The Challenging Hunt for Talents

Bulgaria is now in Top 5 of the countries where the business is facing the greatest problems in finding the right people

The Challenging Hunt for Talents
Автор: Yana Koleva

The dynamics of the labour market is high, and if there is a stable trend, it is that employees are harder to find. This statement is confirmed by the annual analysis of the international recruitment company - Manpower Group.  It shows clearly that the clouds continue to get thicker, since among all 43 countries, Bulgaria in already in Top 5 of the countries that face the biggest difficulties in hiring people.

Where the Shoe Pinches

For Bulgarian employers, the staff issue is getting worse. This year 68% of the respondents said that they had difficulties finding the right employees; in 2016 such an answer was given by 62%, while in 2011 – by 42%. What is more, the larger the company, the more difficult it is to find the people that are needed. 81% of the companies with more than 250 employees claim that the shortage of qualified personnel is an obstacle for the development of their business, while in micro companies of up to 10 people, the percentage is 52. Probably this is related to the fact that a single employee is easy to find, comments Nadia Vasileva, former Managing Director of Manpower Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia, and now an Ambassador of the Manpower brand and President of BG Staffing, part of the World Employment Confederation.

The Most In-Demand Professions

Electricians, mechanics, and people who are involved in the technical maintenance of machines as a whole will easily find a job as they top the list of jobs with the highest deficit. Engineers come second. In 1990s, they became redundant, but now, they are needed again. Such professionals are difficult to train and they need years of practice until they become really good specialists. Drivers take the third position of people who are hard to find. Next are the hotel and restaurant personnel. One of the requirements for them is to speak foreign languages. But if they have all the necessary skills, they practically can work anywhere in the world. People with good command of languages are also sought after by the outsourcing industry where they are usually better paid, Nadia Vasileva says. The fifth position is taken by health specialists - doctors and nurses. They are also in-demand abroad, where, unlike in Bulgaria, they are much better paid.


IT specialists take the next position in the ranking of the most in-demand professions. Sales representatives are also among the most needed. Number eight is taken by good managers and directors that are craved for at the moment. “The younger generation stays away from positions with greater responsibilities. They want to breathe more freely and look for a balance between work and personal life, if they are to work for someone else.  Still, if they become entrepreneurs, they are ready for more sacrifices.” the observations of Nadia Vasileva show. It is also a challenge to find office workers - personal assistants and receptionists. This is a key position, which is important for the success of company leaders. Many qualities and skills are required, the stress is big and that is why not many people are interested in such a position. The tenth place is taken by accountants and financiers, certified auditors and financial analysts are in-demand. Last year, the 10th position was taken by IT specialists, who have gained four positions in an year, probably because at the moment there are more projects where they are needed.

Is There a Way Out

The solution of the problem is linked to qualification and pre-qualification - if possible to some of the most demanded professions. Employers point out the lack of candidates as a main reason that makes finding the needed people so difficult. The time has passed when more than 200 candidates responded to a single job offer. Now, the number of people is 20 times smaller, Nadia Vasileva indicates. According to her, the reasons for this unfavourable situation are rooted in the demographic collapse and the open market that allows people to go and work abroad for a higher pay. Some of the shortage can be compensated by the import of qualified staff.

A Key

Employers have to be more patient and more flexible; through appropriate internal trainings they could develop the skills of their employees. In order to reverse the negative workforce trend, they have to increase or change the qualification of their employees and, at the same time, find a way to motivate them to work better. In the current situation, the companies have to also take care of the retention of personnel, Nadia Vasileva believes. In her opinion, people can be bound by contracts for 2, 3 or 5 years, if they have been trained at the expense of the employers. However, it is mandatory to consider moving them to different and more suitable positions in other departments of the company, as well as giving them the chance for carrier development. 

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