As 2014 reaches its end, I summarized my personal experience related to the Romanian HR Management & Recruitment Market. Underlining ‘personal experience’ means that data are not supported by studies or surveys; they are based solely on my observations throughout the year. Some of the findings are quite paradoxical ….
- The IT sector maintains a top position, its growth being nation-wide supported by outsourcing companies, Romania remaining thus a preferred technology hub (main shared service centers, contact centers, BPOs, Global Business Centers in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Brasov, Iasi, Craiova)
- The number of qualified professionals in the IT field is lower than the demand of the market, especially since Romania is at the same time an IT export hub
- Developers increasing financial expectations might mid-term decrease Romania’s advantage as an offshore destination
- Romania seeks to turn into a regional export hub, supplying a variety of products & services to several markets in the South-East European region, covering industries ranging from FMCG to Energy; this trend has led to the increase of regional management functions based in Romania
- At the same time however, various multinational companies with local operations are moving support functions / departments (e.g. finance, human resources) to functional hubs outside Romania, generating an increasing pool of redundant finance & HR professionals and managers, along with other functional management
- The number of ‘available managers’ (managers actively looking for new employment opportunities) has overall escalated, due to successive reorganizations, resizing, reshaping and restructuring processes of companies
- More and more expatriates approaching the end of their mandates on behalf of multinational companies state their personal & professional preference to continue living and working in Romania, while, at the same time, there is a growing number of repatriates searching to return to Romania
- The number of freelancers has increased, along with diversified entrepreneurial start-ups, while others – currently holding this status – are witnessing acute interest to return as employees in multinational companies
- ‘Job Security’ has moved to the top of the list employees assert when asked about employment preferences; the risk-adversity has grown to a pessimistic level (people tend to avoid taking chances, despite obvious professional or personal limitations)
- Employees tend to settle for the sake of safety, but personal dissatisfaction is often brought to table, along with description of ‘dream-jobs’ relating to hobbies, talents or likes, ‘what if’s’ resemble nostalgic, ‘would/could’ sounds regretful
- Albeit diminished appetite for changing jobs / employers, HR Departments are still facing challenges related to retention and motivation
- Mobility is somewhat more appealing than it used to be, but once again governed by a common denominator: the need for job safety and a significantly increased salary
- National relocation seems to be more appealing from Bucharest to Transylvania than vice versa
- Investment in training and people development has had lower budgets, few companies / HR Departments developed impressively creative tools to sustain a learning environment
- Compensation & Benefits have been heavily challenged, non-financial motivators have been empowered
- Companies / HR Departments acknowledge difficulties in attracting viable candidates for niche positions
- Manufacturing companies are similarly facing hard times in identifying and approaching valuable candidates for production positions based outside the main Romanian cities
- Accommodation of Millennials / Generation Y becomes more and more an HR topic
- Foreign languages skills increase recruitment chances and enhances the candidate’s profile (bilingual is common, trilingual is desirable, multilingualism may become an important differentiator when assessing candidates)
- Recruitment is shifting online, not necessarily towards specialized job-sites, but moreover towards social & professional networks (e.g. LinkedIn has become a powerful recruitment tool; the Romanian market registered 2014 the launch of new interactive membership organizations; etc.)
- Companies need to differentiate themselves, their products and services by employing people who practice and value flexibility, adaptability to change, creativity, innovation, intrapreneurship, outside the box thinking, people who assume responsibility and call for action, but, at the same time – under circumstances – companies seem to be frightened to take such people on board or to back-up their input & influence
2014 has been a year of slow recovery for many companies; some see the light at the end of the tunnel, others are circumspect; some state definite belief for 2015, others are rather reticent to forecast.
2015 needs to be a year of hope, of achievable professional & personal targets, of individual & corporate reconstruction and consolidation!
I wish you all a wise, bold, inventive, straightforward and tenacious New Year!
Featured photographer & copyright: Geraldine Aresteanu & Salez-Poivrez