Flexjob Manager Pamoukchiev: Temporary Jobs Not Popular in Bulgaria as in the Netherlands
Interview with Ludmil Pamoukchiev, Head of the Bulgarian office of the Dutch company Flexjob – an agency for temporary employment, for the Dutch Survey ("International Survey: Bulgaria-Netherlands") of Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency).
How popular are the services of Flexjob in Bulgaria? What type of companies seek workers through you? Are they mostly Bulgarian or are they mostly foreign?
Unfortunately, temporary employment is not popular to such an extent here as it is in the Netherlands, for example, because the service is still relatively new to the Bulgarian market. Our clients are from various sectors: telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, FMCG and others. They are foreign, as well as Bulgarian companies.
What are the benefits of the temporary employment of the type that you suggest – i.e. its advantages over "permanent" jobs? How does it contribute to the "flexibility" of the labor market in Bulgaria?
One of the benefits of temporary employment is that it enables our customers to flexibly manage their human resources according to current needs.
Flexjob takes care of the recruitment and selection of personnel according to the criteria set by the client, as well as of the administration of all activities of employees (bookkeeping for the payroll staff, payment of salaries, insurance, etc.).
The clients receive the necessary manpower for their particular needs (replacing sick and maternity leaves, unforeseen projects, holidays, etc..) thereby avoiding any complications associated with the recruitment, such as the burdening of their current administration and the complications from recruiting staff for longer time than necessary.
On the other hand, we help staff with decision-making about what they want to work in the long run, and customers - through ensuring them that temporary employees can become part of their permanent staff.
Is there a Dutch model of this type of service that you carry in Bulgaria? How do you apply the Dutch experience in the recruitment and flexible employment in Bulgaria?
There is no Dutch model of this type of service per se. In general, this type of service originates in the United States, since the middle of last century, and has entered the Dutch market at that time. As to the application of the Dutch experience in employment, our company strives to apply the fairness, accuracy and superb quality typical of the Dutch mentality and way of working.
In Bulgaria, temporary employment is often provided for unemployed people through State programs, known for their inefficiency. How do they differ from temporary employment provided by your company?
The difference is that we offer our clients only the candidates who are motivated to work and develop professionally. Flexjob does not have the tools available to the State to "motivate" unemployed people to work.
How does the economic crisis affect the supply and demand for temporary work in Bulgaria? Can temporary or partial employment mitigate the loss of jobs?
The economic crisis definitely has affected the demand and supply of labor, as demand decreases and supply increases. Our opinion is that temporary employment may mitigate the loss of jobs.
By using our service, companies can fill vacancies without worrying about overworking their current resources, and job seekers can find a solution to difficulties caused by the stagnation in the labor market.
Based on your observations, what are the trends in employment in Bulgaria - and in particular, temporary employment? How would you compare them with the trends in the EU as a whole, and even globally – i.e. where does Bulgaria stand as compared to others?
In terms of temporary employment, I believe that the trend in Bulgaria leans toward sustainable development and better understanding of this type of service. Still, the idea of temporary employment is regarded with reservations, both by employers and by job seekers.
What are your observations on the quality of the workforce in Bulgaria? Where do you see the biggest problems (e.g., aging, education, shortage of specialists) and what are our strengths? What corrective measures would you recommend as new State policies in this regard?
At this stage, the quality of our workforce is relatively high, but there is still much to be desired from the candidates. The main problem that we face is the low labor productivity and poor work ethics.
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