“We had recruitment campaigns with the money on the table and it was queuing at the door. We had business opportunities for Denmark and Norway. For the Norway project we published the salary and the benefits package, we announced how many people we were hiring, and the packages were very attractive. Even if you didn’t work in IT you would have pushed the button just to see what people are paying so much money for. We had 315 – 320 applications, it was a success, “said Bogdan Putinică, senior vice president for Enea’s global services division, which specializes in providing software and IT services. He was one of the speakers of the workshop “Recruitment in 2019, mission impossible?” Within the event ZF HR Trends 2019, organized on Monday by Ziarul Financiar in partnership with Telekom Romania, Adecco, OLX, SAP, Cegeka, Popovici Niţu Stoica & Asociatii, SHL, Colliers International, Romanian Software, SmartDreamers and XTag. Putinică explains the phenomenon of unpublishing the wages through “poorly understood transparency” and argues that the wages should be published in employment announcements because a candidate can still find out what salary package a company offers.
“We live in a poorly understood culture of transparency. Why is it difficult for us to publish salary ranges or pay grids as they do in America? It would be good information for my fellow recruiters. Indeed, we are competitors in the market and other industries will want the same people, but people are also part of the recruitment process. Why should we avoid making them public when a candidate has a friend at the respective company which they can call and ask?”, he adds.
On the other hand, this practice could cause a company to pay more money than needed for an employee, the specialists say, which summarizes such a practice to a simple business decision.
“I think it’s very important to know what your position is when you go out on the market and if the price you offer for an employee is market-related. As a businessman, if you give 1,000 euros on a salary, but you could only give 800, you think you could have saved those 200 euros. It is a business decision”, explained Daniela Pipaş, Head of Human Resources within the IT solutions and services provider BRINEL and personal development advisor through biographical work (Biography Work).
In order to attract as many people as possible under the current market conditions, recruiters should pay more attention to the company’s internal recommendations, because a well-developed and well-paid mechanism could cover the need to recruit through third parties, need that can cost even 3,000 to 4,000 euros in the case of an experienced IT person.
“I looked at the studies about programmers and I saw that they usually want to get hired where their friends recommend them. I am convinced that it is not just the specificity of IT. (…) I think we often underestimate the bonuses for recommendations, considering that people recommend and receive something, just a little bit there. But I think we need to invest more as allocated amounts for this. We do some campaigns. In a certain period when we have to attract candidates for a certain position and we want to accelerate the process, we double or triple this bonus for a month for certain positions and it works, “said Mădălina Moraru, VP Human Resources within the e-commerce solutions provider 2Checkout.
Dragoş Gheban, the managing partner of the human resources consulting company Catalyst Solutions, which owns the recruitment platform Hipo.ro, says that a well-thought recommendation mechanism can work even in the blue collars area, where companies are facing even a more acute crisis of candidates.
“We also saw the recommendations process in the blue collars area. We had clients who told us they might need a recruitment campaign, and afterwards they said they didn’t need it anymore because they recruited internally. I have also seen recruitment events, where there were given prizes, and those who had the most recommendations received those prizes, as well as those who had the most employments “, says Gheban.
Bogdan Putinică, senior vice president, Enea
♦ We measure over time the cost of recruiting an IT person. We can easily imagine how much money we are talking about when the average recruitment time is over 2 months for experts with special skills and it has reached 3-4 months.
♦ The cost of recruitment has several hidden costs: the opportunity cost, because we cannot do business because we do not have that person and the resource cost invested in the actual recruitment process. We talk easily about thousands of euros. For experts I think it goes beyond 10,000 euros taking all these components into account.
♦ 20 years ago the employment was very fast, most of the time the tests were short and they happened on the spot at the first interview, the new colleague entered the company, whether he survived or not, we were still recruiting, that was it. A simplistic approach, but it was like that.
♦ The market has evolved, I have seen how recruitment needs to be approached on big projects with hundreds or thousands of people, including in the industry. In 2019, I think the generic employee has nothing to do with what we were employing 20 years ago.
♦ Retention is of absolute importance. You lose more money when a colleague leaves than waiting to recruit.
♦ The recruitment tests with more than 10 questions are good, they are very good and they give you information about the respective person. It is true that in the case of a growing business, the time the business can wait for the HR is very short. I personally liked the model of the big international accounting companies. They were Big5, now they are Big4. The model is a pyramid. They recruit a lot of people at the base, a roll of people, maybe even without qualities, maybe not suitable for the job in question, and through the job there is an evolution, the pyramid narrows and at the top reaches the last promotion. The level they expect to promote should promote, they keep one and those who didn’t promote just leave. It works for them.
♦ The typology of the employee is important, and the company-employee relations are of another type, you do not just discuss the salary and that is it .
♦ Our recruitment process has 12 stages. For us it is very important that these steps do not last 24 hours. Whatever the stage is, we call fast.
♦ The average availability period in our industry is 2 weeks. The candidate in 2 weeks will find a job. If we don’t have a point of view in 2 weeks, it means that the person has found another job.
♦ If your employees do not talk nice about you, your ability to attract is almost nil.
♦ The system of internal referral that we have is very active. We communicate it very aggressively, it is important for the colleagues to know that there are available positions, we have many communication channels, platforms that we use.
Daniela Pipaş, Head of Human Resources, BRINEL and personal development advisor through biographical work
♦ I think that HR has become a business. We refer to supply and demand. It depends a lot on the product you sell. If it is a product that enjoys a lot of competition in the market and can be easily replaced, as in any business, there is only one thing to negotiate – the price, meaning salaries or benefits.
♦ If we talk about a niche product with strong differentiators in the market, the price paid is the effort we make to educate the market, to find the customers, I think that depending on where you are and what you sale you have other challenges. The fact that Romania is a country where the brain is the main currency of trade is a reason of pride.
♦ If we refer strictly to the Romanian market, we may already have a problem in IT, but if we want to sell outside Romania, we no longer are in such a disadvantaged position. Everything is relative to what and where we sell.
♦ Related to the investments that we made; we have chosen a niche area, to invest in an existing recruitment platform. We have launched an academy where the candidate can enter and can go to studies before coming to the company. We take on this risk because we want to attract people who really want to come, not just look for an opportunity in IT, to learn for 6 months and then go somewhere else. I think it will create a selection on the market from this point of view as well.
♦ Regarding the publication of salaries in the employment announcements, I think it is very important to know in what position you are out there on the market. Your price is correlated to the market, you want to buy, clearly you are at an advantage if you put the salary level there. As a businessman if you give 1,000 euros on a salary, you could only give 800, you think you could have saved those 200 euros. There is a business opportunity there that you may miss, but maybe you lose the opportunity cost.
Dragoş Gheban, managing partner, Catalyst Solutions (Hipo.ro)
♦ As far as I know, recruiting a person through an external agency costs 1 to 1.5 gross salaries of that person.
♦ The IT industry has been facing recruitment problems for a long time, and employers have tried many ways to solve this problem.
♦ A few years ago we had to build cities. The candidates were hollering, and you had to sort them out. The skills developed back then to building walls have now become the number one enemy of recruitment. Now we have to attract them, we have to use more our colleagues’ skills from the marketing department.
♦ We have seen the process of internal recommendations in the area of blue collars as well. We had clients who told us they might need a campaign, but then they recruited candidates internally by using this method. I also saw the practice at recruitment events: those who had the most recommendations received a prize, those who had the most recruitments received a bonus.
♦ We have noticed that the ads that have the salary displayed receive more applicants. I guess it’s easier for candidates to self-filter. Initially, I was thinking that wages are being published abroad because the market is very dynamic and that maybe in Romania the practice is counterproductive.
♦ It is difficult for a local entrepreneur to compete with a US company that replaces people. You have some margins in Romania quite different from the competitors from other countries. For many roles for which we are now recruiting, the competition is no longer only with Romanian companies. Even in the blue collars area expectations have accelerated in the last year. The blue collars area may have taken it a step further, we have seen retail companies battle it out and publish the minimum wage in the organization, which is higher than the minimum wage in the economy.
Mădălina Moraru, VP Human Resources, 2Checkout
♦ I find it difficult to say how much it costs to recruit, because it depends on the company how it sets its cost. I think it is important to also take as a reference the cost you pay to a recruitment agency. There you pay 3,000 – 4,000 euros for a mid-senior developer position and if we get to the point where we are willing to pay this money, it is obvious that internally it would be more expensive.
♦ From the point of view of the resource deficit, I realize that if 7 years ago you were coming and saying that you are from the IT area and that it is difficult to find people, it was not something so common for the other industries. Now, everyone says the same thing, that they can’t find people. It is somewhat understandable because we also have this exodus of market specialists, the education system does not help us, and we realize that we have no people and we are finding fewer and fewer.
♦ There are around 110.00 people working in IT and the demand is above this level. We face these issues, and one of the biggest challenges is the employer branding strategy, how to make yourself more visible than other employers.
♦ It seems to me that recruitment often means retention. You can be very visible, but we do not buy that super marketed product, but of poor quality. We must first make workplaces attractive for people already working for us, to reduce fluctuation, the rate of replacement, so that we can then focus on new employments.
♦ Leaving aside the pressure we feel, it is essential to bring the right people into the organization.
♦ We can be faster in recruitment, technology helps us, the interviews we can do remotely, there are ways to save time. However, it is important to duplicate online interviews with face-to-face interviews, in order not to discount quality. We have online tests in parallel with face-to-face interviews so that in maximum 2 weeks we can have an answer for any candidate.
♦ I think we often underestimate the bonuses of recommendation, considering that people recommend and receive something as well. But I think we need to invest more as allocated amounts. We do some more campaigns as well. In a certain period when we have to attract a certain type of position and we want to accelerate the recruitment process, we double or triple the bonus for a month on certain positions and this functions. We suddenly get their attention.
♦ Starting with last year we give referral bonuses for any position. In the past we did not use to give recommendation bonuses for entry-level positions 0-1 years’ experience or 0-2 years of experience, Since last year, we also offer bonuses for these positions.
Article take over from Ziarul Financiar
Author: Alex Ciutacu, 29th of March 2019