Recruiting the right talent is essential for the success of any organization. However, recruitment in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region has its own set of challenges. From talent shortages to changing candidate expectations, recruitment professionals in the CEE region need to be prepared to face a range of obstacles. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the current challenges in recruitment and offer tips on how to overcome them in the CEE region.
One of the biggest challenges facing recruitment in the CEE region is the shortage of skilled workers. This shortage is particularly acute in certain sectors, such as IT and engineering. The pandemic has also exacerbated this problem, as many people have left the workforce or re-evaluated their career goals.
Tips: To overcome this challenge, one of the best solutions is to be more open to non-EU citizens. We always suggest and highlight this solution because previously companies refused to sponsor visas due to financial reasons, but they should consider the quality of their workforce, which is quite high and usually fluctuation and job-hopping are not as common for them. Additionally, it's important not to forget the power of diversity, which can improve employer branding and increase the chances of hiring the best candidates in the future. In Hungary, this problem could be solved for positions that do not require Hungarian language skills, as the country, especially Budapest, attracts a large number of expats.
We suggest checking the applicable programs for the given country to hire non-EU citizens as for example, in Poland, there is a "National Visa" program that allows non-EU citizens to work in certain professions without requiring an additional work permit, and in the Czech Republic, some companies may be eligible for tax incentives if they hire foreigners for certain positions.
That being said, hiring non-EU citizens can still be a complex process that involves significant paperwork, processing fees, and legal compliance, and it may not always be financially feasible for small or medium-sized businesses, but worth to consider.
The expectations of candidates in the CEE region are changing rapidly, particularly among younger generations. They are looking for more than just a job - they want a sense of purpose, meaningful work, and a good work-life balance. They are not afraid to factor in the high inflation rate when considering their salary expectations, especially in Hungary that had the highest rate of inflation in Europe in January 2023 . In addition, remote work has become a more popular option since the pandemic, and many candidates expect flexibility in terms of when and where they work.
Tips: To attract top talent, HR and hiring managers need to understand and adapt to these changing expectations. This might mean offering more flexible working arrangements, investing in employee wellness and mental health initiatives, or showcasing the organization’s values and commitment to social responsibility. It is also important to keep the candidate experience top of mind, by providing timely feedback, clear communication, and a transparent recruitment process.
As the demand for skilled workers increases, so does the competition among employers to attract and retain top talent. This is especially true in the CEE region, where multinational companies and startups are both vying for the same pool of candidates.
Tips: To stand out in a crowded market, recruiters need to differentiate their employer brand and value proposition. This might mean highlighting the organization’s unique culture, benefits, or development opportunities. It is also important to be proactive in building relationships with candidates, by reaching out to potential candidates before they apply, or keeping in touch with previous candidates for future opportunities. Keep in mind that, after the government and the weather, recruitment processes and recruiters are among the most common complaints. Dedicated groups and subreddits for this topic show the importance of this problem. Candidates are very appreciative when the process is transparent and communication is clear. One of the best things we can advise is to optimize recruitment processes and improve the performance of recruiters. This is crucial in shaping how candidates perceive the company and can strongly influence their decision, as it may reflect on internal processes.
Advances in technology and automation are changing the recruitment landscape, both in terms of how candidates are sourced and screened, and how employers manage their workforce. While these developments can make recruitment more efficient, they can also pose challenges for recruiters who need to keep up with the latest tools and techniques.
Tips: To stay ahead of the curve, recruiters need to invest in their own digital skills and knowledge, and keep up to date with the latest recruitment technology trends. They also need to ensure that technology is used in a way that enhances, rather than replaces, human interaction and decision-making. As a recruitment agency that uses AI and automation technologies, we can confirm that the right technologies can make work more effective. From the perspective of candidates, these technologies can save them time and prevent meaningless long interview rounds.
Even if your company was fortunate enough not to have to reduce staff, you may have still noticed the current changes on the job market. One example of such changes is the recent situation at Zoom, which has received quite a bit of attention.
Tips: Free professionals who have been laid off can be a valuable resource for several companies. Therefore, hiring managers and recruiters should continuously monitor these changes to react quickly and attract these talented professionals who have been affected by layoffs.
In conclusion, recruitment in the CEE region faces a range of challenges, from talent shortages to changing candidate expectations, competition from other employers, and technology and automation. However, with a proactive and creative approach, these challenges can be overcome. By understanding the unique needs and expectations of candidates in the region, recruiters can build a strong employer brand, nurture relationships with potential candidates, and attract and retain top talent.