By Adina Bigaș
With the global economical constraints, some foreigners have increased their interest for changing their country and Romania is one of the destinations: an EU member, just a couple of hours by plane to most of the other European capitals, with one of the lowest crime rates in Europe and still with a relevant economical growth potential.
Besides, Romania is a beautiful country, has a very affordable cost of living compared to mature markets – rent, utilities, daily basket cost, dinners out, touristic attractions – all which allow a better quality of life under recession times and make Romania even more attractive for foreigners. While many western EU cities dominate the world’s most costly places for foreigners, Bucharest ranks among the cheapest in Europe. The flat income tax rate of 16% makes Romania even more appealing for executives and highly paid professionals, whose purchase power is worthy compared to their peers in Europe.
Therefore, for several good reasons, Romania is the right place to be.
Tips for foreign job-seekers:
MAKE INTERNET YOUR SEARCH ASSISTANT!
Most of the employers update regularly their career section or post their openings on portals like bestjobs.ro, ejobs.ro, hipo.ro and myjob.ro. Candidates for managerial positions should enlarge their search and contact specialized agencies like Aims, Alexander Hughes, Hill International, Lugera & Makler, Pederesen and Partners, Rinf and Stanton Chase, among others. People interested in less qualified jobs can search through regional bureaus of the National Agency for Employment www.anofm.ro.
NETWORK AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!
Join groups like Internations, Meet up, attend City Compass events, or Junion Chamber International events – depending on your qualifications and interests – connect to professional communities such as HR Club and European Professional Women Network. Make relationships that can open doors, give you a hint or refer you for a position!
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES: TURN YOUR STRENGTHS INTO MARKETABLE SKILLS
Identify your professional strengths that can set you apart from other applicants. It’s more difficult to compete with a local professional for a job in sales, which usually requires Romanian but, if you fluently speak a second language besides English, you should know that the BPOs, Shared Services Centers or call centers are actively looking for, and pay extra to, people with multi-language skills.
As per the last Mercer survey, the best-paid languages are the Nordic (Dutch, Danish or Swedish), continuing with Polish, German and Portuguese. The value of monthly allowances granted for a second foreign language can reach up to 20% of a monthly base salary.
SPOT WELL THE JOB PROSPECTS
The big cities are offering the best employment opportunities: first is Bucharest, followed by Timișoara, Cluj, Brașov, Iași and Sibiu. According to top job portals, Bestjobs and Ejobs, most of the job openings are in sales, customer support, IT&C, engineering and the financial sector.
You can also find employment through non-governmental organizations, while teaching English, French or German is another option for foreigners.
Dress code for interviews varies depending on the company and industry from smart casual for something like engineering to a more strict business etiquette in financial institutions for example. Neatly styled hair is recommended.
Otherwise, we don’t have a particular “protocol” for the selection process – so keeping the general rules of interviewing in mind would be appropriate.
“MONEY, MONEY, MONEY”
The salaries need to be related to the market conditions and correlated to the overall cost of life. The best salaries are paid in Bucharest, followed by Cluj and Timisoara, the latter two being about 10%-15% less than the capital. In other cities the differences are even more significant and salaries can decrease up to 40%.
Depending on the industry, function and seniority, the salary range for a manager is between 2,000 and 5,000 euros a month, but can also reach 5 digits, although this happens rarely. Expats’ packages are considerably higher compared to local managers and in addition they include benefits such as relocation, accommodation, children’s education etc.
In Bucharest, the specialists that might reach a net of 1,400-2,000 euros after only 3-5 years of experience are software developers. The IT&C industry has a big advantage in the labour market also due to the tax-free legislation for several types of jobs in that sector.
The employees in call centers and customer support earn between 500 and 1,300 euros net, but sometimes they can go higher depending on seniority and supported technologies. Some other well-paid industries for qualified professionals are oil and gas, aviation transportation, finance and banking, tobacco and pharmaceuticals.The salaries for blue collar workers are significantly lower. The minimum salary in Romania is 900 RON gross, which corresponds to about 150 euros net per month. The average net salary in Bucharest is 500 euros while the monthly expenses per person are evaluated at 180 euros by the National Institute of Statistics.In terms of forecast, the average salary increase for 2014 is 5%, the same as in 2013, according to Mercer. A slightly higher increase is expected in some industries such as services, IT&telecom, life science and durable.
Adina Bigaș works as external consultant, running her own business in HR services. With more than 10 years of strong expertise in HR management, she holds a master degree in HR and Organizational Psychology from the University of Bucharest and a Diploma in Management from the Codecs Open University. Email: [email protected].