Adecco CEO: Bulgaria's 'Internationalization' Harbors Great PotentialBusiness | June 10, 2010, Thursday // 15:36| views
Acting Director of Adecco Bulgaria, Stefano Longo (right), presented the company's flexible employment offers for dealing with the effects of the crisis. Photo by M3 Communications Group
Bulgaria’s potential ability to create an “international environment” in the country may turn out to be crucial for the development of its economy and labor force, according to Stefano Longo, acting director of Adecco Bulgaria.
Longo presented to journalists in Sofia Thursday the solutions that Adecco, a global human resources company based in Switzerland, offers to both employees and employers on the Bulgarian market for coping with the effects of the economic crisis.
“Adecco Bulgaria has reoriented towards flexible human capital management options as a measure for dealing with the crisis effects. These are of interest for both employers and employees, and include temporary employment based on part-time work or specific projects, payroll outsourcing, process management, training and testing of workers. All that provides for easier adaptation to the changing market environment and the outsourcing of business processes and services,” the acting director of Adecco Bulgaria explained.
In his words, Bulgaria’s greatest potential advantages in terms of the labor market and the development of its economy have to do with the likely establishing of an “international working environment.”
Longo has based this forecast on three major advantages that Bulgaria can build upon in terms of its labor market: first, the fact that the Bulgarian population in general has a high degree of knowledge of foreign languages; second, the availability of about 1.5 million Bulgarian emigrants in Western countries, many of whom are eager to come back to Bulgaria given the proper opportunities; and, third, the welcoming nature of the Bulgarian people, which makes the country a suitable destination for immigrants from Western and other countries.
He declared that Adecco Bulgaria already had seen a number of success stories of Bulgarian emigrants returning from Western countries and integrating in the Bulgarian economy with successful careers.
About 70% of the people currently employed by Adecco in Bulgaria are in the IT sector. According to Longo, IT services, tourism, and the pharmaceutical business are the three sectors with the greatest potential in Bulgaria.
Since its entering of the Bulgarian market in 2005, Adecco has worked primarily with the local branches of large multinational companies such as HP, IBM, UniCredit, Societe Generale.
The company’s acting director pointed out that the economic crisis usually drives many of the workers in the gray economy.
He explained that while local Bulgarian companies initially tend not to resort to the services of international human resource partners such as Adecco, in a few years they usually start to copy the practices of the foreign firm, thus gradually reducing the share of the gray economy.
In the first four months of 2010, Adecco Bulgaria has registered a 35% sales growth year-on-year. The number of people it employs has grown from 500 in 2009 to 1100 in mid 2010. In 2009, the company set up a branch office in Varna, and in 2010 – branch offices in Plovdiv and Burgas.
“We will support strongly the expected dynamic development of the IT sector in Bulgaria, which will contributing significantly to reducing the youth unemployment,” explained Longo stressing the fact that Bulgaria’s youth unemployment is well above the EU average.
In his words, Bulgaria’s general unemployment rate is relatively good under the present conditions – 8.7% at the end of March 2010, below the EU average of 9.6%. At the same time, however, the youth unemployment in the country was a matter of serious concern with 22.5% of all Bulgarians under 25 years of age being unemployment compared with 20.6% in the entire EU. In March, Bulgaria’s youth unemployment increased by 8.2% year-on-year.
The acting director of Adecco Bulgaria called for amendments of the Bulgarian Labor Code in order to provide for more flexible employment options, and made it clear that his company is keeping in contact with representatives of the Bulgarian government in order to put forth its demands.
Adecco SA is a Fortune 500 company with 34 000 employees in 6 600 offices in over 70 countries. Every day it connects about 700 000 job applicants around the world to its clients.
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