Hassiba D. Guerbouj, head of HR in Luxembourg, said that contrary to popular perception, millennial workers are not necessarily more demanding than their older counterparts. She spoke with Delano on 14 February. This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Aaron Grunwald: Is there a “war for talent” in the funds sector?
Hassiba D. Guerbouj: We are [experiencing] a never-ending war for talent… and this is true especially with certain jobs. It’s not complicated, you just have to spend 10 minutes on the dedicated job boards online and you will notice that in the finance, risk and compliance area there are many opportunities, meaning that there is a shortage with those profiles.
I think that it’s especially [a challenge with] those profiles because those functions are responsible for gathering data and feeding those reports to business [leaders and] to the [financial regulator] CSSF; especially in the management company sector.
AG: Is a good compensation package enough to recruit staff?
HG: I think in the past offering a salary benchmarked at the top of the market was enough to attract or to retain talent. And now they are expecting to have [more]. They are expecting to combine [work] with pleasant moments in their workplace. And it’s true because when I have interviews, candidates ask questions about the culture of the company, about the social corporate life…
AG: Is that just millennials or more experienced people too?
HG: [Even more so for the] more experienced people; the market is so dynamic that they are now expecting more than just a salary. They’re really expecting to have the ‘experience’ and be surrounded by people who, additional to the effort that they will make [professionally, want to] combine that with fun… so I think it’s not only the millennials but also with the more experienced ones.
AG: Is it hard to attract people to Luxembourg?
HG: Until a few months ago, Luxembourg was known as an attractive country mainly in the Greater Region, because of its diversity, its dynamic job market, because of the high wages in comparison with neighbouring countries, the family friendly environment, but I think the nation branding [effort] has made a significant jump a couple of weeks ago when the government announced that public transportation will be made free. I think that the news spread worldwide quickly. And Luxembourg took centre stage in the [news] for a couple days. This gave the country a good opportunity.
AG: Did you really hear about this from your international contacts?
HG: Personally I had feedback from a friend of mine who lives in Spain. In fact, she sent me a text saying ‘oh I heard that public transportation will be made free, is it true?’ I said ‘it’s not fake news!’