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"Focus on building skills, not just a job" - Interview with Bogdan Badea (eJobs)


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What should recruiters focus on in 2024?

The recruitment landscape is constantly shifting, and 2024 is no exception. To stay ahead of the curve, recruiters should focus on several key areas. First of all, something which is no longer a nice to have, but a mandatory matter: AI and automation. This is beginning to be involved in a series of aspects related to the day to day work of an HR professional from tasks like resume screening or scheduling interviews to providing personalized recommendations to both candidates and hiring managers.

Another important focus point should be the data driven recruiting, with regard to using data analytics to identify patterns, track candidate behavior, and measure the effectiveness of the recruitment strategies.

Even though, right now we are facing an employers' market, recruiters should keep up with their previous efforts of building diverse talent pools, consolidate a strong employer's brand reputation and adapt to the candidates' and employees' needs, for example as far as the remote work landscape is concerned. This means promoting a remote friendly recruitment and focus on skills over location.

What do you think about AI? Is it taking away the recruiters' jobs? Where can AI add value in recruitment selection?

AI in recruitment is a powerful tool, but it's important to understand its potential and limitations. It can be of great help for recruiters, it might take over repetitive tasks recruiters do, which can be seen both as a blessing and as a curse.

AI excels at automating repetitive tasks like resume screening, scheduling, and initial candidate interaction. This frees up recruiters' time for more strategic activities like building relationships, and conducting in-depth interviews. It can also analyze vast amounts of data to identify patterns and trends in candidate behavior, helping recruiters make informed decisions throughout the process.

However, while AI automates tasks, it's unlikely to replace recruiters entirely. The human element remains crucial in building relationships, evaluating cultural fit, and making final hiring decisions.

What advice would you give to young people at the beginning of their career?

The beginning of one's career can be a very mixed feelings period, with ups and downs and a lot of challenges. What most definitely best describes this period is the fact it is an ongoing learning and adapting process that young candidates should embrace, not fear. Even though it's okay not to know everything, the willingness to learn is highly valued. So, firstly, my advice would be to actively seek out opportunities to learn and grow: take advantage of training programs, professional development workshops, and mentorship opportunities.

Another important thing would be to focus on building skills, not just a job: identify your transferable skills and how they can be applied to different roles, take the best and create your own insights from an entry-level position or an internship. Also, develop a growth mindset and constantly seek ways to improve your skill set. Stay updated on the latest trends and technologies relevant to your field.

What goals does your team work towards on a daily basis?

Constant self improvement, being more agile, keeping ourselves up to date to everything new in our field of business are our goals as a team and as individuals. It's a lot of hard work, but it's something that comes with a lot of rewards, too.

What are some recruitment challenges you would highlight specifically in your country/region?

As I previously said, we are now facing an employers' market. Make it so, we still have a talent shortage in key sectors like IT, engineering, healthcare, constructions, and manufacturing. Part of the shortage problem is linked to the brain drain and immigration, as both highly skilled professionals and blue collar candidates often seek opportunities abroad, attracted by higher salaries and better career prospects. Another challenge is related to the fact that candidates' salary expectations are often higher than what companies are willing or able to offer, leading to difficulties in attracting and retaining talent. This is due to factors like rising inflation and the increasing cost of living. One of the biggest concerns for all employers, which grew bigger in 2023 and continues to impact them, is the evolving regulatory landscape, especially as far as the taxes are concerned. Last, but not least, we have the issue of a limited employer branding panorama, since many Romanian companies, especially smaller ones, haven't yet developed strong employer branding strategies. This makes it difficult to attract top talent and compete with multinationals.

What are you preparing for recruiTECH CEE?

I would like to talk about the challenges we are all facing at this point, in a year marked by a lot of uncertainties, what possible solutions we can resort to and insights about the local market, from both the employers' and candidates' perspectives.

Thank you for the anwers Bogdan Badea, the CEO of eJobs Romania!