ALTEN Romania: Local competition for recruitment of engineering and IT specialists gets stronger than ever
Annually, tens of thousands of students graduate from technical faculties in Romania, but the need on the domestic IT and engineering market is three times higher, points out ALTEN, the local subsidiary of the French group and one of the the most important local IT and engineering consulting companies.
The competition for recruiting employees from the two industries is becoming fierce as more and more foreign players come to the country and open local offices, putting pressure on the available workforce. As for the selection criteria, they underwent several changes during the pandemic. IT&C companies are still looking to hire top talent, although they acknowledge that candidates are currently reluctant to change jobs due to the uncertainty generated by the global pandemic context.
Romania has more engineers than the USA and is in the global top with the most IT professionals Romania is one of the most valuable markets in terms of human resources, with huge potential, especially in terms of recruiting IT&C experts. Our country has a higher number of engineers per capita than the United States, India or China, and is also the sixth country in the world in terms of the number of IT specialists, surpassing the United Kingdom, Germany and Canada.
These characteristics make it extremely attractive for employers, especially for multinationals.
“The local labor market is one of the most competitive in the region, if not in Europe. We prefer to approach this situation as a challenge and to innovate constantly, both in the recruitment process and especially in employee retention“, considers Adrian Nicolae, Executive Director of ALTEN Romania. The selection criteria of the candidates underwent several changes during the pandemic, according to ALTEN experts, but not major. However, the advantage of this period came from the flexibility of the concept of remote work, so that today, the search for suitable candidates is expanding in all cities of the country, discovering talents that were not necessarily accessible due to geographical distances.
How hard is it to recruit in the local pandemic engineering and IT industry?
“We are looking for professionals eager to develop, to be exposed to various projects, from various industries. We are still looking to hire top talent for our clients. The main change imposed by the pandemic, both for those looking for a new opportunity and for employers, was to move the recruitment process exclusively online, so that everyone is safe. The rapid adaptation of the processes even led to an efficiency of the hiring time, still allowing us a correct evaluation of the candidates”, explains Flavia Vasilescu, Senior Recruitment Manager within ALTEN Romania
At the macro level, beyond attracting talents in IT&C, Romania seems, at this moment, a good target for the development of local activities, due to the good ratio between cost and quality. This means that, especially now, when most companies are paying attention to this aspect, as well as due to the accelerated digitization, which allows efficient work at a distance, our country will become more and more attractive. But due to the uncertainty generated by the coronavirus pandemic, currently, candidates show a slight reluctance to change jobs, says the recruitment specialist.
In April, May and June of this year, we encountered the greatest reluctance to change, both from employees and employees. From the summer we felt a relaxation and, gradually, we started to have better results in the recruitment processes. ALTEN has managed to attract a large number of candidates by expanding the networking of each recruiter, as well as by improving the search and selection process. At the same time, in order to maintain a constant growth rate of the teams, the company approached new market segments, diversifying its portfolio, such as: civil engineering, medical engineering or railway engineering, establishing collaborations with companies from the respective industries.
At the same time, Vasilescu says that the projects are still difficult, especially in engineering, because the partners are reserved to increase the number of people in the team or change the structure of the departments, but also because there are candidates willing to make a change only after the first quarter of next year or even “after the pandemic”.
The most appealing benefits today
According to ALTEN, in an extremely competitive job market, where specialists have a wide range of offers, companies in the field focus their efforts on attracting and, especially, retaining top talent. Adapting benefits to the needs of employees is essential at this time.
“In addition to the classic facilities (meal vouchers, medical service subscriptions), we encourage a more active lifestyle, as well as personal development of employees through partnerships with networks of gyms, online bookstores or educational platforms. Beyond these, we also offer benefits such as work from home (even before the pandemic), program flexibility, diversity of projects, personal and professional development initiatives, to which is added a motivating work environment that promotes communication and development of social relationships. All are extremely important elements for candidates in IT, but also in engineering“, points out Flavia Vasilescu.