking appeal to younger professionals entering the workforce, which is something lo- cal industry bodies and the government is trying to improve. As a result it is important for clients to continue to actively improve their employer brand and work hard to attract the best talent in the industry. We hope you enjoyed our report on the state of the Belgium IT recruitment market. If you would like to pro- vide feedback on the contents on this document please email t.decock@theitjobboard.com
  7. 7. References • EITO, European ICT Market Overview, Sept 2008: www.eito.com/reposi/FreeDataSheets/ICT-MarketOverview-EU25 • Le Secteur TIC Wallon sous la loupe, Isabelle Rawart, Feb 2009: http://www.sourir.org/article.php3?id_article=139 • The 10 Hottest Skills in Demand, May 2008: http://www.itscan.be/fr/articles/2008/05/20/the-10-hottest- it-jobs-in-demand • The Global Information Technology Report 2008-2009, Soumitra Dutta and Irene Mia: http://www.mcit.gov.eg/General/Global%20IT%20Report%202008-092009331155142.pdf • Quatre Antidouleurs pour la Crise Economique, March 2009: http://www.agoria.be/s/p.exe/ WService=WWW/webextra/prg/izContentWeb?ENewsID=53142&sessionlid=2 • The 9 Hottest Skills for ’09, Thomas Hoffman, Dec 2008: http://www.computerworld.com/action/article. do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=330106 • Baromètre Egilia de l’Emploi Informatique, Jan 2009: http://www.egilia-learning.be/fr/dossiers/ tendances_2009_Janvier/ • Where is Open Source headed in the years ahead?, Jean-Pierre Laisné, Feb 2009 http://www.bull.com/bulldirect/N34/expert.html

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