Speakers in Business Review’s panel “Why invest in Romania now,” which took place during the Foreign Investors Summit, a three-day event designed to connect the investor community with local shareholders, touched upon topics relevant to recent and existing investors in Romania. Some of the companies that recently entered the Romanian market discussed growth opportunities, as well as recruitment challenges.
Workforce was a major theme of the panelists’ discussion, focusing on the challenges companies face in their attempts to recruit tech talent.
Irina Scarlat, Country Manager at Revolut Romania, said that companies should value their employees, but that they shouldn’t try to retain them at all costs if the collaboration is not fruitful – “There are a lot of entitlement issues, bad mentalities, and a bad hire is, at the end of the day, a bad investment,” she argued.
In terms of companies providing training, Scarlat said that although companies are offering lots of specialized training opportunities, employees should invest in their own education through e-learning on various platforms and not just rely on the company they work at to provide them with skills training. She added that Romania lacks educational programs for product managers and product marketers, which causes companies to avoid opening product development centers in the country.
On the same issue, Ivan Mihaylov, Director of Visteon’s Sofia Technical Center, said that Romania’s public education system leaves a lot of gaps in graduate’s skillsets, including basic training, which means that companies are having to invest more and more into compensating for these gaps – “this makes us wonder whether we’re spending enough time on our actual business or whether we’ve turned into training organizations,” Mihaylov said.
Ionut Constandache, FX Dealer at Ebury, added: “Companies have started fighting over employees more than they’re fighting over clients.”
Dragos Gheban, Managing Partener at Catalyst Solutions, said that the shortage of talent in the technology sector is happening not just in Romania, but across the world – “since you can work remotely in tech most of the time, you’re competing with employers from other countries too, not just those in Romania,” he said.
Gheban added that the shortage is here to stay, but that Romania has an advantage as it’s easier here than it is in other country to recruit tech talent, but that he thinks this proccess will unfortunately get more difficult, and that the role of employer branding will grow.