As employers, local administrations have an incredibly high appeal. 44% or respondents would like to or would be extremely eager to work for a local government office. This means that local administrations outperform the pharmaceutical (41%) and media (40%) sectors. This is the most significant conclusion drawn from HR service provider Randstad's 18th study edition on the appeal of Belgium's major employers carried out among 11,000 respondents. After the public services sector, non-profit sector and international organisations, local governments also pose formidable competition for private industry when it comes to attracting talent.

job security, work-life balance and social and environmental impact: the most highly-appreciated perks of local administration.

Randstad has been studying the employer brands of Belgium's largest companies since 2000. In recent years, Randstad has expanded its research into other labour market segments. Due to municipal elections, this year local administrative offices have been included as a separate category, in addition to the public services and non-profit sectors and major international institutions. Just as the previously mentioned sectors are formidable competitors vis-a-vis the private sector, local administrations have also taken on this role with regard to drawing talent. As a separate sector, local government appears to have come out ahead as the most attractive sector, leaving the pharmaceutical and media sectors behind. On average, 44% of respondents reported that they would like to or would be extremely eager to work for a local government office. 

Job security and the work-life balance, but also social and environmental impact were the highest scoring criteria related to local administrations. In relation to job content and the atmosphere at work, local administrations scored higher on average. Once again, however, the private sector was perceived as being more favourable in terms of use of new technology and financial health. Public opinion rated private industry and local administration the same in terms of salary and perks.

Local administration enjoys broad appeal, stretching across gender lines, different age groups and French and Dutch speaking populations. It is only among highly-skilled workers that the pharmaceutical industry outperforms local administration.

Just as in previous years, the pharmaceutical sector took the lead ahead of media, the aeronautical sector, IT Consultancy and high-tech in the private sector. What is striking is that the insurance and banking sector was again found lacking in terms of appeal. This year the sector is no longer listed among the ten most appealing sectors. For women, the most appealing sector is media.

top 10 most attractive sectors

Local authorities










High tech








Automotive (production)


Methodology: the sector figure is the average of the company or organisational scores that fall under the sector in question. Respondents were restricted to the province in which local administration is located for the local administration sector. This has a somewhat positive effect on the score.