Bulgaria is a country that many Americans do not know much about. It is bordered by Serbia, Romania, Macedonia, Turkey and Greece. I was introduced to Radka Rusovich by Celinda Appelby, a friend I met on social media, and jumped at the opportunity to hear Radka’s story and learn more about the country. I was fascinated, and thought it would be a great addition to the #globalrecruitment series. I asked her a series of questions about the country and below is the interview I conducted.
Tell me a little about yourself and how you got into recruiting?
My name is Radka Rusovich and I am a Talent Acquisition Advisor for Hewlett- Packard and a member of the EMEA Sourcing team. Sourcing is my favorite part of Recruiting because it allows me to be creative and use a variety of tools to search for candidates. Even though I have a Master’s Degree in Human Resources, I must say I got into the industry by chance. When I graduated, I was working as a Customer Care Representative for one of the mobile operators in Bulgaria. I met a person that was working for a Recruitment Agency in Bulgaria. This individual was about to change her job and suggested that I interview for her job. I followed her advice and I got hired. I left shortly after and have been with HP ever since.
Tell me about some of the challenges of recruiting in Bulgaria
One of the main challenges of recruiting in Bulgaria is that the market is small. There is more demand than supply in Bulgaria. Competition is strong, especially with IT companies. Because of this, it makes it very difficult to hire niche profiles. Another challenge is finding people with specific language skills, for example German. Sometimes people do not have also the required English skills. The educational system is not working closely with the businesses which can cause problems with the younger candidates. When people graduate, they often find it hard to find a job connected to their type of degree. In the last year, there has been significant improvement in this area, as I see that a lot of the companies have started to recruit directly from the biggest universities.
Tell me a little about the jobs in Bulgaria and what positions are most plentiful.
In the IT sector, the most common jobs would be Support and Software Development roles that require specific or rare languages. These roles can be really hard to fill. From a general perspective, the most common jobs are the ones that do not require specific education and skills . The unfortunate part of this is that they aren’t very well paid. Season work is very plentiful. Sea and ski resorts is where there is a need for additional staff in the hotels, restaurants and clubs.
Are there any employment laws that make recruitment difficult?
I would not say that employment laws make recruitment difficult. Of course there might be always challenges but they would be connected to special cases. The only thing I would like to see improving the general knowledge that people have about the employment law and their rights and obligations.
How is the economy in Bulgaria? What percentage of people are unemployed?
The Bulgarian economy will rely pretty much on exports until the end of 2014 in order to achieve growth. The investments in the period January-March have increased. It is hard to make any predictions as in October there will be parliamentary elections and the economic situation will be highly influenced by the results. At the moment the unemployment rate is around 13%
How is Social Media used in Bulgaria?
In my opinion, one of the most popular social media channels in Bulgaria is Facebook. In the past couple of years LinkedIn has gained popularity among professionals. People are seeing the value of having a profile on LinkedIn and connecting with others from different industries. Recruiters use the professional network to attract candidates and bring to their attention specific roles mainly in the IT sector. I would say that Twitter is slowly gaining popularity. There are more Bulgarians that are joining and using the social networking and microblogging service. Different kind of blogs are very popular among Bulgarians. People often seek advice or additional information about products and services. I find this very positive as people exchange thoughts and opinions and there is always a way to find another perspective and make the right
What is the main way people find jobs in Bulgaria?
The main way people look for jobs in Bulgaria is through using different job boards . 2 popular job boards are Jobs.bg and www.karieri.bg. These are very popular and most employers advertise there. Another way to find employment is through using your social network – this remains one of the most popular traditional way to find employment.
Any predictions about what will happen in the recruiting sector in the future?
It is always hard to make predictions about the future but I am very positive of how things are developing. There are a lot of big international companies on the market and they are changing recruitment practices as they bring innovation and creativity in the talent attraction. Communication between the University and the business is improving, and I am sure that this will continue. Because of this, young people will find better career opportunities and ways to develop their skills. I think that recruitment will be closely connected with the popularity of different social media sites. People will start to see the value of using them and making the effort to build and maintain their personal brand. Of course with time, we will see whether I am right. I truly hope I am.
Radka Rusovich is a Senior Sourcer at Hewlett-Packard in Bulgaria. You can find her on Twitter @rrusovich.