Romania Insights: The 4 “Silent” Enemies

This article was written by Antal Managing Partner and Sr. International Recruiter Irina Vasile. Find out more about Irina Vasile and the Bucharest, Romania office here.

Besides everything that is said daily (like the ageing of population, negative birth-rate, decreasing education level, etc.) in Romania, I would highlight – from our experience – the 4 obstructions in the development of a local market being the following:

• “FMCP” phenomenon

• Migration out

• Salaries in half

• Crisis of guidance

1. The hiring market in terms of specialist recruitment habits or fast moving consumer personnel (‘FMCP’) is becoming a somewhat destroyed market by many employers with the competition of many recruitment agencies, by the habits of being selected higher up, too quickly, in a non-exclusivity work mode (etc), so that managers have come to be treated much more superficially and with an increasing lack of consideration towards them – less than apartments are treated by clients of real estate agencies.

2. What happens to the geographical migration of Romanian specialists in recent years and where are we going?

Of course, the interest in good jobs moved to the province in cities like Cluj is right, compared to the years before the great battle was on Bucharest.

Hence the key is that more and more Romanian professionals are working out of Romania while new Romanian employers to retain them (or attract their equivalences from other EU countries) are almost non-existent!

Unfortunately, at this migration out rate, we anticipate that recruitment of Romanians will be increasingly done in positions outside the country…

Some 16 years ago when I started Antal’s business in Romania, we brought many specialists in top positions in Romania, and this for less money than they earned in the west… the cost of living was proportionally lower and local opportunities for career evolution were higher. Now this can’t really happen anymore!

3. What happens to salaries in Romania on the niche of key specialists and mid-top managers?

The phenomenon of human resource demonetization I think occurs as a result of the significant imbalance on which the vast majority of purchasing decisions are based in our country, namely inequity between price and quality (the approximate ratio would be 80:20) namely 80% of purchasing decisions are based on price and only about 20% on quality…

In this context, Romanians especially those who have basic professions as engineer, accountant, tax expert, software developer, etc. go outside because why would you choose not to earn double as a software architect in other countries where the cost of living can be equal (or even lower than in Romania)? 

At the same time, the opening to interim management (or clear projects over limited periods, with salaries substantially above those with indefinite periods) is another concept to us almost un-approached, also due to short- term- ism in local wage offers…

If in the past we compare ourselves to a 1/2 to 10 pay ratio for many key professions in Romania compared to the West, now it has become just as blatantly close to countries in the Middle East, like Abu Dhabi, Qatar etc.

4. What is the most serious other silent threat to our labour market?

We can talk about a real crisis of (career) guidance in choosing the profession, especially with us. During so many years of experience in choosing roles and especially the degree of performance in those, we noticed that in our people under 40% of the specialist do what they really were the most suited naturally to do! From the top 3 trades, most suitable for a personality type, most of our candidates are not even aware if they have chosen well, although they have grievances and even professional depression.

When asked if they even follow a ‘desire for their heart’ (or a specific vocational calling), a long pause is usually left… And it’s too often responded with probably not exactly…