• 2008 Labor Market Trends

    Tuesday, 15 January 2008
    2008 Labor Market in brief:
    • Increasing lack of qualified /all types of qualifications/ and non-qualified people;
    • Migration to and from EU, predominantly of people with various qualifications;
    • Increasing companies’ efforts to recruit and keep their employees and considering more effective distribution of work and resources within the companies;
    • Increasing salaries;
    • Changing attitudes of employees and job-seekers towards searching for better opportunities for building up/starting their professional careers;
    • Continuing problems with motivation of employees and having enough information about the labor market;
    • Importing of workers from other countries;
    • New employment opportunities for those who are retired or are close to retirement age;
    • Establishing better connections between business and the system of higher and university education, as well as career consulting, orientation and developing of strategies for long-term solving of problems of employment.
    One of the basic trends in 2008 is lack of people in the labor market or in the so called “Job-Seeker’s Market”. Here two different aspects should be distinguished: on one hand lack of people in general and lack of qualified people on the other.

    Among the major reasons which can be outlined, as in 2007, are: economy growth and extension of already working companies; new foreign and domestic investment flows; big infrastructure projects; inefficient usage of companies’ personnel. Migration to and from EU of workers of various qualifications has a growing effect on the labor market. Detaining factor here is lower level of foreign languages knowledge.

    Equally important is the lack of thorough information on the labor market, low level of mobility within the country, the lack of motivation, especially among young people, and the demographic problem. Though this situation will get better throughout the year, these elements will characterize 2008.

    To make labor market processes more transparent, in 2007 JobTiger has started publishing online section “desired” and “offered salaries” per business sectors and geographical regions. Within a period of 6 month this innovation proved its effectiveness and meaningfulness.

    Currently the Foundation of Business for Education, together with Hewitt, has undertaken a large-scale survey on university students’ motivation, the results of which are expected in February, 2008.

    The competition among companies to attract key specialists is still very strong, and the trend to attract young people to be trained and start their careers in the company is considered as alternative by many employers.

    JobTiger has worked out alternative methods to attract people, such as the projects: One Click Money and Jobtiger’s Mobile Consultants.

    Career planning is also a solution, to which increasing number of companies pay attention.

    Significant interest to the Career consultants’ international certificate GSDF and various methods, developed by the Foundation of Business for Education has been recently observed.

    The above measures have been exploited by smaller number of companies, usually those which have well developed and functioning HR Departments. Still, many employers are not willing enough to invest in training and professional development of their employees. As a consequence they often lose their employees and face difficulties in recruitment and personnel motivation.
    Increasingly, companies are reconsidering (though rarely are most of them making it practical) such job distribution within the company that specialists work exactly what they are qualified for. Outsourcing and temporary employment are two of the possibilities that need more attention. Hiring of retired or expecting retirement people is also a possibility.

    Tiger On-Site is the company from JobTiger’s business group, which offers solution for contemporary employment and its activities, short after its establishment, has already attracted significant interest from companies.

    One of the possible solutions to these problems is the measures for keeping the company’s personnel. Increasing salaries is just one of them. Recently a trend has been observed in a sectors with high rate of salaries, that the major reasons for leaving a job tend to be non-material stimuli, such as company’s environment, communication among colleagues, possibilities for training and professional development. Social benefits, such as additional retirement and/or health insurance, or other non-traditional benefits, are increasingly gaining popularity on the labor market.
    TigerClub Site is the company from JobTiger’s business group, which successfully offers additional social benefits packages to its clients. Some of these packages contain services that are offered for first time in Bulgaria.

    The trend towards increasing salaries will be kept in 2008, although with slower pace. Many companies have exhausted their potential to increase salaries, some of them using methods of the gray economy. This resulted in creating inequality and pressure on the market. Because of this there was a detention in companies’ closing downs and going bankrupt in 2007.

    The expected rate of salary increase in 2008 is 15% (on the average for all sectors and geographical regions).

    Yet, the combined effect of introducing 10% flat tax and raising the insurance rates is unclear.

    It is expected that the connections between business and system of education will get better, although there is still much to be desired in this respect. Here the major problems which can be outlined among young people are lack of motivation, practical and readiness to plan their careers.

    KakviDaStanem.bg is a website oriented to help young people to plan their professional development.

    In 2007 there will be an increase in the import of workers from abroad, mostly from less developed countries. According to JobTiger contemporary import will be necessary to respond to the growing needs in infrastructure and construction projects. However, long-term import from abroad without a clear vision for economic and social development for the next few decades would be a hasty and even dangerous measure.