It is a worldwide trend. Home-based companies are becoming more attractive as an employer all over the world. Jan Denys, labour market expert at Randstad, sees it as a reaction against globalization.
Never before in the history of Randstad Employer Brand Research have so many Belgian companies occupied a top position in the ranking of most attractive employers. "That trend is closely related to what I wrote in my book Werken aan Merken (Working on Brands). Home-based companies are becoming more popular in their homeland as a reaction against globalisation. Our employer branding survey shows that nowadays, in Belgium we also feel more confident with Belgian rather than with foreign companies", says Jan Denys.
For 17 years, the HR service provider has charted the criteria that define why somebody wants to work for a company. This year too, pay and benefits are head and shoulders above the other criteria. "63% of respondents feel that is the most important argument for choosing an employer", says Jan Denys.
He regards that focus on pay as a logical consequence of the growing economy and increased mobility on the labour market. "Today, there are more jobs than last year and people change jobs much more frequently. You can see that from the falling score of job security. That remains the third most important criterion, but it is becoming less important."
"Worldwide, national companies are becoming more popular in their homeland as a reaction against globalization"- Jan Denys, Labour Market Expert, Randstad
A striking feature is the appearance of 'newcomers' Pairi Daiza and Studio 100 in the Top 5 of the most attractive employers. "Every year, we include a special company category in the survey", explains Jan Denys. "After the public sector, social profit, international organizations and disruptive brands, this year we have included past winners of the regional Randstad Award. That reveals that two very highly-rated regional players are performing well at national level too."
The attractiveness of start-ups, which were also in the spotlight this year, must be put into context. "Of course, we cannot judge start-ups individually. Most of them are too small or not well-known enough. That is why we asked our respondents which type of company they would prefer as their employer. Only 4% opted for a start-up. Start-ups did score better among the 18-24 year-old age category, at 8%."
Most respondents opted for a job in social profit or the public sector (20%) and for family firms and small, local firms (both 16%).
Another new question in the survey: which companies will survive the coming decade, and which will not? "On that question, dredging companies like DEME and Jan De Nul obtained an excellent score. If we look at sector level, we notice that the future for pharmaceuticals is judged to be the most positive, even better than for telecom and IT consultancy. The banks and insurance companies scored particularly badly here. Only the metals and steel industry fared even worse. They are facing a challenging mission", admits Jan Denys.
According to the labour market expert, working on an employer brand is complex and time-consuming:
"There are no quick wins. So well done to companies that succeed in creating a strong brand."