Ronny's Blog

I am responsible for Harvey Nash operations in Belgium

The Belgian CIO is not a job hopper

Harvey Nash has published its 13th CIO survey and the results are generating a lot of interest.

The full results of the survey, which include responses from over 2,500 CIOs and IT leader, will be announced during our Belgian CIO event in October 2011.

However, there is one important finding that I wanted to share with you ahead of the event that relates directly to the Belgian CIO job market and might influence your own career plans.

When asked if they were looking to move to a new job in the near future only eleven percent of Belgian CIOs think they will leave their current role during the next 24 months, and none of the Belgian CIOs questioned said they were planning to leave within the next 12 months.

When compared to CIOs from around the world Belgian CIOs have the lowest desire of all CIOs surveyed to leave their job. They also have one of the highest levels of satisfaction with their current role.

For example, in the USA 42 percent of CIOs want to move jobs within the next two years; in Germany half of all CIOs (50 percent) want to leave and in the UK a huge 57 percent of CIOs want to be in a new role within the next 24 months.

The loyalty shown by Belgian CIOs to their employers is even more impressive when the survey also found that Belgian CIOs earn the lowest average salary compared with their colleagues in other countries. The average annual salary for CIOs in Belgium is $151.389 compared to $160.256 in the UK and $190.682 in the USA.

When we discussed with Belgian CIOs the reasons behind why they were not thinking of changing jobs in the near future we identified a number of reasons:

1) It is in our genes; Belgians prefer the stability of a known environment over the risks of a less defined new
2) Even if salaries prove to be higher abroad, Belgians prefer to stay close to home and not relocate internationally.
3) Travelling between cities in Belgium is considered losing time so the options for change, including perhaps a
longer commute to a new job, are limited.
4) Companies here in Belgium have asked CIOs to be responsible for long term and transformational projects and as
a result Belgian CIOs do not often want to leave their team in the middle of a multi-year project.
5) Hiring companies have so far failed to offer Belgian CIOs an appealing proposal to leave their current employer
(salary, project, culture, work-life balance, secondary advantages etc.).

The results from the 2011 Harvey Nash CIO survey prove that companies which are looking to recruit a new CIO in Belgium over the next 12-24 months will have a real challenge.

In the current climate it is not just about identifying the right candidate for the job. It is more about understanding the career ambitions and lifestyle motivation of the candidate, and then building a proposal that convinces the candidate of the opportunity to develop their career at your organization.

Harvey Nash IT Consulting has a deep understanding of the Belgian IT market and is specialized in placing the right IT people (perm and contract) with our customers, from first line helpdesk people up to experienced CIOs.

By Ronny Lommelen
Managing Director Belux and HNIT France