Lachezar Belanski is Operations & Business Development manager at Bulwork Sofia. He has 7 years of experience at top managerial positions, a BA in Political Science and an MA in Management of Human Resources from the Plovdiv University
Snezhana Raikinska is a manager and co-founder of Bulwork. She holds a BA in Economy and Labour Organisation and an MA in Management of Human Resources. She lives and works in Berlin, where she manages Native Recruitment GmbH, a Bulwork subsidiary
Maria Marinova is a Talent Search & Selection Lead at Bulwork Sofia. She has almost 5 years of experience in the company and manages a team of 5 HR specialists. She holds a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Political Management from the Sofia University
You are the first recruitment and consulting agency in Bulgaria, operatingin IT, BPO and Telecom industries. What changed since 2000? What did you achieve?
Snezhana Raikinska: Our country walked a long way, and probably the most important event it experienced on it was the accession to the EU in 2007. This significantly changed the labour market, to an extent that the development of the market for IT outsourcing services can be divided to two stages: before and since 2007. Before this year, the investors in the sector were few and consequently, the job positions for specialists in the field were few. On the other hand, the pool of qualified employees was large, which allowed the companies to build strong teams. Investments were concentrated in the large cities, mainly in Sofia and partially in Varna, and the market consisted predominantly of small local companies.
After 2007, there was boom, and many of the large companies in the field entered the market. Plovdiv and Burgas appeared as attractive outsourcing destinations. On the other hand, the wages in the sector increased, and the competition for employees between the different organisations intensified. The opening of the EU's labour market for Bulgarians lead to a talent drain, which resulted in a lack of specialists and the difficulties that most of the companies in the sector experience today.
What makes Bulgaria a prospective destination for IT outsourcing? What are the sector's perspectives?
Lachezar Belanski: Outsourcing is one of the fastest developing sectors in Bulgarian economy in the past years. Part of Bulgaria's advantages in comparison with the other EU countries are the highly qualified specialists, the competitive prices for business activities, the favourable tax environment, as well as the excellent quality of the broadband Internet connections. The good foreign language education is also a factor for the fast development of the BPO sector in the country, as Bulgaria is one of the few countries with specialised high schools for foreign languages.
How does Bulwork select its specialists?
Maria Marinova: For us it is important that the applicants have strong motivation and desire to work, and simultaneously possess top level technical skills that meet the requirements of our clients. The specialists undergo an interview with a Bulwork consultant, IQ and psychological tests, and – if the client requires it, – also tests on a foreign language and technical tasks. We strongly insist on the quality of our work and so we aim to be informed as best as possible on the desires and requirements on our clients and the candidates, in order to satisfy both parties.
When it is better for a company to hire new specialists and when – to train its old employees to new skills? How can Bulwork help?
MM: It depends a lot on the company's needs. If the volume of work has increased and the current employees cannot cope with it, new specialists should be hired to fill the gaps. On the other hand, if the management seeks improvement of the quality of work and of the performance of current tasks, internal training is needed. When the company has enough people and wants to make structural changes, it can opt for the trainings for development of leadership skills for current employees who want to progress.
Based on its years of experience, Bulwork always strives to consult its clients and to help them find the solutions that will be best for their development. Besides recruiting, we also offer services connected with technical, management and soft skills trainings, employee evaluation, and others.
What is the profile of your clients?
LB: In our long history we have worked with clients with different profiles. Our successful projects include both large corporations and startups. Our clients can be companies making their fist steps on the local market, or companies that have established themselves firmly in Bulgaria and need assistance in recruitment of highly specialised employees. The clients who open an office in Bulgaria trust us with the whole process: selection of the best location, assistance in company registration, payroll services, recruitment, and others. Throughout the years we have partnered with some of the biggest names in the market, such as Bulpros, HP Global Delivery Center Bulgaria, Sutherland Global Services, Ingram Micro, SAP Labs Bulgaria, Questers, HeleCloud, DAIS Software and dozens of others.
Sofia, 15 Tsarigradsko Shose Blvd, entrance 3
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