The trends in recruiting for 2024

In the year 2024, there exist several intriguing trends within the realm of personnel acquisition. Here is a brief enumeration of five developments worth examining:

AI-aided selection processes: Companies increasingly employ artificial intelligence to scrutinize applications and sift through the finest candidates. AI can aid in determining the alignment between applicants and job requirements with greater precision.

Virtual recruitment gatherings: Owing to escalating digitization, recruitment events are increasingly migrating online. Virtual job fairs, career webinars, and video interviews enable companies to reach out to applicants worldwide, circumventing the necessity for physical presence.

Emphasis on soft competencies

Alongside professional qualifications, soft skills such as teamwork, communication prowess, and problem-solving acumen are garnering more attention in personnel selection. Companies acknowledge the significance of these skills for successful collaboration and actively seek candidates who possess them.

Employer branding via social platforms

Companies are increasingly leveraging social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok to fortify their employer brand and engage potential applicants. By offering authentic glimpses into corporate culture and employee narratives, they can position themselves as appealing employers through contemporary personnel marketing.

Flexible work arrangements

The pandemic demonstrated that many jobs can be performed remotely. Consequently, an increasing number of companies offer flexible work models, allowing employees to carry out their tasks from various locations. This broadens the pool of applicants and enables companies to attract talented professionals who do not reside near the company’s headquarters.

These trends underscore the continuous evolution of recruitment, necessitating companies to adapt in order to attract top-tier talent. While not all aspects are groundbreaking, the AI approach, in particular, has catalyzed market dynamics and reverberated across the other four points. Exciting times lie ahead!

Unemployment in Bulgaria 2023

Unemployment in Bulgaria continues to be a significant issue in 2023. Despite the country’s slow economic growth in recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the closure of many businesses, resulting in a further increase in unemployment.

Situation has improved over the past year.

In March 2023, the unemployment rate in Bulgaria is projected to be around 3.7 percent (compared to 4.5 percent in March 2022), according to the latest data from the European statistical authority, EUROSTAT. While this rate may not be very high compared to other EU countries, the number of long-term unemployed individuals is a cause for concern. Many people are struggling to find jobs, especially in rural areas and regions with lower economic development.

However, there have been positive developments as well. The Bulgarian government has launched various initiatives to promote employment, including support for start-up companies and the creation of incentives for job-creating businesses. Training and retraining programs have also been implemented to enhance employment opportunities for the unemployed.

The government is also committed to developing infrastructure, particularly in remote regions, to facilitate job creation in these areas. Another important step is to increase investment in the technology and service sectors, as these industries have high growth potential.

Unemployment in Sofia almost non existing

In major booming regions, particularly in the capital city of Sofia, as well as Plovdiv, Burgas, or Varna, unemployment is not a major issue. Qualified workers are in high demand, and there is nearly full employment. Sofia, with its emerging IT industry, and Plovdiv, with a strong industrial base, are experiencing widespread shortages of skilled workers.

In these major growth centers, such as the bustling capital of Sofia and the industrial hubs of Plovdiv, Burgas, and Varna, the unemployment situation is not a significant concern. Skilled workers are in high demand, and there is nearly full employment. Sofia, with its thriving IT sector, and Plovdiv, with its robust industrial base, are grappling with a widespread shortage of highly skilled professionals.

Efforts to address the unemployment issue extend beyond these urban centers. The Bulgarian government recognizes the need to bolster employment opportunities in rural areas and regions with lower economic development. Consequently, they have implemented various measures to uplift these areas. One crucial aspect involves investing in infrastructure development, particularly in remote regions, which not only improves connectivity but also facilitates job creation.

Additionally, the government has prioritized increasing investments in the technology and service sectors, acknowledging their immense growth potential. By fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in these industries, Bulgaria aims to generate new job opportunities and boost economic prosperity.

Moreover, the government has introduced programs aimed at fostering a skilled workforce. These initiatives include vocational training and retraining programs designed to enhance the employability of the unemployed. By equipping individuals with in-demand skills and qualifications, these programs strive to bridge the gap between job seekers and available employment opportunities.

While progress has been made, it is crucial to continue supporting and promoting initiatives that combat unemployment in Bulgaria. Collaboration between government entities, businesses, and communities is vital to ensure sustained economic growth and reduced unemployment rates throughout the country.

In conclusion, although unemployment remains a significant challenge in Bulgaria, positive steps have been taken to address the issue. The government’s commitment to promoting employment, investing in infrastructure, and fostering growth in key sectors demonstrates a proactive approach. However, ongoing efforts and support from various stakeholders are essential to further alleviate unemployment and create a thriving job market for all Bulgarians.

The Significance of Workplace Ethics

Nowadays, workplace ethics, also known as business ethics, turns out to be more and more frequently valued by employers at the workplace. This is simply due to the fact that business ethics is the moral guide of our behavior, which plays a significant role in the decision making process as well as in identifying what is right and what is wrong on the workplace. Even more, strongly developed business ethics within employees of a company leads to achieving better results that tremendously benefit the whole company.

Creating a Friendly Work Environment

Now, you may ask yourself how workplace ethics is related to the outcomes produced by a company and the answer to this concern consists in the development of a friendly working environment. Yes, a friendly work environment is the key to successful results since employees are enjoying their time at the workplace and so, they feel much more motivated to dedicate themselves to the aims of the company they are currently working for. As it is claimed in a research conducted by the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, “An extensive study into happiness and productivity has found that workers are 13% more productive when happy.” (Oxford News, 2019)

The Aim of Workplace Ethics

The objective of workplace ethics as well as another reason due to which it should be considered as vital is in terms of transparency. This is so on the grounds that transparency in the workplace is the source of trust between employees and management which also stimulates engagement within the goals of the company. But what is primordial to be achieved before to speak about transparency in the workplace, is the understanding as well as the setting of clear rules with regards to equality. Along this line of thinking, already developed workplace ethics enable the management of a company to treat all members of it equally and also to value the perspectives as well as the ideas of each of them. In this sense, favoritism should be necessarily excluded since it affects in a negative way the work environment as well as violates the policies of the company and in some cases may be even considered as an illegal discrimination.

Benefits of Business Ethics

Some of the most commonly recognizable advantages of business ethics are the personal qualities which every employee achieves to develop. Such is, for example, the ability to be persistent. Undoubtedly, being persistent toward the goals of a company might be challenging sometimes since it requires your constant devotion to them, but it is also the key to successful results. Being so, developing good workplace ethics will help you also to become persistence toward the aims of the company you are currently working for. Even more, it will make you stand out as a praise-worthy employee since you will have already maintained a strong character, which will seriously benefit the company you are working for.

Gender pay gap in Bulgaria

The topic about gender pay gap has always been intriguing and has raised many discussions in the business sector. A recent study (2021) has shown that in Bulgaria, women receive salaries which are 14% lower than the salaries of men for the same position. Which means that full gender equality is not yet achieved, despite the huge progress in Bulgaria.

Why is there gender pay gap?

Some of the reasons are that women work more hours of unpaid work, caring for family members and doing housework. There is a difference in unpaid working hours in all EU countries, ranging from 6-8 hours per week in the Nordic countries to over 15 hours per week in Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Cyprus, etc.

This leaves less time for paid work: only 8% of men in the EU work part-time, compared to almost 30% of women. When paid and unpaid hours of work are taken into account, it turns out that women work more.

Moreover, breaks in professional development are much more common among women than in men, and some of their career decisions are influenced by taking on family responsibilities.

All this does not mean that there is no real discrimination in the workplace – for example, when women receive less than their male counterparts for the same work or when they are demoted when they return from maternity leave. Unfortunately, it is very unfair to think that a woman is not able to take a managerial position or she will do the job worse than a man, which is linked to stereotypes.

What can be done to reduce the pay gap and finally prevent the inequality?

It is high time to leave all those stereotypes…

Equal pay is not only a matter of fairness and an incentive to work harder, but would also boost the economy, as women would have more money to spend. It would also lead to the collection of more taxes from the treasury and would ease some of the burden on social assistance systems.

As an employer, there are few steps to consider in order to reduce the gender pay gap in your organization. You can not only diversify your interviewees, but also you can start investing in female leadership potential, and just offer equal incentives and wages to everyone at the same position, regardless of their gender. Another way to overcome the pay gap is to offer childcare and early childhood education. And there are even cheaper options- such as encouraging open and transparent discussions about their wages/salaries/bonuses.

It is not that difficult to change that, it just takes time, awareness, and small steps towards improvement in order to live in a better world.

Working from home – Pros and Cons

In the early 2020 the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic started spreading rapidly all over the world. Governments had to implement strict measures and restrictions in order to keep the deadly disease from spreading. In many countries this included complete or partial lockdowns, closing stores and restaurants, isolation, remote working, quarantine and social distancing. The rapid changes in everyday life have brought various challenges and changes to human life worldwide, causing an unprecedented impact on human health, lifestyle, and social life. One of the biggest changes that people all over the work had to face was working from home.

Impact of the “New Normal”

Since working from home has become a globally implemented practice due to the Covid-19 pandemic, people are experiencing the positive and negative sides of home offices. The opportunity to work from home has brought a new type of flexibility to the workplace and companies report it to be rather profitable.

Workers seem to be proving productive, despite working remotely. The prospect is that people working from home will tend to value and appreciate the interaction at their workplace far more in the future, which could help the work environment to become more social and strengthen human connection. Human connection would not only be improved at the workplace, but also in families.

Affecting the family life

Many parents and partners have never had such an opportunity for time to spend with each other. For example, people who would lose a couple of hours daily to travel from and to work can now use the time to have a quality family time before attending to work duties. Although balancing work and taking care of a family has proven to be hard for many families, working from home is an opportunity for parents to strengthen the relationship with their children and be more involved in the daily lives. Another positive impact that needs to be considered is that home offices help many organizations to deliver opportunities for up skilling of their staff and implement e-learning strategies, which can be beneficial for the personal and professional development of home office workers.

There are downsides…

Still, there are also multiple negative sides that are being reported. One of the biggest issues proves to be the lack of technological readiness, as well as lack of dedicated home space, which can be used solely for work. Another similar challenge that seems to be affecting workers’ productivity and success negatively seems to be the limited access to good internet connections that would allow workers to do their job remotely.

…but of course also upsides!

While this can be seen as a problem currently, it might actually positively enforce the development of technologies and home internet
connection delivery. For example, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the need of video connection, many platforms have rapidly been developed and their creators are improving them daily. Moreover such platforms and social media are supporting creativity and innovations, as companies are trying to implement new marketing strategies and be more active, in order to have a unique presence on the internet.

Although the practice of working from home seems to be a double edged sword, it can be beneficial for people to look at the multiple undeniable positive effects and make the best of the current situation. Where there are challenges, there are opportunities