Belgium 34th (out of 76) on the ManpowerGroup Total Workforce Index™

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Belgium climbs 20 places compared to 2019 ranking

ManpowerGroup has published the seventh edition of its Total Workforce Index ™study. This Index measures and compares the relative ease of sourcing, hiring and retaining a workforce in 76 labor markets around the world. ManpowerGroup experts analyzed 200 key factors related to 4 categories: the Availability, Cost Efficiency, Regulation and Productivity of the workforce in each country. Belgium occupies 34th place (out of 76) in this worldwide ranking and 21st place (out of 40) in the EMEA region, climbing 20 places compared to the previous edition.

 In a digital-first global economy, skilled talent is the new currency for business and economic growth. The competitive, economic and regulatory landscapes continue to shift at rapid pace, while new waves of technologies create demand for new skills. In today’s complex and unpredictable business environment, which has accelerated as an impact of the COVID crisis, technological disruption opens up new opportunities for businesses to grow and create value, provided they have the skilled workforce needed to remain competitive today and tomorrow.

New challenges for companies and Human Resources Managers

Data collected by ManpowerGroup on a global level (*) provide a better understanding of the challenges facing companies in general and Human Resources Managers in particular: 93% of people have seen their working life transform as a result of COVID19. 48% of employees would like to work remotely at least part of the time after COVID-19 versus 30% before the pandemic. 32% of organizations are replacing full-time employees with contingent workers as a cost-saving measure. 89% of employees want more learning opportunities such as remote learning, skills development or career coaching. Eight out of 10 want a better work life balance.


A proprietary formula to assess 200 key factors

Just as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a market is used as an economic indicator for measuring the size and performance of an economy, ManpowerGroup Total Workforce Index™ (TWI) can be used as an indicator of workforce potential in a specific market. It is based on a rigorous methodology and on a unique calculation formula which allows the analysis of more than 200 criteria related to 4 categories: Availability, Cost Efficiency, Regulation and Productivity of the workforce. It concerns information published by international organizations such as the World Bank, the OECD and the World Economic Forum, and data collected by ManpowerGroup globally. In concrete terms, the Total Workforce Index measures the attractiveness of the labor markets of 76 countries around the world, by analyzing the relative ease of sourcing, hiring, developing and retaining the talents they need to ensure their growth. The country with the highest score on this index is the one with the most attractive labor market.

As a result of the health crisis, in their assessment of labor market performance, a growing number of global employers have placed increased emphasis on remote working capabilities. The 2020 Total Workforce Index is specifically focused on “Remote Readiness” and introduces new factors which help to measure the remote workforce capabilities of each market. This addition to the index has resulted in a significant shift in the rankings year-over-year and will provide the primary theme around which the index annual report is based. The Remote Readiness Indicators assess each of the 76 markets based on the available Remote Workforce, Childcare Gap, Technical Reliability, Technical Accessibility, and Cyber Security Risk.




The United States in first place at global level, Ireland at European level

Globally, the United States, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom lead the 2020 ranking, while in the EMEA region the ranking places Ireland, the United Kingdom United, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark at the top. Belgium occupies 34th place (out of 76) in this worldwide ranking and 21st place (out of 40) in the EMEA region, registering a significant improvement of 20 places worldwide and 11 places in the EMEA region.

Compared to other European countries, Belgium, in 34th place globally, is clearly behind the United Kingdom (5th), the Netherlands (6th), Japan (12th), Switzerland (14th), Germany (15th), The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (18th) and Spain (25th), but ahead of France (39th), Italy (47th) and Poland (48th). Also note the rankings of India (40th), Morocco (52nd), China (55th), Indonesia (60th), Brazil (61st), Russia (63rd), Vietnam (66th).


Belgium’s strengths and weaknesses

 “Belgium has made good progress in our workforce ranking, both globally and in Europe. This improvement is mainly due to the good performance on the criteria linked to remote working capabilities which have been added to this new edition” explains Philippe Lacroix, Managing Director of ManpowerGroup BeLux. “In this post-covid world of work, investors will be forced to adopt a multifactorial approach to assess the attractiveness of a labor market and the cost of labor can no longer be the sole criterion. However, this criterion continues to weigh negatively for Belgium, as does the insufficient number of workers available due to talent shortages and the employment rate, which is still too low. Our country is also in 46th position on the criteria of the ease of undertaking, confirming the regulatory and administrative complexity which holds back investors.

 Conversely, the ManpowerGroup report highlights the quality of the Belgian workforce, which remains our country’s main asset: the percentage of highly qualified workers (46.8% – increasing), the number of specialists in Research and Development per 1000 (16.61 – increasing), the number of workers with a professional knowledge of English (60%). Other criteria are also positive, particularly gender equality.


New challenges in the labor market

According to ManpowerGroup, the world of work will continue to transform at pace, forcing companies to align their human resources strategy with their business strategy. The HR specialist identified challenges in the four areas analyzed in its Global Workforce Analysis:

Workforce Availability: the urgency to deal with skills obsolescence and to ensure that the workforce can acquire not only the necessary digital skills, but also the soft skills required to work remotely, independently. Aging workforce and migration also remain factors that limit the attractiveness of labor markets in the long term.

Cost Efficiency: pressure on wages in essential sectors (healthcare, logistics, etc.), as well as expected pressure on the profitability of companies as we come out of the covid crisis.

Regulation: the need to continue to modernize labor markets to respond to changes in production and business models in a globalized world, the need to change the regulatory framework and better integrate new forms of work linked to the gig economy (freelancers, consultants etc.).

Productivity: the growing impact of communication technologies in a hybrid world of work where office work and teleworking will have to coexist harmoniously, the need to find the right mix between the different types of labor (permanent, flexible, gig economy) depending on the activity and strategy of the company.


A strategic tool

A strategic tool

The Total Workforce Index helps ManpowerGroup support companies with their long-term workforce planning strategies,  including location strategy, remote work allocation, capacity planning, cost savings, market investments,  organizational restructuring, workforce mix and sourcing strategy.



(*) ManpowerGroup Survey : The Future for Workers by Workers, 2020

More d’infos :  website Total Workforce Index

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