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03 Oct

Danos Associates European Finance: Thinking Locally, Recruiting Globally

Various factors are propelling the Luxembourg finance recruitment market to the point of almost overheating! Of course, one of these is the infamous (and by now somewhat boring) Brexit, but for the last several years before this was even thought of, things were moving in the same direction: a candidate-led market with high levels of competition for locally-experienced and qualified finance professionals and a need for increasingly innovative solutions to improve staff attraction and retention.

Employers have been dealing with this in different ways, including by increasing salaries (A Financial Controller in real estate can now expect to be paid between €80k and €120k, where only fairly recently €75k to 100k might have seemed more usual) and by improving working environments. It is noticeable that one well-known local Luxembourg service provider has hugely reduced staff turnover by systematically introducing flexible working practices, improving the physical office environment and shedding senior staff with inflexible management styles.

Other novelties have begun to appear in the Luxembourg market which are reminiscent of the London investment banking sector prior to the financial crisis – it is now not unknown to see the departure of senior staff with almost complete teams of loyal juniors en masse. Why is this? Possibly because for the first time the market-mapping strategies of City headhunters are being applied large-scale in Luxembourg.

Of course there are many positions which can only ever be filled with locally recruited staff familiar with local reporting and other legal requirements, speaking local languages etc. however, it is noticeable that there is now an increasing trend to seek staff in other markets, perhaps where Luxembourg-based structures are already serviced, such as Eastern Europe and the Baltic states and also in EU countries where qualified, English-speaking staff are to be found, such as Greece and Cyprus.

One of the main developments we are seeing in large clients with a constant high-volume need is for candidates to be systematically recruited from so-called ‘third’ countries outside the EU. Suitably-qualified and experienced finance professionals from Mauritius, India, South Africa and the Philippines are increasingly sought-after by companies who have developed a well-oiled HR machine with all the expertise needed to obtain the relevant permits within 4 weeks. This is the minimum length of time it would normally be necessary to wait for a candidate to complete their notice period in any case.

At Danos Associates we have the habit of recruiting from a global talent pool to fulfil local needs and can apply search and market-mapping methods to solve your recruitment problems at the normal market rate. For more details please contact James Bernie at jbernie@danosassociates.com or on +44 207 010 1154.