Our team recently met with Laurent Peusch, Head of Employer Services, ADEM (Agence pour le développement de l’emploi). In this interview, he discusses the talent shortage in Luxembourg and the last trends of the recruitment field. Laurent Peusch will be a speaker at Human Capital Europe on February 1st, 2022, at the European Convention Center Luxembourg (ECCL). 

Talent shortage is an issue raised by many HR professionals in Luxembourg. How do you explain this phenomenon? Which sectors are the most affected?

Laurent Peusch: One fact for sure is that Luxembourg isn’t an island and we are not the only economy who needs more and more qualified people. Also, the Luxembourgish labour market changed during the last years in a more and more digital market and due to the Covid crisis these changes went on even faster than before. I think we do not see lots of changes in the sectors that are touched by the talent shortage. I think the gap became bigger because IT professionals or Finance experts were largely in demand before the crisis and in these times too, but there are more employers, out of all the sectors, who approved lots of their work and there’s a huge number of employers who improved their internal procedures by digitalizing large parts of it. This means on the other side that the number of IT experts increased even faster than before the crisis.

What policies has Luxembourg put in place to deal with this shortage and remain attractive?

L. P.: There have not been yet any formal policy put in place, but an interministerial committee, including ADEM, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Economy, Immigration directorate...) are working together on a kind of road map for a “talent attraction strategy” for Luxembourg as a country. We think that the whole economy must work together on this topic as it is a challenge for the whole country and not only for a specific industry. On the other hand, I think the market is still attractive for all kind of talents, younger or older. Therefore, I think the government is well promoting our market, the opportunities but also the country with its social structure and security, politically and socially. Luxembourg is a great place to live and work is the slogan which shows the quality of Luxembourg.

What has the Covid crisis - and all the upheavals linked to this particular situation - has brought and changed in the recruitment field?

L. P.: What we see is that employers have adapted their ways to recruit, the first interview will surely stay online as it demands less contacts and for first meeting it could be enough. For further  interviews they will take place physically. Also, employers request more and more competences that are individual to the candidates, for example “problem solving” or “showing initiative”, so they are looking for candidates that need less guidance in their daily business so that they can easily work on remote but still be effective. On the other hand, we also see that now employers must have a strategy and offer possibilities for remote work as this is, one of the results of the sanitary crisis, a point that candidates are looking for. I think in the next years, candidates will choose where to apply if the employer offers possibilities for remote work, still knowing that the social security payment will stay a big hint if cross border workers can’t profit due to different regulation between Luxembourg and their country of residence. 

How do you see the labour force in Luxembourg developing in the coming years?

L. P.: The labour force will be more and more by highly qualified. Transversal competences and the ability and willingness to learn during the whole career will be a major part, for both parties, the employee but also the employer who must be aware that giving opportunities to their staff for upskilling or even re-skilling will be less harmful for their budget and increase the identification with their employer.

Also, we see lots of new competences emerging in the vacancies that some years ago were not that much asked. For example “adapt to change” or “using digital tools” are competences that were already asked before but now these are competences that are no longer only asked for white collar positions but also for blue collar.

The same  way, individual skills are increasing statistically in importance as for example “demonstrate enthusiasm” or “assume responsibility” even if it has a lot in common with attitude but also motivation is still a top runner.

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