the central european job market is recovering

The Central European Job Market is Recovering

The Central European Job Market is Recovering

Prague, 15 July 2015

The Czech Republic and Poland can expect a revival of the job market in several segments. There will be significant growth mainly in the segments of shared services, IT and in industrial manufacture. On the contrary, Hungary faces suspension of investment projects and the number of job opportunities is growing chiefly in the sector of agriculture. Neighbouring Slovakia is reporting recruitment of workers in construction and automotive manufacturing. The construction industry will also grow dynamically in the Czech Republic, particularly due to projects in the field of transport infrastructure.  This is indicated by an extensive salary survey in Central European countries realised by the Grafton Recruitment Agency.

The survey also indicates that the job market in the Czech Republic is most active in its attitude to graduates, where it offers them opportunities in a whole range of sectors, mainly in sales, marketing, the shared services segment and also in human resources and IT. Salaries remain on a similar level to the previous year in all monitored countries. Salaries increased by 2% last year in the Czech Republic, which is the highest figure since 2009. It is also evident from the survey that foreign language skills and education specialising in technical fields are key to obtaining a well-paid job, and this applies throughout the Central European region.

“It is evident that the Central European job market has been recovering from the beginning of this year. And this is obvious not just from the growing number of job offers, but also from the interest of candidates in new jobs,” said Thibault Lefebvre, CEO of Grafton Recruitment Europe, who adds: “We are currently registering 20% more job offers in the Czech Republic compared to last year”.

Shared services report a lack of experts with language skills
Even though European countries have been facing strong competition from developing markets in Asia in recent years, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary are experiencing a significant expansion in the field of shared service. The number of employees in this sector is growing, new centres are being established and existing centres are undergoing expansion. A candidate’s language skills are very important when seeking a job. English is considered a matter of course and other languages are also in demand, German, Dutch and the Nordic language in particular in the Czech Republic, Bulgarian or Estonian in Hungary, French, Italian, Spanish or Chinese in Poland and German, Romanian or Polish in Slovakia.

The IT and telecommunications job market in the Czech Republic and Poland is strongly influenced by the construction of new global technical support centres. A number of companies in these countries are seeking employees specialising in system support, networking, virtualisation, databases, etc. The requirements for these positions are increasingly stricter; candidates must have experience with the most modern technologies and excellent language skills. Employers in all monitored countries also traditionally seek programmers for the development of desktop, web and mobile applications.

Sales and marketing
Demand for employees in the field of sales and marketing varies across the European regions. While in Hungary there are a great number of available marketing experts who are unable to find a job, the number of on-line marketing specialist and manager job offers is rising in the Czech Republic. This trend also applies in Poland. Companies expect candidates to have deep knowledge of their segment, frequently overlapping into IT, as well as communication skills and managerial competence. Excellent English is essential for most marketing positions.

The situation in the field of sales also varies between regional states. There is rising demand for sales agents specialising in technical products with over three years’ experience in Slovakia. Their salaries remain on the

highest levels, also due to the fact that excellent technical knowledge and active language skills are required. There is demand for regional sales managers in the construction and agriculture sectors in Hungary, for brand demand for managers in the field of FMCG and product managers in electronics in the Czech Republic, and sales agents will most frequently find work in retail chains or in e-commerce in Poland.

2015 will bring a positive development in construction, mainly in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia. This is caused by the rising numbers of tenders, mainly in the field of transport infrastructure, and also the recovery of industry. A number of projects in the field of railway construction are being prepared in the Czech Republic and the construction of new residential complexes and business centres is planned in Slovakia. The Polish construction industry is slow to recover after the crisis and is affected by subsidies from the European Union, and most investment projects in Hungary have been stopped, so there are very few new job offers in this country.

The growing demand for project managers, who should have experience in their field and also excellent English skills, if possible in combination with another language, is evidence of the changing situation in the Czech Republic. This is caused by the great number of foreign investors. There is also increased demand for specialists in specific areas of construction, for example, railway construction. Construction managers, foremen and cost estimators will also find it easy to obtain a job.

Industrial manufacture and engineering
Growing demand for candidates with a technical education was evident last year. This demand is growing even faster today, mainly in the field of the automotive industry, which is dominant throughout the region. Companies are mainly seeking project managers with good language skills, responsible for management and coordination and also for communication with customers. Quality managers are being recruited in Slovakia and there is also a slight increase in demand for experts in the nanoautomotive field. There is increased demand for logisticians and planners in the Czech Republic and electrical engineers with good English and German skills in Hungary. The good news for graduates of technical schools is that the shortage of experts has caused companies to provide opportunities to novices without experience, but with knowledge in the field of manufacture, technologies, quality and logistics. The rising volume of contracts obtained by manufacturing companies also improves the position of secondary school educated specialists, particularly if they have language skills.

Banking and financial services

There was a significant number of job opportunities for independent accountants in the field of financial services in the Czech Republic and in Poland and Hungary last year. This is also related to the growing shared services segment in these regions. A rising number of positions in companies engaged in asset management and trade on capital markets is evident in Slovakia. Candidates for the position of business analyst are also in demand.

Human resources and administration
No significant salary changes were registered in the field of HR positions. Compared to last year there is more interest in candidates for the role of recruiter, generalist and HR manager. Candidates for these positions are sought after across all market segments in the Czech Republic and in Hungary, in the field of IT in Poland and mainly in the shared services segment in Slovakia. A common requirement is good foreign language skills, not just English, but, more and more frequently, another foreign language, for example, German, French, Spanish, and also Czech in Poland.