Executive Search in Romania – 2021 Outlook

Pandemic Gives Boost to HR

Although the forecasts and analysis of economists are optimistic for 2021 after more than six months of economic shrinkage in 2020 and memories of the 2008-2009 economic crisis, the plans and actions of companies and investors are still defined by caution. Also, the restrictions still in place continue to result in restructuring and closures.

Elections at the end of last year brought in a new coalition government in place that set out to implement both administrative and economic changes. There is a lot of pressure on the government, coming from popular expectations for managing the pandemics and from investors in the domains affected by the restrictions.

GDP contracted in 2020 and forecasts for 2021 anticipate an increase of 3-4% in GDP.

The unemployment rate increased last year to 5.4% (from 3.7% at the beginning of 2020) but estimates for 2021 are positive based on some improvement starting from autumn. Few employers have  announced investments and recruitment especially in retail, support services, construction and IT.

For the SEE region, some large companies started to implement downsizing strategies and regionalized most of their executive positions in the area, the result being a reduction in the number of the upper management positions in the regional structure.

A positive outcome of the pandemic in Romania is that the HR management function acquired more visibility and importance in the management structure of the companies. During the period March 2020 to present, many changes needed to be implemented in short term related both to remote work and to new legislative provisions. The local HR executives adapted effectively to the situation and gained awareness as a business partner.

Most new positions will be related to digital and technology, as the focus is on improving this area for daily operational management and to keep market share by online sales volume.

As the shareholders have their eyes on the budgets, the strategies will be focused on optimization and be responsive to the market changes in terms of sales. The challenge for the talent acquisition teams will be to find creative ways to attract agile talents in the companies and to keep them engaged. We expect to have most job openings in sales, digital marketing, procurement, finance and technology.

Contact the author Cristina Pasat at cristina-pasat@cornerstone-group.com

For information on executive services in Romania, visit Cornerstone Bucharest