Can Romania become the El Dorado of workers from non-EU countries?

Newsroom 30/07/2018 | 12:54

According to the HR outsourcing company Smartree, in recent years, companies in Romania have begun to address the issue of bringing non-EU workers to meet human resources needs in sectors where there is a shortage of staff and where this may cause an interruption of activity. This year, Romanian companies can bring in around 12,000 non-EU workers.

On the other hand, the high costs associated with the international employment process, together with the relatively long duration of project closure, represent the biggest disadvantages. Other issues include: spoken language; integration of foreign employees into a new culture; a long engagement cycle, starting with the documentation and starting the procedures to obtain the necessary opinions from the state institutions; the international recruitment process; labor force volatility.

But there are also benefits for countries where a very large foreign population lives and works. They gradually turn into multicultural, cosmopolitan centers with a wide range of new skills that can contribute to the society’s progress through innovation and creativity.

”The phenomenon of globalization has encouraged migration, but also the import of cheaper labor. This is a common practice, which applies to large countries such as the United States of America, where the Latin American population is predominant in certain sectors of activity but also in smaller countries such as Romania. In 50 years, the import of labor will become a necessity, doubled by the negative demographic evolution in Romania. However, the issue of immigration is extremely sensitive and politicized, especially in the current context, when some states wonder if in this race to gain cheap labor for certain jobs that the local population refuses to do, and loses its national identity,” Raluca Penes, HR Smartree coordinator, stated.

A strategy started 10 years ago

The first initiatives to recruit outside the country began to appear in Romania 2-3 years ago, with the initial attempts  made around 10 years ago. The reasons why Romanian employers have appealed to this strategy are diverse and include the migration of certain social categories to more developed Western countries, falling birth rates, changing demands for different jobs, changing dictated by new technologies, and the inability of the education system to fits the needs of today’s employers.

Romania’s government plans to increase quotas by 5,200 work permits for non-EU foreign workers in 2018, on high demand from local companies claiming they are affected by workforce crisis. The total number of non-EU workers will reach 10,200 permanent and posted workers and to 12,200 including the seasonal and other types of foreign employees.

The industries in which companies have recourse to the employment of foreign workers are: HoReCa, production, light industry, agriculture, construction, services, and most foreign employees come from the Philippines, Nepal, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, where the quality of living is below than the Romanian one.

The benefits package for a foreign employee may include the flight ticket to Romania, a shared accommodation, and in some cases a transport provided from the place of accommodation to the workplace and a flight to the country of origin for a certain period of time. Foreign workers can also enjoy assured meal and chefs specific to their region. In order to facilitate their accommodation, employers can provide the group with a representative who speaks an international language.

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